Family Survival Guide
Teens face pressures that adults don't take seriously. Their bodies are changing-they have to adjust to the new person they see in the mirror. They feel different. Self-doubt is constant. They feel pressure to conform and fear ridicule if they don't.
These changes can be bewildering, frightening, and even depressing. Teens can have remarkable insights. But they also surprise us with their lack of good judgment.
How Well Do You Know Your Kids?
Where is your child right now?
What are your teens deepest fears?
Who is your son or daughter's best friend?
Do your teen's friends feel welcome in your home?
Remember a strong relationship with your children, along with supervision, is the best way for you to guide them and to prevent them from becoming a tragic statistic.
Getting Along with Your Teen...
Here are some ideas and techniques you can try to improve your relationship with your teen. If they don't work at first, keep trying. They take practice.
- Make time for your teen. Find an activity you enjoy doing together and pursue it. If your invitations are declined, keep asking.
- Listen, really listen. Because parents have so much to do and so little time, we often try to listen while cleaning, washing dishes or fixing the car. Put your chores aside so your teen knows you're really paying attention.
- Take the long view. Don't treat minor mishaps as major catastrophes. Choose important issues. Don't make your home a battleground.
- Tolerate differences. View your teenager as an individual distinct from you. This doesn't mean you can't state your opinion if you disagree.
- Respect your teenager's privacy. But if a behavior is worrying you, speak up and check things out.
- Let your teens sort things out themselves. Never say you know how your teen feels. They believe their feelings (so new and personal) are unique. They'll learn otherwise-without your help. And never imply their feelings don't matter or will change. Because teens live in the present, it doesn't matter that they'll soon feel differently.