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Ten Tips to Help you Parent Teenagers
by Mike Moore
and Remain Sane
There is no doubt about it, parenting teenagers is frustrating and
stressful at its worst. At its best it is fun, exciting and fulfilling.
The problem is that frustration and stress seems to predominate for such
a long time. So how do we cope with the years of turmoil between 12 and
20 so that when the teenage years are over we still have our sanity and the
friendship of those who nearly drove us to the brink? Here are a few
suggestions that worked for us.
- Care enough to set limits and establish rules. Just make sure that
the limits set and the rules established are reasonable and few in
- Negotiate with your teens. Let them state what they want; you state
what you want and then try to reach a negotiated compromise somewhere in
- Treat your teenager like you would an adult, but don't always expect
adult behaviour from them.
- Don't preach at them. Adolescents hate preaching by their parents and
will turn you off when you do.
- Practise the three R's of effective parenting. LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN.
- When you're wrong, say you're sorry. When you do, you are teaching
them an invaluable lesson in human relationships.
- Laugh with your teenager. Laughter has been called " social glue"
because it bonds us to those we laugh with.
- Never use sarcasm, ridicule or put-down in your relationship with
your adolescent. Teenagers hate this kind of destructive communication.
- Don't yell at them. I once asked my senior highschool students what
they disliked most about teachers and parents and their response was
unanimous, "YELLING AND SCREAMING".
- Say "NO" without guilt. Saying "No" to your teen does not mean that
you don't love them. Just the opposite. We should love them enough to
These tips come from Mike Moore's Booklet "You're Not Alone" available