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Help for parenting teenagers, keeping the relationship while losing control. Learn facts about curfews, drugs, abuse, eating disorders, etc.

Parenting Teenagers-Facts-Curfews

First, a little confession:  I don't have kids!  What I'm sharing, I've learned from counseling and observing hundreds of parents with their kids, seeing how things turned out, and reading what development specialists have written.  The methods I'm recommending are the most successful I've seen actually used.

Parenting Teenagers Strategy:

The biggest hurtle to parenting teenagers isn't the teenagers.  That may be hard to swallow, as silly and obnoxious as teens can be, but it's true.  As a parent, you have the advantage of knowing your child will become silly and obnoxious for a while...because you were.  If you're shocked by it and allow it to make you silly and obnoxious, you're not helping.  The critical factor is getting them safely to adulthood so they can discover for themselves how right you were.  If you expect them to do this as teens, you're in for a long hard struggle.  So, what's the strategy?  Here are the latest top-selling Books On Parenting Teenagers.  They start as relatively compliant pre-teens, then the hormone poisoning sets in.  You can discuss teen parenting in our Parenting Advice And Support Forum.  If you've set the foundation during their toddler/preschool years and built up the structure during K-6, have faith that your kids will fill in the rest of their house according to your architecture.  For more information on these formative years, see Parenting Aggressive Toddler and K-6 Parenting.  I have some bad news...once they're teens, you have very little to say about their lives.  My niece is the best parent I know.  Her advice has a lot to do with success with toddlers through sixth grade, but it is essential if your relationship is going to survive the teen years.  Don't sweat the small stuff!   Your teenager, when you're not around, will be making decisions about body piercing, tattoos, drugs, sex, college, career, and possibly marriage and children.   If you want to influence these decisions, it may make sense to back off the dirty room, makeup, clothing, hair and diet issues.  You are moving from advisor (and safety net) in their lives to, hopefully, trusted friend.  If you don't learn to let them become the adult, your desire to be the boss could lose them.  They can't drive unless you let them control the car, as frightening as that is...and they will get in accidents.

Parenting Teenagers-Curfews and Restrictions:

Back in the day when I was a teen, I remember the most hated sheriff in my home town.  He was hated because he flashed his light in every car where we were "parking" and approached every teen who was out on the street after 10:00 PM.  Those under age were picked up and taken home, where they had to answer to their parents.  Well, we're a more permissive society now, where a legal curfew for underage children is considered a violation of their civil rights.  Now, gangs, crime, drugs, rape, teenage pregnancy and STD's at record levels are all considered normal.  It's 10:00, do you know where your children are?  Just because you want a positive relationship, doesn't mean your teenager is in charge.  They should be willing to agree to a time to be home.  If not, they should be grounded.  The older they get, the harder it is, but if there is open defiance that puts them or other children at risk, you must confront the situation.  Sometimes this means losing one child to save the next (relationally speaking).  Restrictions are usually pretty effective between age 13 and 16 and gradually diminish to completely ineffective by age 18.  Really, they should only be used in the most severe disobedience, particularly when it's compounded by open lying or open defiance.  If the foundation has been set in earlier years, you really shouldn't have much that needs this severe correction.

Conclusion at Parenting Teenagers-2

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