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Can’t quite figure out what’s going on with your teen?

 

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Here are some tips to help you navigate the murky waters of parenting a teen …

  • Expect that teenagers will be emotional/irrational at times and cut them some slack.  Remember that they are hearing and absorbing more than you think, and that includes your reactions and overreactions.
  • Ensure that it is in ways that are age-appropriate, but allow your child/teen to assert some control of their lives and be autonomous.  This will lead to less rebellion and more confidence and self-regulation.
  • Always advocate for your child.  This means doing what is needed to get them the supports they need in school–advocate for a 504 plan or IEP, call for that extra meeting, get outside evaluations so that you are informed and have the fodder you need to effect the change needed.
  • Remember that getting your school-age child the supports/services they need now is less scary than watching them be ill-equipped to navigate today’s culture, climate, and challenges without them.
  • Try to spend at least 15 minutes daily of one-on-one time with your child/teen to create a closer parent-child bond. Also, allow them to take the lead in selecting the activity or task.
  • When you see your child engage in desired behaviors or handling their responsibilities, compliment and praise them, and say it again, every time you see it.  
  • Tell your kids how great they are, how proud of them you are, and how much you love them.

David Moore

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