What are some dos and don't for parents of adolescents?
Do's, Don'ts and Myths
Do examine all family rules in terms of those that are essential and those that are non-essential; those that are enforceable and those that are non-enforceable. Keep only those that are enforceable and essential.
Don't avoid disciplining or fear saying "no."
Do practice negotiating. Aside from safety and health concerns, rigid rules are no longer appropriate.
Don't attempt to fence in your adolescent with an elaborate system of regulations.
Do let your teen take responsibility for his or her own issues.
Don't provide or allow excuses for inappropriate behaviour. Don't procure special favours for your adolescent or bail him/her out of difficulties.
Do reinforce the positive often; when you see growth, recognize it.
Don't expect consistency (only hope for it).
Do devote enough time and energy to your adolescent and make the effort to keep up with his/her world.
Don't criticize your adolescent's friends.
Do give your adolescent a sense of involvement with the family and encourage participation in family problem solving sessions.
Don't discount the unique views or perspectives your adolescent expresses in the family context.
Do model 1) organizing your time effectively; 2) setting priorities and goals; 3) taking care of responsibilities before having fun.
Don't compare your adolescent with others.
Do express your support and love as much as possible when appropriate. (Make a clear distinction between the need to discipline and the unconditional love which underscores your parental responsibilities.)
Do recognize your adolescent as a separate individual, not as an extension of yourself or your hopes.
Don't pry into your adolescent's privacy.
Do look at your own life issues. (How fulfilling is your life, your relationships? Are you pursuing your goals and aspirations or are you blaming your frustrations on your adolescent?)
Don't take things personally. Learn to soothe your anxieties so that while your child is figuring things out, you feel settled, confident and non-reactive.
Do keep your sense of humour.
Don't embarrass your adolescent.
Myth: Teenagers are influenced by overall social pressures. Fact: They are generally more influenced by their friends. Myth: There is an increased distancing from parents. Fact: Most teens maintain close ties with parents. Myth: There is a decrease in parental influence. Fact: Despite rebelliousness and independence on many minor issues, there is most often a continued reliance on parents for advice and support on major issues. Recommended Online Resources
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