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Parenting Your Teenager: The Bottom Line Issues

Q. When you consult with a family with teens, what are the typical bottom-line issues?

A. Not surprisingly, the bottom line issues for parents are very different than the bottom line issues for the teen.

For the parents, the bottom line issues look something like this:

They see the kid they raised from an infant changing right before their eyes, usually getting more and more out of control. Their concerns can run through a whole range of problems - from slipping grades, bad attitudes and little or no communication all the way to depression, running away or drugs.

The bottom line is that the parents are scared, and they want their nice kid back.

For the teens, the bottom line issues usually look something like this:

"If Mom and Dad would just get off my back and trust me, everything would be OK. I'm not a little kid anymore!"

The bottom line is: "I just want to be more and more in charge of myself!"

One useful tip for both sides is to learn to pick your battles.

For the parents, not every issue needs to be a battle for control.

For the teens, not every issue has to be a battle for independence.

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.

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