10 Principles for parenting your teen

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1.Remember, parents matter. Make a difference in thelife of your teen by providing guidance and support. At times, it may seem like your teen does not want youaround. However,
your child really does need you and needs to know you care.

2. Stay warm and close. It’s impossible to love your teen too much. Spoil your teen with love and support every day.Spend time together at meals, and remember to say, “I love you.”

3. Stay involved with your teen’s life. Ask questions about schoolwork and friends, and attend your teen’s extracurricular activities.Teens need to know you are interested in them just as much now as you were when they were younger.

4. Set limits and provide structure. Clearly communicate your expectations to your teen. Rulesand expectations should change throughout your child’s life, but children of all ages need clear rules.

5. Enforce rules and consequences. Let your teen know what the consequences of breaking ruleswill be ahead of time. Follow through on enforcing punishments.

6. Be consistent. Parents should discuss and agree on basic parenting principles for guiding their children. Then, be consistent eachday and in every situation. Mixed messages from parents can lead to frustration for both parents and children. Children need consistency to help them structure their lives.

7. Explain yourself andengage your teen in decisions and conversations. Discuss the reasons
for rules and consequences with your teen. This does not mean that the rules or consequences will change, but it will help yourteen understand your reasons and respect you. Teens don’t
respect authority when it seems arbitrary.

8. Don’t use harsh discipline. Harsh discipline, like yelling or slapping, is not an effectivelong-term approach to discipline. Do not discipline your teen when you are angry. Instead, make arrangements to talk to your teen at a later time when wisdom and good judgment, not anger,
will guide...
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