Learning in Families Together: Teens
Nine out of 10 teenagers don’t get into trouble.
- Teens are beginning to disengage from their parents. As the time comes for them to leave home, parents are also beginning to on their own lives and needs.
- Parenting is complex. With teens, a new adult-adult relationship must emerge.
- Research shows that parents who monitor their children can help prevent a number of risky behaviors, including alcohol use, sexual activity, delinquency, and other misconduct.
- Seek a balance between parental control and teen control, realizing that teens are expanding their independence and freedom.
Youth begin to create their own identities and sometimes choose peers over parents.
- Stay involved and connected. Know their friends and their friends’ families.
- Use everyday family activities to stay close (dinner, running errands, taking a walk, biking).
- Schedule time together. Studies show teens want to spend more time — not less — with their families. Put your heart into it.
Say more to your teen than just “Clean your room” or “Are you paying attention?”
- Talk about family vacation plans, serious illness, lifestyles, music, drugs, sex, feelings, the future, current personal interests, stories from your past.
To develop a caring teen, parents can model and practice caring through caring talk and actions.
- Modeling means acting the way you want your teen to act. Teens learn to mirror the adults in their lives.
- Caring talk is the chance to question why. Use open-ended questions such as “What do you think about…?” or “How could we figure this out?”
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May 8, 2019