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AWorkLife4YouGuide

Aschildrenlearnnewliferulesandles
sonsduringtheteenyears,parentstoo,
needtoadapttheirparentingtechniques.
Althoughteensgenerallybeginspend
ingmoretimeawayfromtheirfamilies,
theystillneedactiveandawareparents.
Parentingwithloveandapproval,andtak
ingapositiveapproacheveninmoments
offrustrationareeffectivewaystoguide
childrenduringtheteenyears.Thisguide
discussesstrategiesforpositiveparenting,
includingpromotingselfesteem,commu
nicating,resolvingconflictandteaching
responsibility.Notethisguideprovides
generalinformationonly.Forspecific
questionsorconcernsaboutparenting
issues,speaktoyourchildsdoctor,school,
oramentalhealthprofessional.
ParentTeenRelationships

Oneofthemostprofoundchangesin
parentteenrelationshipsistheamountof
timeparentsandchildrenspendtogether.
Teensarehomemuchlessoftenthanin
earlieryearsand,whentheyarehome,
theyareusuallyintheirrooms.Notonly
doteensenjoytheprivacy,italsoprovides
themwithanuninterruptedopportunity
tolistentomusic,chatwithfriends,do
homework,etc.Teensalsogothrough
periodsinwhichtheydontwanttobe
seenwiththeirparentsastheytrytoassert
theirindependence.Thispeaksaround
age14butittypicallyfadesquickly.While
thesenaturaltendenciesofteenagersmake
itmoreofachallengeforparentstointer
actwithteens,itsimportantthatyou

maketimetodoso.And,sinceyour
timetogetherislimited,makethattime
pleasurable.
Thefollowingtipsmayhelpyouandyour
teenspendenjoyabletimetogether:
Letyourteenseeyourfunside.While
yourchildstillneedsaparent,notapal,
showyourteenthatyouarefunandinter
esting.Shareyourexcitementabouthob
biesyouhaveincommon,talktothem
aboutaspectsofyourworktheymayfind
interesting,andtalkaboutactivitiesthat
youfindfun.Letyourchildrenseeyouasa
person,notjustasaparent.
Developcommoninterests.Ateenwho
enjoysbaseballmayenjoytalkingwitha
parentabouttheirfavoritebaseballteam.
Anartlovingteenwillappreciateaparent
whocandiscusstheImpressionistsorthe
modernmovement.Evenifyoudontshare
commoninterests,gooutofyourwayto
learnabouttheirinterestsandtrytofind
commonground.
Allowyourteenspace.Donttakeitper
sonallyifyourteenisntalwaysinthemood
totalk,orifheorshewantstobealone
withhisorherfriends.Teenshavetheright
toprivacy(withinsafelimits),justasyou
do.
PromotingSelfEsteeminTeens

Havingapositiveselfesteemorselfimage
meansfeelingvaluableandworthloving.
Sinceteensspendsomuchtimewiththeir
friends,alargeportionofateensselfimage
comesfromtheirpeers.However,itsimpor
tantthatyoualsoregularlypraiseyourchild
andhelphimorherdevelopapositiveself
esteem.Thewayteensperceivethemselves
directlyaffectshowtheyactandbehave.

PositiveParenting
Strategies
fortheTeenageYears
Page 2

Teenswithapositiveselfimagetendtofeel
morecompetent,havemorefriendsanddo
betterinschool.Trythesesuggestionsforfos
teringselfesteeminyourteen.
Paycloseattention,butrespectyour
teensprivacy.Beinginvolvedshowsyour
childthatyoucare.Knowwhatcourses
andextracurricularactivitiesyourchildis
involvedinandwhohisorherfriendsare.
Littlethings,likerememberingthenames
ofyourchildsfriendsandoccasionallyask
inghowtheyaredoingsendsthemessage
thatyouconsideryourchildslifeimpor
tant.Atthesametime,trytorespectyour
childsprivacyanddontpryintoinsignifi
cantdetailsthatyourchildmaynotwant
toshare.
Complimentyourchildoften,andmake
surethepraiseisgenuine.Yourchildmay
shrugoffyourpraise,butunderneath,he
orsheislikelytobeglowingwithpride.
Attendschoolevents.Yourschedulemay
preventyoufromgoingtoeverygameor
recital,butmakeanefforttobetherefor
themostimportantones.
Respectyourchildsconcerns.Dont
belittleyourchildbydismissinghisorher
worrieswhenheorsheisupset.

Nevercriticizeyourchild.Ifyoudisap
proveofabehavior,makeitclearthatyou
dislikethebehaviornotyourchild.If
youmustcommentonyourteensactivi
ties,behaviors,musicorfashions,trytobe
positiveratherthanhurtful.Forexample,
say,Ireallylikethesweateryouworelast
week.Itsmoreflatteringthanthetanktop
youhaveontoday.
Encourageyourchildtoexploreavari
etyofactivitiesandfindareasofexper
tise.Succeedingatoneormoreactivi
tieswillhelpyourteengainconfidence.
Additionally,thosewhosucceedinonearea
oflifetendtohavesuccessesinmanyareas
oflife.
Avoidteasingyourchild.Manyteensare
sosensitivethatevengoodnaturedteasing
canhurttheirfeelings.
CommunicatingEffectivelyWithTeens

Mostteenagersstillwanttocommunicate
withtheirparentsjustnotallthetime.
Privacy,tomanyteens,isanimportantpart
ofbecominganadult,andteensmaynot
wanttotellyoueverythingthatshappening
intheirlives.Thisdoesntmeanthatthey
arehidinginformation;rather,itsasignof
becomingmoreindependent.You,inturn,
mayneedtoadaptyourmethodofcommu
nicationbymakingopportunitiesformean
ingfulconversationsandlearningtoread
betweenthelines.Thefollowingtipsmay
helpyoubettercommunicatewithyourteen.
Active/EmpatheticListening

Teenagersoftencomplainthattheirparents
dontlistentothem.Tolistenactivelytoyour
teen,besureyourconversationstakeplace
atatimeandinasettingwhereyourcom
pleteattentionisavailable.Whenyourchild
speaks,listenandthenrepeatyourchilds
majorpointsbysaying,forexample,IfI

understandcorrectly,youreupsetbecause
yourteacherseemstobegivingyouworkthat
istooadvanced.Italsohelpstofocuson
whatyouperceivetobeyourchildsfeelings
aboutasituation:Igatheryourereallyangry
aboutthis.Inthisway,youcanavoidmisun
derstandingsand,atthesametime,helpyour
childidentifyandmanagehisorheremo
tions.Towardtheendoftheconversation,ask
yourchildifthereisanythingelseheorshe
wouldliketotalkaboutandmakereference
tothediscussion.Overthenextfewweeks,
followup;forexample,askaboutthelevelof
worktheteacherisassigning,howyourchild
ismanagingit,andhowheorshefeelsnow.
Byremindingyourchildoftheconversation,
youshowthatyouwerelisteningandthat
youcare.
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EmpathizeWithYourTeen
Everyone,includingyourteen,needs
empathylisteningwithoutjudgment
andconnectingonanemotionallevel.
Forexample,ifyoursoncomplainsabout
thewayateachertreatedhim,trynot
tolectureabouthowheshouldmakean
efforttogetalongbetterwiththeteacher;
thatwonteasehisfrustration.Instead,
listenwithasympatheticearandtuneinto
yoursonsemotions.Thinkabouthowyou
wouldfeelifyouhadaconflictatwork;do
youwantsomeonetolisten,orhandout
advice?Instead,reassureyourchildthatyou
understandbyacknowledginghisorher
feelingsandofferingempathy,supportand
guidance.
TalkingWithYourTeen

Meaningfulconversationswithyourteenager
canbeextremelysatisfying.Anexchangeof
thoughts,ideasandobservationswithyour
teenopensthedoor,evenifjustaninchor
two,tothemanychangesheorsheisexperi
encing.Itcanreassureyouthatyouaredoing

agoodjobasaparent;or,atothertimes,a
conversationmighttipyouofftosituations
towatchoutfor.Whentalkingtoyourteen,
considerthefollowingtips:
Avoidlecturing.Teensgenerallydontlike
tohearhowthingsusedtobeorhowyou
thinktheyshouldbeandmaytuneyou
out.
Dontactasifyouhavealltheanswers.
Askyourchildforhisorherideasonhow
tohandlesituations.Thisshowsyouvalue
yourteensthoughtsandopinions.
Keepanyjudgmentalthoughtstoyour
self.Stickwiththesubjectathand.
Allowyourchildtotalkwithoutinter
ruptionuntilheorshegetstothepoint.
Itmaytakeyourchildafewminutesto
statewhatisreallyonhisorhermind.
Showrespectforyourchildspointof
view,evenifyoudontagreewithit.
Developcommoninterestswithyour
childsuchasasportorfavoritemovie.
Enjoyingsimilarinterestsandhobbiespro
videsarichsourcefromwhichtodrawfor
futureconversations.
TipYourchildshouldbeawareofyour
scheduleandhowtoreachyouatalltimes.
Althoughteenagersmayactasiftheydont
care,itmaymakethemanxiousnotknowing
yourwhereaboutsandhowtogetintouch.
DevelopingOpportunitiesfor
Communication

Withsomanyresponsibilitiesandtimepres
suresfacingfamiliestoday,opportunitiesfor
familycommunicationcanbefew.Itsimpor
tant,though,tosetasidequality,facetoface
timetogethertopromotecommunication
andassureyourchildthatyouareavail
ableandaccessible.Considerthefollowing
approaches:

Buildstructure.Considermakingone
dinneraweekmandatoryforallfamily
members,allowingnotelephoneinterrup
tionsorvisitsfromfriends.Thisgivesfam
ilymembersachancetotalkaboutwhats
goingonandtofocusoneachother.
Seizethemoment.Catchupwithyour
childwheneveryouhaveanopportunity,
thoughthismayrequiresomespontane
ity.Beinginacartogetherisalmostalways
agoodchancetotalk;orderingapizzato
sharewhenyouhaveaquietnightathome
isanotherwaytocatchup.
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Eliminatedistractions.Cuttingdownon
householddistractions,suchastheradio
andtelevision,setsthestageforconversa
tion.Trynottoburyyourselfinthepaper
orabookwhenitspossibletohavereal
communication.
DiscipliningTeens

Inmanyways,thereisnomoredifficulttime
topracticedisciplinewithyourchildthan
duringtheteenyears.Theseyearsareatime
whenparentsshouldbepromotingindepen
dencebyreducingtheamountofinputthey
haveintheirchildslife,yettheconsequences
ofbaddecisionsonthepartofteenagerscan
begreat.Tohelpyoustrikeabalancebetween
beingoverlystrictandoverlypermissive,the
followingdisciplinetipsmayhelp.
Dontoverreact.Overreactingtoactions
andattitudesthatdontactuallyhurt
anyone,includingyourchild,shiftsthe
focusawayfromwhatreallymatters.For
example,ifyoureallydontlikeyourchilds
latestmusicorfashions,buttheyarenot
offensiveorinappropriate,doyourbest
toleaveyourchildaloneandcomplainto

yourspouseorafriendinstead.
Beclearabouttherules.Bymakingthe
houseruleswellknowntoall,yourteen
cantpleadignoranceforbreakingone.You
mayevenwanttoposthouserulesina
commonarea.Additionally,itmayhelpto
getinputfromyourteenwhenmakingthe
rules.Forexample,whensettingyourteens
curfew,decidetogetheronthetimeheor
shemustbehome.Thismayhelpyour
teenbemoreresponsibleinupholdingthe
rule.
Listenbeforeyouact.Sometimesteens
honestlydohaveavalidreasonforbreak
ingtherules.Itisentirelypossiblethat
therereallywasaflattire,orthattheper
sonwhowassupposedtoprovidetheride
homeshoweduplate.Hearyourchildout
beforeyoureprimandhimorher.
Letthepunishmentfitthecrime.The
mosteffectivelessonsforteachingteensare
consequences,andtheseriousnessofthe
consequenceshouldmatchthecrime.A
16yearoldwhostaysouttwohoursafter
curfewneedsastrongenoughpenaltyto
underscoretheseriousnessoftheoffense,
perhapsbeinggroundedfortwoweeks.
Notcompletinganassignmentandget
tingapoorgradeasaresultisanexam
pleofanaturalconsequencethatforsome
teensmaybethebestteacher.
Followthrough.Believeintherulesyou
set,andonceyouputtheminplace,be
consistentandstickwiththem.Youcan
probablyassumethatyourchildwillcome
upwithmanyreasonswhythisonetime
youshouldbendtherule;occasionally,
theremaybeavalidreason,butconsis
tencyisusuallythebestpolicy.
Rememberthepowerofpraise.

Remembertocomplimentyourteenfor
handlinglifewell.Muchofwhatheor
sheislearningnowisnew,andsometimes
verbalizingwhatagoodjobheorsheis
doingcandowondersforyourteensconfi
denceandhisorherwillingnesstocoop
eratewithyou.
SettingLimits

Allteensneedasolidstructureinwhichto
function,andthelimitsyouestablishand
upholdthroughyourdisciplineshould
providethat.Forinstance,youllprobably
needtosetlimitsforcurfews,certainbehav
iors,schoolandhouseholdresponsibilities,
andtreatmentofothers.Theissuesthatare
importanttoyou,andforwhichyoudemand
respect,aretherealsteppingstonesinhelping
yourchildunderstandwhatitistobecome
anadult.
Whensettinglimitsforacceptablebehavior,
pickyourbattles.Teensenjoydoingthings
thatmakethemdistinctlydifferentfromtheir
parents;itsanormalpartoftheseparation
Page 5

process,butitcanbeunnervingforyou.For
example,afewyearsagoyourchildprob
ablydressedasyouwishedforspecialocca
sions;nowyourchildmayinsistonwearing
somethingyouconsiderinappropriate.The
questionfacingparents,then,iswhetherto
makeanissueofthesituation.Askyourselfif
thesituationisworthaconfrontation.Itmay
helptoremindyourselfthatyoursonsgreen
tippedhairoryourdaughtersmoodybehav
ioristemporaryandyourchildwillgrowout
ofit.Youmaywanttosaveyourenergyand
theimpactofyourdirectivesforthebigger
issues,suchasrespectforothers,academic
responsibilities,etc.Thesearetheonesthat
willhelpyourchildeventuallycreateaframe

workforsuccessfulliving.
ResolvingConflictWithTeens

Acertainamountofconflictisnaturalduring
theteenyears,justasitwaswhenyourchild
wasatoddleralsoaperiodofgrowinginde
pendence.Whereasonceyourchildaccepted
thehourheorshewastobehome,nowit
maybecauseforargument.Thepartyyour
childjusthastogoto,whichyouwont
allow,cantriggertearsandtantrums.Even
minorissuessuchasacommentyoumake
aboutsomethingasinsignificantasamovie
maybecauseforanargument.Thisstruggle
istheresultoftwonewdirectionsyourteen
isstartingtotake.Thefirstistheissueof
separation;chronicallydisagreeingwithyou
maybeyourteenswayofshowingthatheor
sheisauniqueindividual.Thesecondisyour
teensgrowingdesireformoreindependence;
youmayfeelthatcertainfreedomsmustwait
forafewyears,butmostlikelyyourchild
doesnotseethingsthatway.
Itmaybehelpfultoknowthattheconflict
mostparentsendureduringtheirchildsteen
yearsusuallysubsidesbytheageof16.Inthe
meantime,herearesometipsthatmaymake
conflictseasiertomanage:
Determinetheunderlyingcauseof
theconflict.Thinkbeyondtheimmedi
ateargumenttodeterminewhatisreally
atthebaseoftheconflict.Forinstance,
youmightinsistthatyour15yearoldbe
homeduringthesummereveningsby8
oclockatimewhenhisorherfriends
arestilloutsideenjoyingthetwilight.The
realconflict,inthiscase,maybethatyour
childismatureenoughforgreaterindepen
dence,butyoumaybeestablishingrules
thataremoreappropriateforan11or
12yearold.Ifyoufindyourselffrequently
arguingaboutsimilarissues,youmayneed

toreevaluateyourchildsmaturity,and
considerwhethertherulesyouveset
areappropriate.
Payattentiontoyourchild.Ifthecon
flictswithyourteenaremorerandomin
naturespontaneousoutburststhathave
nocentralthemeitmayindicatethat
yourchildissimplyseekingyourattention.
Thiscanbeconfusingbecauseteens,in
theirdesiretobeperceivedasindependent,
oftenpretendtheydontneedtheirparents
when,infact,theyneedthemasmuchas
ever.
Dontattempttoresolveafightwhen
tempersareflaring.Duringanargument,
oftennoonecanagreeonareasonable
solution.Insteadofshouting,bothofyou
shouldwalkawayandcalmdown.Agreeto
comebacktotheproblemlater,whenyou
bothhavehadtimetoquietdownandgive
meaningfulthoughttotheissue.
Page 6

Setupregulardiscussiontimeswith
yourteen.Havingascheduledtimeper
hapsSundayafterdinnertotalkortake
awalktogethercanbeenormouslyhelp
ful.Acriticalpartofthesegettogethersis
offeringsuggestionsandideasaboutchang
ingorupdatingcertainrules.Thisisalso
anopportunityforyourteentobeheard.
Whenyourteenknowsyouarelistening,
heorsheismoreapttolistentoyou.
Seekoutsidehelpifnecessary.Shouldthe
conflictswithyourteenescalate,become
moreintense,orbecomedestructiveto
yourrelationship,seekhelp.Talktoyour
childsdoctororguidancecounselororask
ifyouremployeroffersanybenefitsthat
providecounseling,informationorreferrals

onparentingissues.
TeachingValuestoTeens

Animportantdevelopmentaltaskofado
lescenceislearningtomakesounddeci
sionsthatareguidedbypersonalvaluesand
opinions.Ideally,somevalueshavealready
beenestablishedinearlychildhoodthrough
theinfluenceoffamily,friendsandteach
ers.Duringtheteenyears,childrenarefre
quentlyrequiredtoactuponthevaluesthey
havelearnedastheyarefacedwithmore
importantdecisionsthattesttheirmoralsand
beliefs.Inmakingthesechoices,teensbegin
torefinetheirsetofpersonalvalues.
Tosomedegree,thevaluesyourchildadopts
maybedefinedbyyourownfamilyand
beliefs.Religion,attitudestowardtheextend
edfamily,andethnicandculturalidentityare
justsomeoftheareasinwhichfamilyvalues
varyconsiderably.However,therearecertain
values,suchashonestyandkindnessthat
mostlikelyyouhavebeenteachingtoyour
childsinceinfancy.Yourjobistoreinforce
themintheteenyears.Shouldyourchild
comehomeannouncinghowcoolitisthat
afriendshoplifted,befirmaboutyourdis
approval.Itslikelythatyourchildistesting
youwiththesetypesofremarkstoseehow
importanthonestyreallyistoyou.
ParentsasRoleModels

Parentsserveasconstantrolemodelsfor
theirchildren.Althoughyoumaynotrealize
it,yourchildwatchesyousobeawareof
themessagesyouaresending.Askyourself
thefollowingquestionsandthinkaboutthe
valuesyouareexhibitingthroughyourown
behavior:
Areyoualwayshonest?Doyoueverask
yourchildtolieforyou?
Doyouavoidgossip?
Doyoushowrespectforotherpeople?

Doyoupracticegoodhealthhabits?
Doyoutreatyourownlifeasvaluable?For
example,doyouseekouthobbiesandpur
suitsthatarepleasurableforyou?
Doyouhavearegularsetoffriendswho
yourespectandenjoy?
Doyoutakeprideinwhatyoudoat
homeandatwork?
Youcanreinforceyourvaluesystemwith
yourchildbytakingadvantageofteaching
momentsastheycomealong.Thenightly
news,currentmoviesandbooks,situations
atschoolandwithfriendsallofthesecon
tainsubjectsthatcanleadtoadiscussionof
values.Butmostimportant,continuallyrein
forceyourownvaluesthroughyouractions
andwordsandbeconsistent.Inconsistency
willonlyconfuseyourteenandmakeitdif
ficulttodeterminewhatyourtruevaluesare.
MutualRespectfortheEntireFamily

Respectisanothervaluethatisimportantto
teachwithinyourhome.Whenitcomesto
showingrespect,youmusttrulyactasthe
modelforyourchildren.Aschildrenturn
14or15,theybecomekeenlyawareofhav
ingameasureofrespectshowntothem.By
showingthisrespectyouarewinningontwo
counts:Youarehelpingyourchildrenfeel
goodaboutthemselves,andyouaremodeling
whatyouexpectinreturnforyourselfand
othersinthefamily.Whileparentingstyles
mayvary,youmaywanttotrythesesimple,
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straightforwardrulesforestablishingrespect
inyourhousehold,andadaptthemasyousee
fit:
Namecallingofanysortisnotacceptable.
Labeltheactionifyoumust,butneverthe
person.
Bullying,eitherverballyorphysically,will

notbetolerated.
Belittling,humiliatingorotherattemptsto
makeanotherpersonfeellessworthyare
notallowed.
Apologizewhenyouarewrong.
Listenwithoutinterruptiontowhatothers
havetosay.
Respectothersrightstoprivacy,property
andindependentthoughts.
Byestablishingrulesforlivingwithothers
inarespectfulmanner,youarefosteringan
open,friendlyandcomfortingenvironment
foryou,yourpartnerandyourchildren.
Theseguidelinescanalsohelpyourchildren
learnhowtodevelopstrong,healthyrelation
shipswithothersthatarebasedontrustand
respect.
TeachingTeensDiversity

Manyteenagersintheirmidhighschool
yearshaveastrongsenseoffairnessanda
toleranceforthosewhoaredifferentfrom
themselves.Thisfairmindedness,however,
isnttypicalofyoungerteenswhostillwant
tobelikeothersandoftenridiculethosewho
aredifferent.Notallyoungteensareintoler
ant,butbepreparedtohandleitshouldthis
attitudesurfaceinyourteen.Thefollowing
suggestionsmayhelpyoubuildtolerancein
yourchild.
Dontletintolerantcommentsslide.Any
timeyourteenmakesanintolerantcom
ment,makeitapointtoaskwhyheorshe
feelsthisway(withoutbecomingangryor
defensive)andengagehimorherinagen
eraldiscussionabouttolerance.
Pointoutexamplesofintolerance.Be
watchfulforexamplesofdiscrimination
onthenews,inmovies,etc.,especiallyfor
moresubtleformsofdiscriminationthat
yourchildmaynotpickup,suchaswhy
therearefewwomenincertainjobs.Invite

yourteentoexpresshisorheropinionof
whythisisso,andtalkabouthowcertain
groupsareexcludedfromtheprivileges
thatothersenjoy.
Lookforpositiveexamplesinyourdaily
life.Yourchildwillbenefitfromseeing
howpeoplehappilyandsuccessfullylive
intoleranceandacceptanceofothers.For
example,pointoutsimilaritiesbetween
yourfamilyandfamiliesofdifferentraces,
religionsandcultures.
CommunityParticipation

Itisalsoimportanttoteachyourchildthe
valueofhelpingothers.Inrecentyears,
manyschoolshaveinstitutedarequirement
forstudentstoperformcommunityworkto
helpthembuildabroadersenseofindividual
responsibility.Thegoalistoteachchildren
theimportanceofvolunteerwork,andopen
theireyestothesituationofotherswhoare
lessfortunate.Evenifyourchildsschool
doesnthavesuchaprogram,youcanpro
moteawarenessoftheimportanceofcom
munityservice.Thefollowingtipsmayhelp:
Encourageyourchildtoparticipatein
extracurricularactivitiesthatpromote
activecommunitywork,suchasKeyclub,
HabitatforHumanity,etc.
Suggestthatyourchildparticipateinfood
orclothingdrives,orfundraisers,andother
charitableactivities.
Reviewcharityrequestsasafamily,
discussingwhateachcharitydoesand
decidingtogetherwhichonesthefamily
shouldsupport.
Involvethewholefamily.Takepartin
communityactivitiesthroughyourchurch,
neighborhoodassociation,tenantsgroups
orothervolunteergroups.
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TeachingTeensResponsibility

Anothermajorroleforparentsofteensis
encouragingfreedomandindependenceand
gettingthemtoacceptadditionalresponsibil
ities.Ofcourse,theamountofindependence
yourteenshouldbegiven,andhowsoon,
maycausesomefrictionbetweenyouand
yourchild.Bytheearlyteenyears,achild
shouldbepracticingsomeroutinehousehold
responsibilitiessuchaschores.Throughout
theteenyears,increasingemphasisshouldbe
placedonacademicwork,familyobligations,
jobresponsibilitiesandfinances.
Encouragingyourchildtomakehisorher
owndecisionsandholdinghimorher
accountablefortheconsequencesmayhelp
yourteentobecomemoreindependent.The
followingtipsmayhelpprepareyourchild
foradulthood.
Supportactivitiesandfriendshipsout
sidethefamily.Holdingyour
teenbackwillprobablynotstophim
orherfromexploringnewactivities
orrelationships.Infact,itmaymakeyour
childhidethingsfromyou.Encouraging
explorationallowsyourteenasenseofcon
troloverhisorherinterests.
Agreeonweeklydomesticchores.
Makingyourteenresponsiblefordusting
onceaweek,takingoutthetrash,orcook
ingonemealeachweekmayhelpyour
childfeellikeapartoftheoverallfamily
andwillpreparehimorherfortheday
whendomesticchoresaresolelyyourteens
responsibility.
Helpyourteenmakewisedecisions.
Forexample,ifyourteenwantstogoon
acampingtriptheweekendbeforeamath
test,askhimorhertolistthelikelyout
comesforeachalternative(campingversus
timeforstudy).Stressthatultimatelythe

decisionishisorhers.Givingyourteenthe
chancetomakesuchadecision(andsuffer
thepossibleconsequences)mayteachthe
lessonthatdecisionshaveconsequences.
Allowsomeflexibility.Providingyour
childwithsomeroomtonegotiaterules
mayteachhimorhertoplanahead.For
example,ifyourchildsregularcurfewis
11oclock,butheorshewantstoattend
aplaythatendsatthattime,thenagree
uponanewcurfewforthatevening.
TeachingTeensAcademicResponsibility

Beginningaroundtheseventhgrade,children
oftendiscoverthatschoolbecomesmore
demanding.Astheymoveintojuniorhigh
andhighschool,teachersplacemoreempha
sisontheseriousnessofacademics.Thework
generallybecomesmoredifficult,andregular
studyingbecomesanecessityformost.Plus,
thisisatimewhenstudentslearnaboutthe
importanceoftheirpermanentrecordthe
transcriptthatspellsoutalloftheirgrades.
Whileschoolcanbecomemorestressfulfor
many,thesegrowingacademicdemandsare
alsoanimportantelementinteachinggreater
responsibilitytowardlifeingeneral.
Asyourchildprogressesfromjuniorhighto
highschool,continuetosupporthimorher
inschoolasmuchaspossible.
Althoughyoumaystillwishtoreviewhome
workandschoolprojectsonceyourchild
reacheshighschool,heorsheshouldbeable
tomanagemostresponsibilitieswithless
guidancefromyou.Infact,anolderteenmay
evenresenttoomuchparentalinvolvement.
Considerthefollowingtipsforteachingyour
teenacademicresponsibility.
Provideyourchildwithanassignment
book.Anotebookhelpsyourchildrecord,
prioritizeandmeetdeadlines.Helpyour
childorganizeitsothathisorherdead

linesandprioritiesaremet.
Promoteagoodstudyenvironment.
Makesureyouprovideallnecessarymate
rialsforyourchildtocompleteassignments
(e.g.,pens,pencils,dictionary,calculator,
etc.),andmakeanyphysicalchangesyour
childfeelswouldhelphimorherstudy
better(e.g.,aquietplacetostudy,good
Page 9

lighting,abiggerbulletinboard,anatlasor
worldmap,extrashelving,adeskelsewhere
inthehouse,etc.).
Discusshowoutsideactivitiesimpacthis
orherschoolschedule.Ifyourchildhas
toomuchonhisorherplate(e.g.,sports,
bandpractice,aparttimejob,etc.),and
schoolworkissufferingasaresult,discuss
whyandwhenitmightbenecessaryto
scalebackotheractivitiestomakesureaca
demicresponsibilitiesarebeingfulfilled.
Touchbasewithyourchildregularly.
Althoughyouareteachingyourteeninde
pendence,remaininvolvedenoughto
ensurethatheorsheismeetingacademic
responsibilities.
Neverdoworkforyourchild.Ifyoudo
yourchildswork,thelessonyouareteach
ingyourteenisthatheorshecanavoid
responsibility.
Stresstheimportanceofhomework.As
workgetsmoredifficult,childrenneed
thedailyreinforcementofhomework
toadvanceinasubjectmatter.Thiswill
becomemoreapparenttostudentsasthey
reachninthandtenthgradesandaredeal
ingwithmoredemandingclasses.
Beenthusiasticandcomplimentyour
childwhenheorshebringshomegood
grades.Avoidaskingyourchildwhyhe

orshegota95insteadof100,oraB
insteadofanAcongratulateyourchild
onthegoodgradeevenifitisntthetop
one.
Discusspoorgradeswithyourchildand
comeupwithaplanforimprovement.
Askyourchildwhyhefelthereceivedthe
poorgradeandbrainstormideasonhow
heorshecanimprove.Bytalkingtoyour
child,youcanhelpyourchildrecognize
thathisorheracademicperformanceis
adirectreflectionofhisorherworkand
studyhabitsandconsequently,heorshe
hasthepowertochangeit.
Stayinvolved.Offertohelpperhapsby
reviewingtestquestions,goingovervocab
ularywordsorSpanishlessons,etc.but
dontoffertodoassignments.
Attendallparentteachernights,and
talktoschoolpersonnelaboutyour
childsstrengthsandweaknessesand
howyoucanbesthelpyourchildfrom
home.Sharewhatyoulearnedwithyour
childorhavethemattendcertainportions
ofmeetings(ifappropriate).
Encourageyourchildtoseekextrahelp
ifnecessary.Often,teachersoffertohelp
studentswhoarehavingtroubleinclass;
oryoucanconsiderhiringatutorforyour
childifheorshecontinuestostruggle
academically.
PreparingforCollege
Ifyourchildisplanningtogotocollege,
heorshewillneedtostarttheapplication
processduringthesecondhalfofjunior
yearofhighschool.Oftentheschools
collegecounselororguidancecounselor
willholdameetingforteensandparents
toexplaintheprocessandthetimeline
forcollegeapplications,aswellasthe
possibilitiesforfinancialaid.Ifyourchilds
schooldoesnthavesuchameeting,callfor

anappointmentwithyourchildsguidance
counselortodiscusstheseissues.
PromotingLearningatHome

Thevalueofastimulatingenvironment,
soheavilystressedforchildrenintheir
youngeryears,issometimesforgottenwhen
itcomestoteenagers.However,theteen
yearsarewhensomeofthemostexcitingand
interestingqualitiesofachildarestartingto
emerge,andregularconversationsabouta
rangeofsubjectscanbebothproductiveand
Page 10

fascinating.Followingaresomesuggestions
forpromotinglearningathome:
Stayinvolved.Initiateconversationswith
yourchildaboutvarioussubjects;heorshe
willprobablyenjoyinformingyouabout
hisorherteachersobservationsandtheo
ries,aswellashisorherownthoughts.
Discusscurrentevents.Bringup
currentevents,communityaffairsand
othertopicstostimulateengaging
conversationswithfamilymembers.
Visitculturalplaces.Considerseeing
movieswithahistoricalfocus,visiting
museums,artexhibits,culturalevents,
etc.VisitaCivilWarbattlegroundora
Revolutionaryerafortenroutetoyour
beachvacation.
Encouragereading.Makebooks,maga
zinesandnewspapersastapleinyour
home.Bearolemodelbyreadingoften.
Youmayevenwanttochoosebookswith
yourteenthatyouwillbothreadanddis
cusslater.
TelevisionandComputersasLearningTools

Teens,asagroup,tendtobefascinatedby
themediawhetheritstelevision,music
ortheInternetandthiscanbeabonusin
todaystechnologydrivenworld.Morethan

everbefore,teensareusingmediatoresearch
andcompleteassignments;communicate
withfriendsandteachers;andevenbuild
theirownwebsites.Educationalsoftwarecan
helpyourchildgetaheadinschool,learnto
managemoney,createartandmuchmore.
Atthesametime,teensareatriskofbeing
exposedtoinappropriatecontent.Asalways,
beinginvolvedinyourchildslifeisthebest
waytomakesureheorsheisgainingeduca
tionalbenefitsfromthemediaandavoiding
thedangers.Youcaneasilysuperviseyour
childscomputerandtelevisionusebykeep
ingtheminthefamilyroomoracommon
areaofyourhouse.Askyourchildregu
larlywhattypesofassignmentsheorsheis
researchingontheInternet;reviewsoftware,
videogames,televisionprogramsandmov
iesbeforeyouallowyourchildtoviewthem;
andlimittheamountoftimeyourchildcan
spendonthecomputerorwatchingtelevi
sion.Additionally,considercallingyourlocal
cablecompanytoblockinappropriatechan
nelsand/orinstallblockingsoftwareonyour
computerthatcanblockaccesstocertainweb
sitesorchatrooms.
TeachingTeenstoManageMoney

Teensneedtolearnhowtohandletheir
moneywhetherfromanallowanceorfrom
aparttimejobinaresponsiblemanner.
Learningtomanagemoneywellmaybuild
yourchildsselfesteemandprovidehimor
herwithasenseofsecurity.Thefollowing
tipsmayhelpyouteachyourchildtosuccess
fullymanagemoney.
Considergivingyourchildanallowance
asawayofteachingfinancialresponsi
bility.Decidewithyourchildtheamount
thatisreasonableandwhatexpenses
themoneywillcover.Startsmallerwith
youngerteens,providingenoughmoneyto

coverweeklyentertainmentplans,school
incidentalsandsmallpurchasessuchas
nailpolishorbaseballcards.Olderteens,
though,mayneedmoremoneytocover
clothingorotherlargerpurchases.
Helpyourchildfindajobthatinterests
himorher.Thiswillhelpyourteenreal
izethatjobshavebenefitsotherthanjust
paychecks.
Createabudgetwithyourteen.Whether
youprovideanallowanceoryourteen
earnsmoneybyworking,helpyourchild
learntobudget.Forexample,ifyourchild
wantstogooutforpizzawithfriends
afterschoolonTuesday,showhimorher
onpaperhowthiswillimpacthisorher
expenses.
Page 11

Dontgiveintorequestsforextra
money.Onceyouhaveagreedonthe
amountofyourchildsallowance(oronce
hisorherweeklypaycheckhasbeenspent)
trynottogiveintorequestsformore
money.Strictadherenceistheonlywaya
childtrulylearnshowtomanagehisorher
money.Ifyouarecontinuallyreadywith
yourwalletinhand,yourchildwillassume
thatsomehowtherewillalwaysbesome
onetorescuehimorher.
Stresstheimportanceofsavings.One
wayachildlearnsthebenefitsofsaving,
istodecideonaparticularitemheorshe
wouldliketoown.Discusswithyourchild
howmuchmoneyistobeputawayover
whatspanoftime;therewardattheend
isnotonlythedesireditem,butheorshe
willalsoseehowalittlemoneysavedregu
larlybecomesalargeamount.
Thereissomecontroversyamongprofession

alsandparentsoverpayingachildforhelp
ingoutaroundthehouse.Ifyoufeelstrongly
thatunpaidregularchoresarepartofyour
teensfamilyresponsibility,youshould,of
course,actaccordingly.Infact,someexperts
saythathavingunpaidchorescanhelpa
childfeelmoreconfidentabouthisorher
roleinthefamilyunit.If,however,yourchild
needsmorespendingmoneythanyouwant
toprovideinanallowance,youmaywantto
considerincorporatingbothpointsofview:
Assignsomeregular,unpaidchores,andoffer
othersasfinancialincentives.
TeachingTeensAboutJobs

Whetherornotyourchildisplanningto
attendcollege,teenscanlearnmuchabout
themselvesandtheworld,andgainagood
dealofindependenceandresponsibility,by
holdingajob.Amongotherthings,they
learntheimportanceofbeingpunctual,ful
fillingduties,andhowtomanagetheirtime
andtasks.Plus,ajobhelpsteensappreciate
thevalueofapaycheckandcanalsoteach
themhowtosaveandbudget.
NoteAstudentapplyingforfinancialaid
forcollegeshouldbeawarethatanysavings
inhisorhernameareconsideredapplicable
forcollegeinfact,schoolsexpectstudents
tocontributearoundonethirdoftheirtotal
assets,whileparentalassetsarecountedat
alowerrate(aroundfivetosixpercentof
theirassets).Ifyourteenwouldliketofind
afterschoolemployment,evaluatethesitu
ationtogether.Inmostcases,expertsrec
ommendthatteenslimittheirworkhours
duringtheschoolyeartonomorethan10
to15hoursperweektoallowthemenough
timetodevotetotheirstudies,sportsand
otherschoolactivities.Infact,thefederalFair
LaborStandardsAct(FLSA)isdesignedto
protectminorsbyrestrictingthenumberof

hourstheyareallowedtowork.Restricting
yourteensworkinghoursassuresthatheor
shehasadequatetimetospendathome
andgivesyouachancetokeepaneyeon
whatisgoingoninyourteenslife.Rather
thanregular,hourlyemployment,yourchild
mayevendobetterwithoccasionalemploy
ment,suchasbabysitting,golfcaddying,
petsitting,doingyardandhousechores,run
ningerrands,etc.alloftheseofferopportu
nitiesforteenstomakemoneywithoutcom
promisingtimespentonschoolandfamily
activities.
Page 12
Thispublicationisforgeneralinformationalpurposesonlyandisnotintended
toprovideanyreaderwithspecificauthority,adviceorrecommendations.
Copyright2011LifeCare ,Inc.Allrightsreserved.LifeCare ,Inc.isthe
worldwideproviderofLifeEventManagement Services

#7233_PositiveParentingStrategies_FOH_0411

HelpfulResources

Thefollowingorganizationsmayprove
helpfulwithparentingteens.
AmericanAcademyofChildand
AdolescentPsychiatry(AACAP)
3615WisconsinAvenue,N.W.
Washington,D.C.20016
2029667300
www.aacap.org
Thisorganizationhelpsparentsandfamilies
understanddevelopmental,behavioral,emo
tionalandmentaldisordersaffectingchildren
andadolescents.Thewebsiteoffersfact
sheetsforparentsandcaregiversandinforma
tiononchildandadolescentpsychiatry.
FamilyEducationNetwork
www.familyeducation.com
Thiswebsiteoffersmessageboards,aswell
astipsandarticlesonavarietyoffamilysub
jects,includingadvicefromparenting,health
andmedicalexpertsonschoolviolence,
educationvalues,discipline,daterape,sex
educationandmore.Italsoprovideslinksto

relatedwebsites.
NationalPTA
541NFairbanksCourt,Suite1300
Chicago,IL60611
8003074PTA(4782)
www.pta.org
TheNationalPTAdealswithavarietyof
educationissuesanddevelopscurrentinfor
mation,programsandprojectsencouraging
parentstoparticipateintheirchildrensedu
cation.Theyfocusonissuessuchasviolence
prevention,criticaltelevisionviewingskills,
environmentalawareness,HIV/AIDSedu
cation,selfesteeminchildren,schoolbus
safety,legislativeissues,raisingalcoholand
drugfreechildrenandmore.
TheNationalParentingCenter
www.tnpc.com
Thiswebsiteoffersonlinearticleswrit
tenbyparentingauthorities,livechatand
alistofbookreviewsandrelatedwebsites.
Topicsaddressedincludebodyimage,com
munication,druguse,sex,suicide,education
andfamilyrelationships.Membersreceivea
monthlynewsletter.
NationalStepfamilyResourceCenter
www.stepfamilies.info
Anonprofitmembershiporganizationthat
provideseducation,trainingandsupport
forstepfamilies.Aquarterlypublicationis
available,aswellasbooksandotherresources
foradultsandchildren.Thereisafeeto
becomeamemberofthisorganization.
Nonmemberscanalsopurchaseitspublica
tion,Stepfamilies.
TVParentalGuidelines
POBox14097
Washington,D.C.20004
2028799364
www.tvguidelines.org

Thisorganizationoffersprecautionaryinfor
mationsoparentscanchoosewhichtelevi
sionprogramstheywanttoseeornotto
see.Acopyoftheguidelinescanberequested
inwritingorcanbeaccessedonthewebsite.