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Five Secrets To Parenting Your Teens

Family enjoying meal at homeThe most common concerns parents have with their teens is how to communicate without dealing with power struggles and conflict. There are some positive approaches you can use which will get you the positive results you desire.

The first thing to do is understand the many challenges teens face at this age. There’s peer pressure, fitting in, appearance and popularity, not to mention doing well in school, extra-curricular activities and pleasing mom and dad. There’s a lot expected of teens and unless they have the most appropriate coping skills to handle things, they will fall victim to the pressure and you will suffer their wrath.

The following are 5 effective techniques you can use to keep things positive:

1. Develop a rapport

To develop a rapport with your teen, find something you can appreciate about them, like a talent you admire, a physical trait (beautiful blue eyes) or a unique quality they possess (sensitivity to others) and focus on it. Start your conversation by acknowledging their qualities and how fortunate they are to possess them. It will get the teens in a receptive mood and get you aligned on their side.

2. Listen with empathy

Many arguments can be avoided if you put yourself in their shoes for the moment and perceive the problems through their eyes. Be sincere by letting your teens know that you can appreciate how they feel and can actually feel their pain. If your children know they can trust you with their feelings, they’ll be more inclined to open up.

3. Always be the parent

Teens need guidance and support, but they don’t want to be controlled. Making demands on them only causes them to shut down. It is better to offer suggestions with a good reason behind the suggestion. In that way you will keep the dialogue going and keep their resistance down. Also, speak to your teen in a fair but firm tone, while redefining the expectations and consequences if rules are breached. This will offer consistency and structure and help them be accountable for their actions, attitudes and emotions.

4. Involve your teens

Involve your teens in the solution by encouraging original ideas. Get them thinking and solving problems themselves. This will boost their self-esteem, increase their self-worth, and give them pride in their decision-making abilities.

5. Take a genuine interest in their activities

Know who their friends are, and also what interests them outside of school. You want to show that you truly care about their lives, but that you are not overly intrusive.

Always watch for more serious warning signs that your teen may need more help than you can handle. Watch for changes in behavior (isolation, secrecy, changes in school grades, excessive sadness or depression, anger or violence) and seek immediate help with a mental health professional if needed.

Parents who give their teens the time to grow independently, yet offer encouragement and guidance, will find that their relationship will flourish through these exhaustive and challenging teen years and manifest itself into healthy, happy bonding.

Written by: Amy Sherman, Founder/Author/Relationship & Dating Coach

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About the Author

Amy Sherman is a therapist, relationship & dating coach and author. She wrote the ebook, “Distress-Free Aging: A Boomer’s Guide to Creating a Fulfilled and Purposeful Life” and “If Your Teen is Acting Out” Parenting Program. Go to http://www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com for more information.

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