Drug testing

Raising Teenagers? Stay C.A.L.M.

Parents of teenagers frequently ask what can be done to improve their relationship with their kids. This can be a challenging time, and a time when parents sometimes feel rejected, out of touch, and unclear about what to do. Here's a simple strategy that can help set you up for a smoother ride.

Stay C.A.L.M. Why "calm"? When teenagers are asked what parents can do to help keep communication open, teens invariably reply: "Don't freak out!" Evidently, teens' perceptions are, when they are sharing something important, or sensitive, parents too often go off the deep end. There is no surer way to shut down communication than to over-react. Parents may have difficulty not reacting to information that touches upon a nerve, so this can be tricky for parents. But it is possible to listen, and to focus on not lecturing, to keep your teen talking. It may be they are telling you this sensitive information because they will feel safer if you are informed, and because they value your relationship. It is also highly likely that they share your values. It is possible for parents to listen without freaking out. Try asking your teen directly what he/she wants you to do with this information ? is she asking for your advice? If not, DON'T give it. Be gentle ?be calm. And your teenager might just keep talking to you.

Let's examine with the other letters stand for:

C ? Connect Parents fret over lack of communication; but sometimes expectations are too high and the atmosphere becomes tense with unmet desires. Focus instead on 'connection.' This has a different connotation. To "connect" implies sharing an experience, sharing time and space, being on the same wave length. Almost everybody can find a way to connect with their teen ? it might take some planning and creativity, but it is possible. Share a tennis game, go to a movie, go out for ice cream, play a ping pong, bake some cookies together? find some pleasant activity that you can share together. Keep your focus on nothing more serious than enjoying that activity together. By "connecting" you will have created the environment for communication to take place. That's the important first step. Then it might be best to let nature takes its course. Oh ? and take this step of "connecting" frequently?don't make your shared activities be a rare event or it can work against you.

A ? Adjust You know how dramatically your teenager is changing?it is happening in every possible way: physically, emotionally, sexually, cognitively?this is a very dramatic time in a person's life. Are you changing in response? Think about it - if your child is changing in significant ways doesn't it stand to reason that a parent should change in response? You bet it does! Parents need to constantly adjust our parenting style so that it is appropriately matched to the developmental stage of our child. To fail to change means that we might fail to teach them important lessons, or we could negatively impact their developing independence and maturity. It also means we can undermine our relationship with them. Parents need to adjust continually. That's part of the job.

L ? Listen Truly, there is no easier way that allows you to improve communication and improve your relationship with your child than to spend more time listening. Parents usually think they are doing a much better job of this than their kids think they are. It's hard changing from being the resident ''authority" to having everything you say questioned. As parents intentionally adjust our view of our developing young adult, we need to intentionally spend more time listening to their thoughts and validating their feelings rather than sharing our opinions or fixing their problems. Nothing improves in our relationship until we listen to them.

M ? Monitor How are you doing as you implement these changes? To answer this question you must step back from the daily busy-ness and examine yourself. What are you doing differently? What kind of results are you getting? Be honest in your assessment. What developmental changes are you seeing in your teenager? Are you responding appropriately? Your biggest opportunity for initiating change in your relationship is through your own behavior and attitudes.

Your child is also monitoring you whether you like it or not. In a quiet 'connected' moment with your teen why don't you simply ask how you're doing. "You know, honey, I'm trying to tune into your needs differently, now that you're older. This is my first time parenting a teenager, so I imagine I might not have gotten in completely right. If there was one thing you would change about me, what would that be?" Those of us who have tried this approach are almost always surprised by the response. Try it out! And stay C.A.L.M.

? 2004 Sue Blaney

Sue Blaney is the author of Please Stop the Rollercoaster! How Parents of Teenagers Can Smooth Out the Ride and Practical Tips for Parents of Young Teens; What You Can Do to Enhance Your Child's Middle School Years. As a communications professional and the parent of two teenagers, she speaks frequently to parents and schools about parenting issues, improving communications and creating parent discussion groups. Visit her website at http://www.PleaseStoptheRollercoaster.com

In The News:

A hairy collection worth thousands goes on display at the Philadelphia Museum of History. Collector, Robert Peck, couldn’t believe whose hair he rescued from the trash.
Excavations in Israel are shedding new light on the history of a Biblical site linked to the Ark of the Covenant.
A "treasure trove" of dinosaur footprints — from at least seven different species — that date back about 100 million years have been uncovered by storm surge in the United Kingdom, researchers from the University of Cambridge revealed on Monday.
A strong storm likely caused a massive Atlantic bluefin tuna to wash up on a beach in Scotland over the weekend, creating quite a spectacle on the island of Sanday.
WASHINGTON — To find life on Mars, scientists may need to give up surface exploration and "go deep."
A team of paleontologists recently announced the discovery of a new horned dinosaur — a member of the Triceratops family — in the midst of 73-million-year-old rocks in southern Arizona.
WASHINGTON — The history of maritime vessels in the U.S. is preserved in an unlikely place — at the bottom of a river.
The concept of time travel has always captured the imagination of physicists and laypersons alike. But is it really possible? Of course it is. We’re doing it right now, aren’t we? We are all traveling into the future one second at a time.
Divers have recently found the barred knifejaw, a fish native only to Japan, swimming in the waters of Monterey Bay, Calif.
Europa may be the most likely place to host alien life. Beneath its surface is a salty ocean, warmed by the play of gravity on the moon’s metal core. But how do you peer through sheet ice?

Tips for Parents of Teenagers: Dont Just Survive - Thrive!

What makes parenting so challenging at times? One widespread research... Read More

A Guide To Help You Teach Your Children Positve Self-Image Through Fitness

Raising a pre-teen or teenage daughter (or son) is not... Read More

Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

Many families do not want to believe their child is... Read More

Why A Father Is Not A Dad

It can be said that any man who procreates is... Read More

Are Public Schools A Menace To Your Kids? -- 11 Danger Signals

Parents, do you have children who do poorly in school,... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: The Teenager and the Gorilla

Q: A parent writes in to ask, "You write a... Read More

Best Investment

Every week I write something about the stock market -... Read More

Lifebooks: Every Adopted Child Needs One

Information is gold when you are adopted. Every tiny piece... Read More

Parenting in the Kitchen ? Lessons in Cooking, Socializing, and Bonding

Kitchens are where everything happens. It's not just where meals... Read More

How Two Quarelling Kids Helped Invent the Better Behavior Wheel

When David was nine and Laura was twelve, the battles... Read More

Intermission: Wood Chips

I wanted to share with you one of the most... Read More

Weathering Colic for New Parents

A common problem many times facing parents is Colic. Estimates... Read More

6 Great Freebie Resources for Parents of Twins & Multiple Births

A sure way to double the joys of parenthood is... Read More

What Do Chinese Water Torture and Arguing with Children Have in Common?

Imagine yourself lying flat on your back, totally strapped down... Read More

The Long Journey Home

Once upon a time, I thought I had it all.... Read More

Patterns For Plus Size Children

Plus size children and overweight children need patterns and clothing... Read More

Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Blackmail

Family decision-making is an intriguing phenomenon. Many factors become part... Read More

Planning the Ultimate Kid Birthday Party

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

The Best Gifts Ever: Life Experiences Every Child Should Have

This past holiday season Canadians spent over $45 billion-with parents... Read More

Watch What You Say

"Now don't you go getting any ideas, Harold.""Don't you get... Read More

Fuzzy Names, Sweet Names

As with everything, names go through cycles of change with... Read More

Awesome Dads Top Ten Ways To Be The Foundation of Your Family

Part of the responsibility of being a father is to... Read More

Educational Toys - How Do Parents Choose The Best Toys For Their Child

The choices are mind numbing. Walk into any toy store... Read More

3 Rules to Making TeensTechnology Work For You

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

The Old and the New

During one "generation gap" quarrel with his parents young Michael... Read More

induction street light project induction lights Pete's produce ..