A Dad's Guide to the Teen Years
Before you become paralyzed with fear, read these five ideas for surviving the teen years. Hopefully, you will become even closer to your kids as they grow into adults.
- Talk To Your Teen. It may seem nearly impossible to have a conversation with your teenager. However, research shows that teens are very interested in staying connected to their parents, but, too often, parents only want to talk when something has gone wrong. Talk often with your teen, use your active listening skills, and use an affirmative tone to bring out positive ideas, opinions, and behaviors. Talk to them about the things that are important to them; attend school events, athletic events, and other activities so you always have something to talk about.
- Say, “I Love You.” Even if they don't act like it, your teens still want to hear it! And, they need to hear it. Also, don't be afraid of the occasional hug, even if your kids protest.
- Know Your Teen’s Friends. Pay positive attention to your teen’s friends. Make them feel welcome in your home and organize activities that make your home the place where friends want to be. Your teen’s friends are a very important part of his/her world and your efforts in this area will pay big dividends in strengthening your relationship with your teen.
- Communicate With Other Parents. Open up lines of communication with the parents of your teen’s friends. Let them know that you are very interested in helping your children and theirs develop in positive, productive ways.
- Encourage, Encourage, Encourage. Recognize your teen’s positive personal characteristics and accomplishments, and then encourage your teen to make good decisions and act maturely to capitalize on their strengths