Episode 28

Tips for improving teenage behaviour (Interview with behaviour expert and best-selling author Sue Cowley)

Sue Cowley


A few years ago, the Sutton Trust (in conjunction with Durham University) conducted research to discover what’s actually proven to improve students’ progress and achievement in school. They looked at all the strategies teachers use to help students succeed. Nobody could have predicted what was discovered…

Researchers found that the second-most effective way of improving grades was to help students improve their metacognition and self-regulation skills.

What does this mean in plain English? Well, students who have an awareness of their own thinking and can control their own behaviour tend to achieve more than their classmates who can’t do these things.

In this episode of The Unstoppable Teen Podcast we’ll focus on helping in this critical area of self-regulation.

Here to help you make sense of all this is world-renowned behaviour management expert and bestselling author, Sue Cowley. Sue is an experienced teacher, author of over 20 books, and presenter who travels the globe to help teachers and students succeed.

Click on the player above to listen now!

“Young people need to understand that regulating your own behaviour is part of being able to work within society as a whole, as well as just within school.”
Sue Cowley – Behaviour Expert & Bestselling Author

You will learn:

  • Why we like to help parents, teachers, and students all in one podcast (3:31)
  • Why teen behaviour is such an important topic when it comes to schools (6:05)
  • How to view teenage rebellion (7:11)
  • Common examples of bad behaviour – It’s surprising how many teenagers don’t realise these have such a negative impact on their grades (8:45)
  • Why self-regulation can be more difficult for some people than others(10:20)
  • Where Sue grew up, what she was like as a child, how she has changed over time, and what she wishes she had heard from her teachers (11:33)
  • How Sue found her inner confidence, and what she would recommend for teenagers (12:56)
  • How to get over it when you have a major setback, or when something you have your heart set on doesn’t work out (15:09)
  • The top behaviours that enable successful students to optimise their learning and progress (17:06)
  • What we can do to help more young people realise that school is about them and their opportunity to prepare for their future (19:34)
  • How to convince students that it’s important to learn the curriculum, even when it doesn’t seem immediately relevant to them (20:39)
  • Ideas for changing the culture from trying to get away with the minimum of effort to a sense of enthusiasm for learning (23:46)
  • Strategies for being more supportive of your peers (24:34)
  • The way Sue’s perspective on paths through life differs from those of many other professionals (30:11)
  • Some tips that parents can use to help their children master their own behaviour (31:50)
  • Practical things that teachers can do in the classroom (34:08)
  • Ways a teenager can progress in self-management, even when peers may not be on the same page (36:54)
  • The one thing Sue thinks it takes to be unstoppable (40:48)
“Other people are exactly the same wherever you go. They might have different habits, and they’ll be culturally different, but essentially they are the same as you. They’re just people under that skin.”
Sue Cowley – Behaviour Expert & Bestselling Author

Learn more from Sue Cowley

You can learn more from Sue by visiting her website and following her on Twitter. You might also want to check out her brilliant books…

  • Sue Cowley book 1
  • Sue Cowley book

Take a step toward better teen behaviour

Think of at least one thing that Sue shared in this episode that you can use, whether you’re a parent, teenager, or teacher.

We’d love to hear what tip you’ll take from the show, as well as your own advice and insights on how to help teenagers can get better at self-regulating. Please feel free to share these thoughts in the comments section below!

If you have questions or thoughts for a future episode, please contact us anytime via our social media channels or email podcast@unstoppableen.com. And if you know anyone who would benefit from hearing Sue’s tips on improving teen behaviour, please pass this episode along.

Thanks for listening!