List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
Parenting Your Teenager: Ask Questions
Many parents seem to be more than a little confused about what they have a right to know about their teens.
The question I often get goes something like this:
"We want to know where our 16-year-old son is going to be, and who he is with. He makes it sound as if we are the most out-of-it parents, and that it is abusively embarrassing to him that we want to know what he and his friends are doing. Are we being fair?"
You have the right, need and obligation to know all these things, and more. I believe that every parent of a teen has the right to know and the crucial need to know several pieces of information that I call the W's.
These crucial W's are:
1) Who they are spending time with. One of the most powerful forces in the life of a teen is influence: of parents, media, culture and especially friends.
With friends, it's not the question of can your children be influenced, but how they will be influenced. We have come to use the cliche of peer pressure, but this is really about influence.
One of the clearest warning signs of problems is when a teen has two sets of friends _ one that the parents know, and one the parents have never seen and your kid does not want you to see.
Your teen does not want you to see them for a reason, and it's not a good one. A good rule of thumb is that your teen is not allowed to go anywhere with someone you have not at least met. Another simple but little-used strategy is to know the parents of your teen's friends. Also, if you can make your home the hub of his or her circle of friends, where lots of activity takes place or at least begins, you have a good thing going.
2) What they are going to be doing. "But Mom, (stretched into a two or three syllable word) we don't know what we are going to be doing!" Possible answers _ "Well, you'll need to know the answer, and then I'll need to know the answer before you can go" or "That's fine for now, when you decide you must let me know."
Another one you will hear is "But everyone else gets to do it!" This is one the Top 10 things never to believe. It's just not true. Everyone else does not get to do it. And even if they did, you as a parent still have the right to say no.
3) Where they are going. The what and the where go together, and the same rules apply. Watch out for the scam where Billy tells his parents that he is going to Bobby's house, and Bobby tells his parents he is going to Billy's house. This one can be easily handled and checked on when you know the parents of your teen's friends.
4) When will they be back. This brings up the pleasant issue of curfew. The dilemma: Parents want kids home at a certain time, kids want to stay out later.
I've never encountered the situation where a kid wanted his curfew to be earlier. Solution: The parents pick a curfew time. Notice I said the parents and not the parents and kids. This one begins with the parents, and then it's up to the kids to earn more.
While we are at it, let's define late. Late is late, and 10 p.m. is 10 p.m., unless there is something major that is unavoidable. If you consistently make 10:10 acceptable and not late, you send the message that the rules don't really count, and you foster more and more lateness, not to mention giving up your power as a parent.
If the curfew is kept for three months, an additional 15 minutes is added. If they are late during the three months, the three-month earning period starts over from that point.
This model represents the real world where privileges are not just given but earned based on performance.
I've seen more than one family make this a very smooth process by requiring that a small form be filled out, answering all the W's before a request to go out is even considered.
Now, a word of warning:
Your teens will not like this. That's OK because that is not the point. The point is to teach responsibility and other things about the real world, and make this labor-intensive job of parenting a teen just a little less stressful.
While requiring your teens to obey the W's may not be easy, it sure can help you to avoid some other loathsome W's, such as: Waiting up until the Wee hours of the morning, Wondering and Worrying.
Visit ParentingYourTeenager.com for tips and tools for thriving during the teen years. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 5 day e-program on The Top 5 Things to Never Say to Your Teenager, from parenting coach and expert Jeff Herring.
The last decade has seen heightened interest in and awareness of the issues surrounding boys in most of the western world. It is common knowledge that boys lead the way in all the wrong statistics, including; problematic behaviours, learning difficulties and health problems.
What To Do With A 6 Year Old Smart Mouth Know It All
Just the other day, I was talking to some other stay at home moms and asked if they were struggling with any difficulties. "Yes," one piped up almost immediately, "discipline problems with my 6 year old smart mouth know-it-all! I don't want to spank, and don't, but he seems to laugh at time out, privilage loss, etc.
Now, They're Bullying My Daughter in Our Home: Welcome to Cyber-bullying
Last night Tom's daughter, Sue, came out of her room to see her dad and said, "I got another one of those instant messages. It says, 'tomorrow you had better not show up at school or else'.
Parenting Failure? It May Not Be All It Seems!
I'll never forget my first lesson in a glider.I'd been interested in gliding, or soaring as it's known in the USA, for some time - and now the big day had arrived.
Reclaiming Her Identity: A Mothers Diary
After giving up my profession to become a wife, a mother of one, then suddenly seven made life very taxing for me. I soon came face to face with a challenging question.
Single Mother Sanity Savers Pt. 1
Being a single mother is no easy task. I know.
Play the Ball, Not the Man!
As parents and teachers, sometimes we want to praise, at other times we need to rebuke. Either way, how do we put our point across with maximum effectiveness? Adults entrusted with the character training of children have few weapons in their armory as powerful as praise.
Parenting Your Teenager: How to Respond to Manipulation
Q. My daughter has gotten very good at manipulating us, and sometimes we do not even know it has happened until much later.
Top 10 Mistakes by New and Expectant Dads
From criticizing a spouse, to claming up about one's own feelings, there's no shortage of mistakes made by new dads and dads-to-be.Here's a Top 10 List of New Dad Mistakes and some suggestions on how to make the transition to fatherhood a bit smoother.
Parents - Create An Emotionally Healthy Connection With Your Child
"I could have helped you if I would have known, I'm your mother. I protect you against everybody in this world.
Ease Bug Bites with Easy Herbs
Summertime means insect bites and stings. Ouch! Take a leaf from Susun S.
How to Teach Anger Management to Your Child
Most of us recognize the continuing escalation of violence around us, due to intolerance, and many of us blame it on somebody else. Parents teach their children, all the time, and when one of us displays "road rage," while our child is in the car, we teach a brand new skill set.
Single Parenting: How The Challenge Of Single Parenting Affects Your Decision To Divorce
Single parenting has seemingly become an acceptable norm which is unfortunate. According to the US Census Bureau, there were over 20 million single parents in the United States in the year 2000.
Caretaking Parents, Entitled Kids
Demanding children - children who have entitlement issues - seem to be common these days. Like the obnoxious child, Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, who was constantly demanding that her father get her whatever she wanted ("I want an Umpa Lumpa! Get it for me NOW!"), we hear many children today uttering the fairly constant refrain, "I want ?.
How to Take Charge of the TV
Many children enjoy TV, and they can learn from it. Keep in mind, though, that young children often imitate what they see, good or bad.
Ultimate Airplane Themed Games & Activities for your Childs Birthday Party
Are you looking for the Ultimate Airplane Themed Party Games and Activities? Well stop looking because they are right here..
Mom vs. Dad: Navigating Parenting Differences With All Good Intentions
Let's face it: raising children can be quite the adventure. Rewarding at one turn, challenging at the next - it's the ultimate roller-coaster for the parenting thrill seeker.
Home For The Holidays: Avoid Aging Parents Becoming A Burden
By not planning for the future we guarantee that we will leave our children with a tremendous burden. Just about the time they are preparing for their own retirement and their children's college education, adult children often are overwhelmed with decision-making for their aging parents.
Parenting---Roots and Wings
I'm sure many of you have heard that old Hallmark card adage that goes something like this: Parents give their children two great gifts---one is roots, the other is wings. This is what I address in this article.
Top 10 Things To Never Believe From Your Teenager
1) It's not my (pot, beer, cigarettes, etc.), I'm just keeping it for someone else.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !