Being There for Your Teenager
How to Keep Communication Honest
The adolescent years are tough on everyone parents and teens alike. Through trial and error, our sons and daughters seek their independence. We learn how to let go. Mutual trust, a healthy respect for personal privacy and open communication can make the passage easier.
What Kids Want to Tell You
Teens face many challenges as they approach adulthood. Here are some of those challenges and ways you can help:
How Parents Can Open Doors
Special family activities, or a time when you can do chores together, offer natural opportunities for conversation. Checking in without prying, teasing or blaming lets a teenager know that youre interested.
You can listen and sympathize when he or she approaches you. You can praise whenever possible. Teens are typically secretive and independent. Your respect, trust and attention say youre ready to help.
Hard Choices Made Easier
When to take a stand, when to argue and when to let go are hard choices for parents. Your personal guidelines might consider:
As in any relationship, constructive criticism is easier to take. The trick is to say that something was wrong without saying the one who did it is hopeless.
They Need You and Love You
You can help your teen mature with love and trust as the basis of your relationship. A positive attitude and realistic expectations are important. Open communication is the key.
Equally important is the support available to you outside the home. Parent groups, school and community counselors can give you ideas and skills. For drug and alcohol problems, 24-hour service lines are listed in the telephone directory.