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Building a Healthy Parent-­Teen Relationship

  • Spend time together (family meals, joint projects or chores, "hanging out" time, activities that include your child's friends, family routines, volunteering).
  • Choose your battles (when is it worth fussing?).
  • Give and expect respect.
  • Treat your teen as an individual. Learn about their dreams, temperament, preferences, and activities. LISTEN!
  • Take care of yourself and set a good example. Get help for yourself if you are having personal difficulties or are in a troubled or unsafe relationship.
  • Know what to expect for your child's age and stage. Read and talk to other parents. Ultimately, trust your own judgment.
  • Make your expectations clear, ask for input from your teen, and revise your expectations when appropriate.
  • Hold yourself to the same standards you expect from your teen for example, respect their privacy unless safety is an issue.
  • Set aside time for just you and your teen to talk or do something fun together. This may be a challenge, but it is worth it.
  • Use your sense of humor, but never at your teen's expense. Teasing can feel like torture to a sensitive teen.

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Reviewed: September 1st, 2015