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The Father Factor


They said it!

Posted by Fatherhood Admin

Having the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of high-school teens gives me plenty of opportunities to hear about the joys and disasters of being a teen. And more often than not, both the ups and downs involve family members. So last night I asked them the following question:

If you could give parents everywhere a piece of advice about parenting teenagers, what would you say?

The answers were candid and thoughtful; here is the synopsis of their responses:

  • Don't be my coach. Be my parent. Just be there and tell me I did a good job, but let the coaches do the coaching.
  • Communication is really important to avoid hurt feelings.
  • Trust us to do the right thing. You raised us right, so let us make decisions.
  • Give us space when we ask for it.
  • Notice when we do things right, not just when we do things wrong.
  • Spend time with us and really listen to what we say.
  • Don't embarrass us in front of your friends or tell people stuff about me.
  • Take time to understand what is going on in my life so you know what I'm going through.
  • Don't always be a parent...sometimes be a friend, because I tell things to friends that I wouldn't tell to my parents.
  • Listen to us, because we might say something you hadn't already thought of.
In any case, a poignant reminder that kids need moms and dads investing in them every day.

Topics: fatherhood, father involvement, teens

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