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Family Parenting And Communication The Teen Years

Aug 18, 2007
One would think with the advent of cellular phones, pre-paid phone cards and the internet, that these lines of communication would create a virtual flood of dialog between family members.

But aside from the occasional "check-in' call, teenagers spend more time talking to their friends than with family members. The explosion of new electronic gadgets and the personalization of the internet has parents scrambling to find time to even talk directly to their offspring. Many find it easier to find out about what is happening to their children by visiting their "my space' page than talking directly to them. In the past the traditional "family dinner' was the one time that the entire family would be together. Now it has been replaced by the family "conference call' and the 10 second "text message'. Meaningful communication between parents and their teen-aged offspring has become a challenge but there are several little things a parent can do that have a major impact.

First : Get into the habit of asking your child what's going on in their daily lives and don't be put off by a generic response. "Nothing' is not an answer. Get them to answer in complete sentences and talk for more than a couple of minutes and you will be surprised what comes out.

Second: Watch your child. No one knows them better than you! You have raised them since infancy, you can tell when something is bothering them and when they are hiding something. If you feel there is something wrong then do not be put off by "privacy' issues or the "you just don't get it' speech. Gently let them know that you are there to help and let them know you wont let up until you get a satisfactory answer.

Third: LISTEN! Really listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it. Don't forget; the tone of the conversations is just as important as what is being said. Don't interrupt no matter how tempted you are to interject a comment just make a mental note to get back to the subject when the child is ready to listen to what your response. Keep your temper and alarm in check when dealing which such subjects as sex, drugs and peers.

Fourth BEND DON'T BREAK! Be flexible. Everything is not written in stone. Be willing to adjust or change an edict or rule depending on the circumstance, but, stay within your own guidelines as to what is appropriate or right. Offer compromises that might alter the situation but remain firm on major issues.

Fifth : TRUST YOUR INTUITION! Remember you are the one with the experience, if it "feels' bad then don't allow it. If it sounds just to good to be true then let them know that the answer is No right then. Don't put if off hoping that they will forget or that the situation might change.

Remember no matter how adult teenagers try to act, or how much you as a parent think they know, nothing can equal your years of life experience. Your experience is invaluable and your kids need it everyday.
About the Author
James Brown writes about Zones coupon, Best Buy coupon and BeWild.Com promo code
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