Drug testing

Parenting Your Teenager: Ask Questions

Many parents seem to be more than a little confused about what they have a right to know about their teens.

The question I often get goes something like this:

"We want to know where our 16-year-old son is going to be, and who he is with. He makes it sound as if we are the most out-of-it parents, and that it is abusively embarrassing to him that we want to know what he and his friends are doing. Are we being fair?"

You have the right, need and obligation to know all these things, and more. I believe that every parent of a teen has the right to know and the crucial need to know several pieces of information that I call the W's.

These crucial W's are:

1) Who they are spending time with. One of the most powerful forces in the life of a teen is influence: of parents, media, culture and especially friends.

With friends, it's not the question of can your children be influenced, but how they will be influenced. We have come to use the cliche of peer pressure, but this is really about influence.

One of the clearest warning signs of problems is when a teen has two sets of friends _ one that the parents know, and one the parents have never seen and your kid does not want you to see.

Your teen does not want you to see them for a reason, and it's not a good one. A good rule of thumb is that your teen is not allowed to go anywhere with someone you have not at least met. Another simple but little-used strategy is to know the parents of your teen's friends. Also, if you can make your home the hub of his or her circle of friends, where lots of activity takes place or at least begins, you have a good thing going.

2) What they are going to be doing. "But Mom, (stretched into a two or three syllable word) we don't know what we are going to be doing!" Possible answers _ "Well, you'll need to know the answer, and then I'll need to know the answer before you can go" or "That's fine for now, when you decide you must let me know."

Another one you will hear is "But everyone else gets to do it!" This is one the Top 10 things never to believe. It's just not true. Everyone else does not get to do it. And even if they did, you as a parent still have the right to say no.

3) Where they are going. The what and the where go together, and the same rules apply. Watch out for the scam where Billy tells his parents that he is going to Bobby's house, and Bobby tells his parents he is going to Billy's house. This one can be easily handled and checked on when you know the parents of your teen's friends.

4) When will they be back. This brings up the pleasant issue of curfew. The dilemma: Parents want kids home at a certain time, kids want to stay out later.

I've never encountered the situation where a kid wanted his curfew to be earlier. Solution: The parents pick a curfew time. Notice I said the parents and not the parents and kids. This one begins with the parents, and then it's up to the kids to earn more.

While we are at it, let's define late. Late is late, and 10 p.m. is 10 p.m., unless there is something major that is unavoidable. If you consistently make 10:10 acceptable and not late, you send the message that the rules don't really count, and you foster more and more lateness, not to mention giving up your power as a parent.

If the curfew is kept for three months, an additional 15 minutes is added. If they are late during the three months, the three-month earning period starts over from that point.

This model represents the real world where privileges are not just given but earned based on performance.

I've seen more than one family make this a very smooth process by requiring that a small form be filled out, answering all the W's before a request to go out is even considered.

Now, a word of warning:

Your teens will not like this. That's OK because that is not the point. The point is to teach responsibility and other things about the real world, and make this labor-intensive job of parenting a teen just a little less stressful.

While requiring your teens to obey the W's may not be easy, it sure can help you to avoid some other loathsome W's, such as: Waiting up until the Wee hours of the morning, Wondering and Worrying.

Visit ParentingYourTeenager.com for tips and tools for thriving during the teen years. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 5 day e-program on The Top 5 Things to Never Say to Your Teenager, from parenting coach and expert Jeff Herring.

In The News:

A major new climate study in the journal Nature got worldwide media coverage for finding that the oceans warmed dramatically faster than previously thought — but now the researchers have retracted that conclusion after a man in the United Kingdom blogged about flaws he discovered in the paper.
A long cold winter could hit space in months bringing record low temperatures, NASA has warned.
Keep your eyes peeled this weekend.
For the first time, archaeologists have released detailed images of stunning biblical mosaics discovered at the site of an ancient synagogue site in Northern Israel.
The mystery of Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever spotted in our solar system, has taken a new, unexpected twist and it's from someone you might not expect – NASA.
An uninhabited Japanese island has sparked mysterious conspiracy theories after it vanished from satellite images.
Remarkable and stunning images show the first time that a disabled sea turtle was able to swim after being fitted with a prosthetic flipper.
As Earth's tectonic plates dive beneath one another, they drag three times as much water into the planet's interior as previously thought.
Computer scientists have used various editions of The Bible to develop an algorithm that identifies different author’s writing styles, Inside Science reported.
Two great white sharks were located off the coast of North Carolina this week after the massive predators traveled more than a thousand miles from Canada to reach the coastal waters.

3 Rules to Making TeensTechnology Work For You

Isn't the technology of today is amazing?! Between the speed... Read More

Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet

The biggest trick some child predators' are using these days... Read More

Choosing the Perfect Jogging Stroller

When choosing the perfect jogging stroller, a very important question... Read More

Keeping the Stress out of Single Parenting

Researched through personal experience!Budget Your Money. Even if you are... Read More

What Values Are We Giving Our Children?

On a bright Sunday morning, a couple of weeks ago,... Read More

Co-Morbidity Rates: Other Problems That May Come With ADHD

Diagnosing children and teens with ADHD can be a challenge.... Read More

Time Out for Adults

"Get down from the table top right now! What are... Read More

MORAL ARMORS Irrational Parenting, Part III

Not Letting Them Think.We all implicitly know that anything questioning... Read More

Book Review: How to Get Your Child to Love Reading

How to Get Your Child to Love Reading was conceived... Read More

Homeschool Socialization - Developing Your Homeschool Childs Social Skills

Everyone needs friends, and, as parents, you and I both... Read More

Planning the Ultimate Kid Birthday Party

Child Party Planning Guideline #1)Pick the ThemeYour child is going... Read More

Ten Tips to Stimulate Your Newborns Senses

A number of scientific studies have shown the way a... Read More

Time To Connect With Your Teen

While on a recent trip to the grocery store, I... Read More

Thriving As A Family When You Live In The Fast lane

It is extraordinary times that we find ourselves in. Change... Read More

Don?t Make Fast and Furious Food Changes

OK, moms and dads out there, we hear you when... Read More

Picky Eater Syndrome

'Picky Eater' is a label coined to describe the phenomenon... Read More

Help My Preteen/Teenager is Driving Me Nuts!

Do you feel like someone has abducted your sweet, innocent... Read More

Selecting A Quality Day Care Center

Many working families choose a commercial or individual day care... Read More

Small Children, Languages and Myths

Our children are growing up bilingual in the French part... Read More

Where Is Your Homework, Lisa?

Is Homework Really That Important?Dear Friends,I no longer teach in... Read More

Whine Oh Whine Am I The Only One?

I thought I was the only one in the world... Read More

Does Sexual Abuse Usually Occur Just Once?

Your daughter tells you that Uncle Charley has touched her... Read More

Diagnosing ADHD in Children, an Introduction

Everyone in a private practice setting who works with children... Read More

Using Cloth Nappies

We all know that using cloth nappies is best for... Read More

Youth In A Changing World

IntroductionChildren are the gifts of God to parents. That young... Read More

buy led light bulbs street lights for sale Pete's produce ..