Manual Raising a Successful Teenager Today:

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Family is the most important thing!

Our teenager dug in. Mark and and I looked at each other, wide-eyed. She had a point. Our teenager had just fired us as her management team, this time for good. She had had it with our bossy and controlling ways.


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Years ago, Mike Riera, author of Uncommon Sense for Parents of Teenagers and an educator I respect a lot, had warned me that this would happen. I should be promoted when my kids get older, I used to think, not fired. But once kids reach adolescence, they need to start managing their own lives, and they do tend to fire us as their managers. They do this not because they are bad kids, but because they need to regain a sense of control over their own lives.

This cannot be overstated: Healthy, self-disciplined, motivated teenagers have a strong sense of control over their lives.

A mountain of research demonstrates that agency is one of the most important contributors to both success and happiness. Believing that we can influence our own lives through our own efforts predicts practically all of the positive outcomes that we want for our children: better health and longevity, lower use of drugs and alcohol, lower stress, higher emotional well-being, greater intrinsic motivation and self-discipline, improved academic performance, and even greater career success. Those kids tend to expend emotional energy resisting advice from their parents that is clearly in their best interest, simply to regain a sense of control.

The answer, according to neuropsychologist William Stixrud and teen coach Ned Johnson, authors of The Self-Driven Child , is to hand the decision-making reins over to our teens.

1. Under all the scowls and frowns, your child is still there.

You read that right: By adolescence, we parents need to take a deep breath and let them make their own decisions about their lives. Discover three surprising truths about adolescents. Explore five ways to influence your adolescent and five more. Learn how the adolescent brain transforms relationships. Parents know the challenges of raising teenagers.

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10 Keys to Raising a Great Teenager

This handbook is an excellent choice for parents who want to improve their relationship with teens. From peer pressure and self-esteem to experimentation with sex, alcohol, and drugs, this invaluable resource covers a wide range of practical issues. As surely as every child will become a teen, every person that must relate to a teen will find this book a reliable, indispensable guide to the ups and downs of adolescence.

Jensen, M. With humor, wisdom and a deep understanding of the teenaged brain, noted teen expert Dr. Laura Kastler shows parents how to stay calm and cool-headed while dealing with hot-button issues everything from rude attitude and lying to sex and substance use — with clear, easy-to-follow suggestions for setting limits while maintaining a close and loving relationship. You will learn how to help them gain these skills while resolving conflict and solving mutual problems.

I recommend this book frequently to parents in my practice. By working together, parents and teens can create boundaries which give the teen the ability to begin to stand on their own two feet. This book gives examples and will help parents see the world from both sides of the boundary.


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This comprehensive book suggests ways to interest teens. American Academy of Pediatrics: Teen Issues. And while you don't need your teen to be a perfect kid, you do need him to be ready for the realities of adulthood.

Raising Successful Teens by Jeffrey Dean - WaterBrook & Multnomah

To best prepare your teen for the future, it's important to offer a balance between giving enough guidance and allowing for enough freedom. Brainstorm solutions for potential situations with your teen might encounter ahead of time. Ask, "What would you do if your friend handed you a cigarette? Talk about the fact that we all make mistakes sometimes. And owning up to those mistakes shows responsibility. Tell your teen if she tries to cover up her mistakes by lying or covering up her mistakes, you'll know she's not ready to handle more responsibilities.

Parenting Teenagers – Adolescent Development & Parenting Tips (13 – 18)

Most teens have a lot going on and they need a little support with time management to behave responsibly. Sit down together and look over your teen's schedule. Talk about how much time she should set aside for chores, homework, and extracurricular activities. Talk about how she can create a schedule that works best for her. While one teen might want to do homework right after school, another one might want a break for an hour before diving back into work. During the digital age, your teen doesn't necessarily need a paper calendar. She might find an app or online calendar helps give her the reminders she needs to be responsible.

When she forgets to do her chores or has to stay up late to get her homework done, look at her mistake as an opportunity to problem-solve how she can do better next time. Helping her create a schedule for herself will teach her the time management skills she needs to thrive in the adult world. Doing chores shows responsibility.