Golden Rules for Parents

Golden rules for parents

Give them some personal space. Respect their privacy, knock before you go into their rooms, don't poke around in their stuff, or snoop on their Facebook page.

Listen carefully to what's being said, and take time to respond. Don't get caught up in a stalemate where you're issuing diktats and refusing to explain why - the response 'Because I said so…' is, understandably, a red rag to a bull.

Try not to be too judgmental - if you radiate an air of open-minded tolerance it will create an environment in which they're more prepared to confide in you.

Don't be provocative. If you're faced with a super-sullen teenager, trying to tease them out of the mood may well escalate the grumpiness.

Keep calm. Teenagers are prone to flying off the handle and - if you reciprocate in any way - disputes can easily escalate into out and out conflict. Moderate your behaviour at all times.

Give them some respect. You may find their views preposterous or just plain silly, but pointing this out is not a good idea. Don't be too critical, and never pull the adult card, as in "When you're my age you'll realise…"

Try and break through 'don't touch' barrier; be affectionate, positive, complimentary. This is a time when children need lots of encouragement to build their confidence and self-esteem.

Try and find the time to talk to your teenagers - but choose carefully. One to one or family occasions are best - trying to socialise with your teenager and friends will cause scorching embarrassment.

If your teenager is rude to you, don't accept it. Keep calm, but state clearly that you don't like the way they're speaking.

Be polite, even under severe provocation. Your good manners may (eventually) rub off on your teenager…

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