Encouraging Independence in Your Teen

“I can do this on my own!”  “I don’t need any help!”  “Quit treating me like a child!”  How do you respond to statements like these from your teenager?  Do they upset you, or do you see these as signs of a necessary process taking place?

Rather than viewing such words as a slap in the face from an ungrateful or rebellious child, I encourage you instead to view them as signs that your training is working and that your child is getting ready for adulthood. I’m not saying that anything goes as far as allowing disrespectful words or a really bad attitude, but we need understand that these statements are not inherently rebellious. Look behind the words to what is really going on; it may be that you are holding on too tightly and not giving them enough opportunity to assume responsibility. Continue reading “Encouraging Independence in Your Teen”

Christmas Without Conflict

The song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”  But for many families, this is the most chaotic, conflict-filled and crisis-inducing time of year.  This wonderful holiday when we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace is often anything but peaceful in homes with teenagers.  The good news is that even with the extra stress and pressure that comes along with the holiday season, you can have Christmas without the conflict.  (Yes, it is the season of miracles!)

The key to having a Christmas without conflict is to not forsake good parenting skills.  You may be taking off several days from work for the holiday, but you can’t take off from being a parent.  So don’t slack off.  Focus on maintaining a solid relationship while still honoring your rules, even if your teen calls you “Scrooge” or “Grinch.” Continue reading “Christmas Without Conflict”

Connecting With Your Teen

Do You Know How to Really Connect with Your Teenage Son or Daughter?

Teens today are experts in the art of mass communications. They have every communications gadget imaginable and they communicate to friends and the whole world about things that might be better left unsaid. After all, does the world really need to know they just let their cat out, or brushed their teeth, or that they like to play Farmville for hours on end? I don’t think so, but they do.

This form of one-way communication, however, doesn’t mean that kids are connecting. It does little to develop meaningful personal relationships and the feeling of connectedness that all teens long for. The fast-paced culture in which they live is tough on their relationships. It confuses them more than anything, and it blocks the route to more meaningful communications, especially the kind of communication they need to have with their parents. Continue reading “Connecting With Your Teen”