Parenting Teens

There are clear, predictable changes in social orientation as adolescents move through high school. Cliques and crowds become less important, and friendship and romance more so. Like a young adult, the high-school senior typically has a large circle of acquaintances and a small circle of intimates. The decline of clannishness in middle adolescence reflects changes [...]

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Helping Preteens Say No to Drugs

by Megan on December 21, 2012

Establishing rules is one thing; enforcing them is another. Chances are, your child will be offered one or all the drugs during early adolescence and pressured to join in. You can’t follow your children around. But you can help them to say no for themselves. Practicing at Home The inspiration to experiment with drugs may [...]

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Parents’ Smoking, Drinking Influence Children

by Megan on November 27, 2012

Parents are models for their children’s behavior, even when they do not want or intend to be. Studies show that adolescents are five times more likely to smoke cigarettes if someone in their home (a parent or older sibling) smokes than if they are raised in a nonsmoking household. Adolescents whose parents drink are more [...]

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Many parents who were teenagers 20 or 25 years ago find themselves in a real pickle when their own children reach adolescence. Although they may have lived proudly by the credo, “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll,” they don’t want their children to follow in their footsteps. It’s especially hard on parents who, for whatever [...]

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Adolescent Vulnerability – How to Respond

by Megan on October 14, 2012

Vulnerability and moodiness are normal responses to the transition from childhood to adolescence. Most adolescents are able to deal with disruptions in self-image on their own and prefer to do so. You can be supportive and sympathetic, but you cannot live through this phase for them. What you can do is come to grips with [...]

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Getting your message across is only one side of communication; the other side is listening. Adolescents sometimes say words to the effect that “My friends listen to me, but my parents only hear me talk.” Often, they are right. Familiarity breeds inattention. Normally, family members are so convinced they know what another family member is [...]

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Helping Your Adolescent Cope with Puberty

by Megan on September 30, 2012

Puberty is one case where ignorance is not a bliss. Girls who are taught nothing at all about menstruation, or taught that it is a nasty, messy, shameful business, are far more likely to have severe cramps, heavy bleeding, and other physical problems than are girls who know in advance what to expect. In general, [...]

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