Thursday, March 17, 2016

Raising great teens

Radio Commentary

Teenagers need their parents more than ever.

And though they might protest or seem uninterested, teens do consider their parent’s opinions and values when making decisions.

Here are some pointers for maintaining a good relationship with teens:

First, be actively interested in your teens’ life. Know who their friends are and make an effort to meet their parents as well.
Talk WITH your teen, not AT him. Try to avoid arguments. If things get heated, take a time out from the conversation and come back to it when you are both calm.

Share your thoughts with your teen. Teens are old enough to understand what is going on in the world. Talk about the news.

Take your teen to work so she can see what the work world is like. Talk to him about what he thinks he might do after high school. Let your child know your own stressful circumstances. Children see and hear more than we think.

Make sure to schedule some one-on-one time with your teen. Everyone has busy schedules, but it’s important to take advantage of short times available with undivided attention  — for example, when you are both in the car together.

Take a few minutes to sit in his room when you go in to say goodnight, and talk about things.  Family dinners are also a good time to talk, so try to eat together as often as possible.

Find an activity you can enjoy together, whether going to the gym or watching the news.  It all makes a difference.