Keep the lines of communication open by:
- Take an active interest in your teenager’s friends, activities, and opinions. Make their friends feel welcome.
- Respect areas of privacy by not prying, opening mail, eavesdropping on phone conversations, etc. (However, parents should know where their children are and what they’re doing.)
- Clearly express your own values in important areas like sex, drugs, money, and religion. Teenagers need parents with firm convictions, not ones who harp on them continuously.
- Listen carefully not only to what teenagers say, but to what is really meant. Respect their opinions knowing they may change.
Good parent/child relations are dependent upon these principles:
- Establish Rules and Expectations – Parents should clearly state rules on hours to come home, homework, chores, family, and other responsibilities.
- Realize Need for Independence and Individuality – Making decisions, and some mistakes, is essential in growing up.
- Be Flexible – Adolescents see things from a different slant. In turn, parents may need to rethink their own behavioral patterns.
- Avoid Needless Criticism – Since adolescents are not yet sure about themselves, overt criticism can be destructive.
- Offer Support – Parents must express trust and confidence that the adolescent is a good person whose judgment can be sound.
- Give Love and Affection – They may not show it, but teens still need parental affection and approval.