Parenting My Teen

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Tips for Getting Your Teen to Open Up

By: Aurelia Category: Uncategorized

To many parents, their teen is a closed book, with a padlock, and poison spikes, and maybe a big dog in front of it.  At times it seems impossible to get them to open up and talk about their lives.  But talking to your teen and knowing about their lives is one of the best ways to protect them from danger.  Spying and snooping around isn’t the best way to get that information either, it will only upset matters if your teen finds out.

Here are a few tips to help your teen open up:

Start young.  Keeping a relationship going with your child is easier than starting one when you haven’t had one before.  You may find them trying to pull away once they hit a certain age; just keep at it.

Find common ground.  Search for things that you and your teen are both interested in.  It’s easier to talk about something that you both have in common.  That way, you can ask your child about a band’s new album rather than the same old “how was school?”

Be open to what they say.  When you get your teen talking, don’t be surprised if they say some things you don’t like.  Just be open to what they’re telling you instead of being judgmental.  You can tell them you don’t approve of something without attacking them.  If they feel comfortable talking about serious things, they’ll be more likely to come to you if they have a problem.

Spend more together.  A recent study showed that many teens rate not having enough time with their parents as one of their top concerns.  Many teens feel they can’t talk to their parents because they’re always at work or busy doing something else.  We often forget to take time out from our hectic lives to pay enough attention to our kids.

Some suggestions for spending extra time with your teen are:

  • Set up a specific time every week to spend time with your teen
  • Have dinner at the table with the whole family as often as possible
  • Work out or engage in a sport with your kids
  • Drive your teen to school instead of sending them on the bus

While your teen may be reluctant to talk to you at first, keep trying.  Likely, you’ll eventually break them down and they’ll look forward to talking with you and spending time together.

Be sure to check out these other Helpful Resources.

Your Teen Still Needs You

By: Aurelia Category: Uncategorized

Raising teens can be one of the most difficult jobs you will ever have, but I promise you, your teen still needs you. It might seem like your teen is independent, freethinking and ready to be on his or her own, but in order for your teen to learn to become a good decision maker and develop habits that will see him or her through life, you need to be a guide, actively finishing the parenting job by raising your teens to adulthood. In fact, I would say that as much emphasis as there is on being available for the formative years of your children’s young life, more emphasis needs to be placed on being there for your teens and actively raising teens well past the end of the teen years.

Raising teens is different than raising younger children, and your approach needs to adjust with the age, maturity, and responsibility level of your teen. For some, the parenting efforts may be more stressful and hands on than for others. It is important, however, that even with the most responsible and mature teens, you do not assume that they are capable of doing without parental influence.

The wiring in your teen’s brain makes it literally impossible for him or her to make decisions in the same way that an older adult would. The teen brain is wired for pleasure and thrill seeking, not for unemotional or logical response. It is through raising teens that you help make those decision-making connections that your teen needs to start making decisions from a more controlled brain space.

Ideally, when your teen is confronted with the need to make a decision, you will be able to allow him or her to make the decision with guidance and input from you. A careful balance is required when raising teens; you do not want to be too overbearing and force your teen to accept your decision and you do not want to be too hands off and let your teen travel a dangerous path.

To get your teen to the point where he or she can make decisions and manage his or her own life successfully, encourage your teen to talk about decisions. Walk him or her through the decision making process. Teach your teen to ask questions and seek answers and have information before making decisions. There are many opportunities throughout your teens life where you can help your teen learn to be a better decision maker, from situations that occur with friends and relationships to decisions made about major purchases your teen is making (a first car, electronics).

Raising teens also requires you to understand when to let go. You have to allow your teen to take some risks and make some mistakes along the way. You cannot protect your teen from everything. That is probably the most difficult part about raising teens, is allowing them to make some painful mistakes. You can, however, provide an example of maturity and responsibility to your teen in the way you approach decisions in your life. When your teens see you weighing options, obtaining needed information, asking questions, and using caution, they will learn to do the same.

Additional Resources:

My Out Of Control Teen:  A online parent-program for those who are struggling with their out-of-control teenagers. learn cut-to-the-chase parenting strategies that work immediately rather than months or years down the road.

Real Life Guidance Guide to Understanding Your Teen This toolkit offers parenting help and help solve the mysteries in understanding your teen.

Real Life Guidance Report to Helping Your Teen With High School offers parenting help and shows you how to help your teen deal with the pressures of high school and also help them to be more independent!

Parents and Teens Connecting via Technology

By: Aurelia Category: Uncategorized

Technology to keep families connected and protected this season

(BPT) – It’s the time of year when family schedules change and their daily routines reset. From coordinating calendars to handling additional demands such as homework and extracurricular activities, it can be a challenging, if not daunting, time for even the most organized family.

The good news is advancements in technology can help organize busy families’ schedules, streamline their routines and simplify their days – making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time. Today’s technology tools can also help eliminate the stress and worry of whether or not someone remembered to lock the door or adjust the temperature while the house is vacant for the day. Here are a few tips to help families get organized this season.

1. Connecting via social media: Family members can stay connected throughout the day by using private groups on social media platforms, allowing everyone in the family to post quick messages, send photos or ask questions. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, more than 60 percent of teens ages 13 to 17 have signed up for a profile on one social networking site, and many report they spend more than two hours a day using social media. With teenagers’ high social activities, parents can often receive responses and information from their children in a more timely and effective manner.

2. Protecting the family: October is National Crime Prevention Month, a time when families should take into account the importance of home security. With approximately one in nine children coming home to an empty house after school, according to U.S. Census data, advancements in home automation and security technology can help parents remotely safeguard their homes and families. ADT Pulse (ADTPulse.com) allows parents to receive email and text alerts when the kids arrive home after school, check in during the day with real-time video monitoring, and even lock and unlock doors if the kids arrive home before they do.

This same technology is also making it easier for parents to keep their homes organized – even in the morning rush. For example, families can also use ADT Pulse to switch off appliances such as the coffee pot, adjust the thermostat and shut off the lights. This can be especially helpful when trying to get the family out the door in time for school.

3. Sharing lists online: Shopping trips can take a lot of time during the week, but the process can be simplified by sharing lists via online spreadsheets and smartphone apps. Organize the lists by categories such as grocery, pharmacy or pets to ensure both parents conveniently have access to the list the next time they make a trip to the store. Not only does this save parents time, it’s also a great way to earn brownie points with their spouse. The tip also works for organizing the family chores. Create a to-do list assigning each family member a job, and have them check off the task when completed.

With a secure and efficient home and by staying connected to each other, families can settle into a smooth routine and enjoy the exciting activities of the fall season.

Respect is Earned, Courtesy is Owed

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Uncategorized

Teaching children the concept of respect is more difficult than you might imagine.  The world our children live in is complex and devoted to the “self” more than ever.  Children are bombarded with opposing messages, and let’s face it, a lot of children aren’t treated very respectfully by others and wonder why they should respect people who are like that. But, you can teach your children the concept of respect in a way that they’ll understand.
Start Young — The idea of being polite can be taught very early, the moment the child can utter two words “thank you” is a common phrase that a two year old can utter, in his or her own way of course. Teach your children from a very young age to say these words when anyone does anything for them, including you.
Be the Model — The best way to teach a child anything is to model the behavior you want them to emulate. Say thank you to others, them included, and your spouse. Show yourself showing empathy to them and others. By being polite and courteous to others around you, they will automatically follow suit. It’s important to also teach them the concept that not everyone deserves respect, but they are owed courtesy. This is done when you are polite to strangers, people you do not know who have not yet had a chance to earn your respect.
Listen Actively — Being listened to and feeling listed to are imperative to a child feeling respected and a child who feels respected is more likely to be respectful to others. Give children your full attention during conversations, look them in the eye and focus on what they are saying. Provide feedback to the child so that they know you understand what they are saying. “I hear you saying that you don’t want to go to the park today, is that what you want to say?” Mirrored back to them will help them know that you care what they say and you want to understand them.
Respect Diversity — Sometimes we are all guilty of thinking that some people are rude, when in fact it is simply a cultural difference in behavior. Learning about other cultures even within our own country can do wonders to helping children understand that differences are okay and even preferred. This will increase your child’s understanding that it’s okay to be different and that even people who are different need to be treated with courtesy.
Instill Self-Esteem — The best way you can give your child self-esteem is to show them how much they are valued by you and their family. Give them hugs, tell them you love them.  Verbally and physically show your child that they are important to you and the world.  Celebrate the things they do well, and praise them for doing right. Focus more on yes, than no, and praise
more than punishment.
By modeling the behavior you want your children to emulate you’ll go far in teaching your children how to show courtesy and develop respect for themselves and others.
Pick up your copy of Real Life Guidance Guide to Understanding Your Teen  — This toolkit offers parenting help and help solve the mysteries in understanding your teen.

Providing Structure for Teenagers in the Summertime

By: Aurelia Category: Uncategorized

The summertime is fast approaching. Soon school will lock their doors and your children will be enjoying the lazy, hazy days of summer. As they say, Idle hands  can be dangerous.  It’s important to give your teenager both relaxation during the summers and some freedom, but it’s important to do so under an environment of structure.

In the old days, a summer day often meant running around outside from sunup to sundown, today — at best — it often means a long day indoors playing video games or watching TV. At worst it can mean a teenager who is bored (with idle hands) being tempted to get involved in things better left alone. That might be drugs, alcohol or sexual activity. It could also just be other dangerous activities  — like playing with the matches and candles in the house and burning down the house. Yea. It happens.

As a parent it’s important that you are always prepared for summer so that you can keep some structure in your teenager’s life. This is most important for young teenagers before they are able to drive or get jobs. The ages between 13 and 16 are the ages fraught with issues and honestly if you can get your teenagers through this time, you’re on easy street. Well, almost… but close. Fortunately, there are things you can do to provide structure whether you work outside the home or not.

Give them a job — Even young teenagers can do jobs around the house. Provide a checklist to the teenager to get done each day while you’re at work. It’s also important that you call and check in on the teenager a few times a day. The chores can be anything from cleaning the kitchen to cleaning out the garage to reading a certain book. It all depends on what you want to teach your child and the age and maturity of your teenager.

Send them to camp — Whether it’s overnight camp or day camp there are many different camps you can send your teenagers to during the summer. The experiences they have will often define their futures. A child who shows interest in space for instance, sent to Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama may get more serious about science in school and realize that they can become whatever they want if they work hard enough.

Sign them up for community activities — There are summer sports and activities that teenagers can get involved in. This will require some commitment from you in terms of transportation. It doesn’t matter if it’s swimming, tennis, or volunteering at the local community garden there are many activities for teenagers probably right in your city that cost nothing other than transportation. Ask your student’s school counselor or advisor for information about how to locate these types of opportunities. They’re also great for college apps!

Let them take a class — Some community colleges, and even high schools offer summer courses both for credit and without credit. Some of these college summer enrichment programs can give teenagers wonderful insights and lessons that can help them decide their futures better. Some of these courses even offer the teenagers dorms and places to stay and some are even overseas. Summer reading programs at community colleges and four year universities for teenager are very popular. Look them up for your area via Google. Check out info from West Coast Connection.

Regardless of which avenue you take, one of them or all of them combined, it is important not to just leave teenagers at their own devices before they are 16, have a job and transportation. They need some structure and some type of accountability to help — not only keep them out of trouble — but to give them a sense of belonging and joy about life. What do you do to keep your teenagers busy in the summer? How do you provide structure during the summertime?

Schools Out! Plan for The Perfect Teen Summer – If you are ready to discover how you can help your pre-teen or teen make it through summer by staying productive and out of trouble, this is for you. This package is equipped with a 10 Week Summer Action plan, 5 expert audio interviews, special reports and more.

 Click Here for More Ideas on How to keep your Teens productive during the summer months.