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10 Universal Laws for Parents of Teens
1 "Law of Belonging": The greatest need of teenagers (after music and the phone) is a strong sense of belonging. They need to feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves. If they don't get it in a healthy place - with family, worthwhile friends, clubs, sports, youth groups, etc. - they will get it in an unhealthy place - with inappropriate friends, drugs, gangs or cults.
2 "Law of Hope": Recent statistics show that one of the age groups in which the suicide rate is rising is adolescents. This is the direct result of a lack of hope - hope for the future, hope that things will get better.
3 "Law of Power": Once you enter into a power struggle with a teen, you have already lost it. Remember the closing line of the movie War Games: "Interesting game . . . the only winning move is not to play."
4 "Law of Management": A management approach to raising teens puts parents clearly in charge. The goal is to manage them eventually out of your lives and into their own. Parenting is one of those jobs in which the goal is to eliminate the need for your job.
5 "Law of Modeling": If you don't want your teen doing something, make sure you are not doing it yourself. Teens have very strong and sensitive hypocrisy meters and are eager to use them.
6 "Law of Differing Views": It's no great insight that parents and teens view the world in different ways. One clear example of this is school. For parents, the view is we work all day, kids don't. School is their job. Therefore, they should get good grades. The view of teenagers can be that school is right in the middle of their important social world.
7 "Law of Punishment": Punishment often springs from anger. Punishment breeds resentment and a desire for revenge. Teens have many creative ways to retaliate.
8 "Law of Consequences": Consequences teach teens about the real world. In general, consequences need to be reasonable, respectful, swift and strong enough to get the attention of teens.
9 "Law of Structure": Parents need to set boundaries and structure from day one. If you don't do this while they are young, what makes you think they will obey a curfew once they have a car? We tend to over structure the time of young children and understructure the time of teens. Teenagers need structure as much, if not more, than younger children.
10 "Law of W's": When teens are away from home, parents need to know who they are with, where they are, what they are doing, and what time they will be back.
Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT, is a marriage and family therapist specializing in working with teenagers and their parents. A nationally syndicated relationship columnist and speaker, Jeff is also the founder and CEO of http://www.ParentingYourTeenager.com, where you can subscribe to his f'ree internet newsletter "ParentingYourTeenager." E-mail Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Would You Know if Your Child Were Being Bullied? 4 Tips to Keep Them From Becoming a Victim
The 21st Century Problem in Schools: Bullying, and How to Keep Your Kid From Being a VictimChildren bullying other children has been an issue since there were children, and though it has often been downplayed as "part of growing up," it has always had potentially serious implications from an emotional perspective.But these days, due to a host of factors such as our society's glorification of celebrity and being popular, violence in mass media, and easy access to deadly weapons, the implications can be especially risky.
Natural Disasters: Help Your Child Cope With The Anxiety
How on earth can you help your family cope with the anxiety and fear that natural disasters strike into the heart of everyone?In early 2005, for example, the world was rocked by the tsunami in South East Asia that killed thousands and left many homeless and orphaned.Yet, at the Edinburgh International Festival yesterday I saw a group of Sri Lankan children, all victims of this natural disaster, perform a dance routine based on a play by Shakespeare.
Power Foods for a Powerful School Lunch
There isn't a school day that goes by that I worry about my son's lunch. Of course, I ask myself the usual questions: Is he eating what he has in the bag? Will he trade his apple for a cookie? Will the school lunch he's ordering once a week be nutritious? He's a kid! He's not a fussy eater, but there are plenty of days that he has come home with a bag full of food.
Unique Baby Names
What's in a name? Er?well, everything, really! Of course your little bundle of joy is the sweetest, most beautiful thing you have ever seen and you want to choose a name that reflects his/her individuality, spirituality, uniqueness and all-round special-ness.But wait a minute!Remember that the unique baby name you choose will help define junior's life - how they are viewed and accepted - for many, many years.
Say No to Mealtime Mayhem: Eating Out With Your Baby or Toddler
Many parenting books advise against eating out with young children. Their short attention span and need to be involved in everything will mean a nightmare for you, they say.
Raising Kids on a Budget
There are only two ways to get more money:1) Increase your income and 2) Decrease your outgo.B Buy what you need, not what you want.
SMUT Spelled Backwards is TUMS
Why are more people, especially parents not outraged?I call it SMUT - Selling Made Under Titillation.It seems that more and more corporations are chasing the dollar to the demise of the family.
Legacy to Your Children
John Bishop's Goal Setting for Students.comLegacy to Your ChildrenIt's 6:30 at night and you just got home from a long day at work, but the day's not over yet.
Top Three Ways To Communicate With Your Child
Although many parents become frustrated as they try to maintain an open line of communication between themselves and their children, regardless of age, there are three quite simple ways to attempt to achieve this goal effectively. 1 Talk to your kids.
Create a Story Book with Your Child
A fun way to build your child's imaginationWriting is still one of our major forms of communication as well as a great way to express ourselves. Creating a storybook with your child is a fun way to introduce him or her to creative writing.
The Better Behavior Wheel - A New Kind of Calm in the Family
There's a new kind of fun and calm out there in the name of the Better Behavior Wheel, invented by Julie Butler and her family in central British Columbia. In an interesting twist on charts and discipline, this versatile wheel can be hung on a wall or toted with you in the car and on vacations.
How to Create an Attitude of Cooperation
Having been a parent educator and a PBS consultant for Ready to Learn for many years, I have had the unique opportunity to work with Head Start families, Child Care Providers, and parents as well as schools, organizations, and teachers all over the world just like you.YES YOU ARE A TEACHER.
Featured Article on Parenting: The Power of Belonging
Search for Assurance: The Power of BelongingThe job hunt is on, as is the quest to find another great preschool and neighborhood to be part of. After feeling out of place, hearing over and over that an item I'm searching for is not available, or a pretty basic procedure I thought I had a grasp of is "done differently here.
Parenting: The Road I Chose
Tripping over the shoes and toys that seem to clutter my living room floor on a constant basis, just seems to be part of the game of parenting. I realize it doesn't have to be that way.
Naming Your Baby Is Part of The Challenge of Being a Parent
Baby names are as diverse as the people to whom they are given. Choosing the right name for your baby can be a very challenging yet fun exercise! This is my story.
Facing the Homeschool Super Mom
I know this Mom. She homeschools her 5 children, plus she tutors several other children that are dropped off at her house.
Ten Tips for a Great First Day of School!
Many children are jittery on the first day of school. Listed are ways to prepare your child for the big day!-Read books about school.
Child Separation Anxiety: Does Your Child Have It?
If you are a parent, then more than likely you may face the common problem of separation anxiety in your child. What exactly is child separation anxiety? In a nutshell, this is the type of anxiety or stress your child may encounter when you leave him/her alone and they get upset or cry due to the separation involved.
So, The Thing Is... Im Feeling A Little Guilty
So, the thing is? I am feeling a little guilty.I know, I know, what's new? I'm like the travel agent for guilt trips.
Books Around the House Make A Difference in Literacy Rates
We need a grass roots campaign targeted towards parents to have books around the house. Reading times where TV is turned off and kids are reading.
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