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Lisa Endlich Heffernan

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Note to Self

Posted: 07/25/2012 10:34 am

Parenting teens can be an emotional whirlwind and in the heat of the battle it is easy to forget lessons learned the hard way. So, note to self...

It is not your life, it's his.

Your mother thought she knew what you were up to.

Sometimes it really is better if they don't tell you.

Only spy if you really want to know. And answer that question first. You can't unknow something.

When he takes your breath away and leaves you proud beyond words, find those words and tell him again and again. He really does want your approval.

Life does not owe your kid car keys or Internet or cash. The deal was food, clothing and shelter. If needed, take everything else away.

Every so often go in and look at him sleeping: it will all come rushing back.

Everything is a phase, even the good stuff.

Sometimes your kid's behavior is your fault, sometimes it isn't. It's really hard to tell so don't take all of the blame.

Memories are worth the mess. Always.

Other mothers should never make you feel bad about your kid, no matter how much bragging they do. If you do feel bad, shame on you.

He doesn't mean it.

You will miss this. Really.

I am the parent, he's the child: repeat as many times as necessary.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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  • Root Cause

    Trying to find out the root cause behind a defiant teen's rebellion is a great step in a positive direction. Your teen may be having problems with a friend, a girlfriend/boyfriend or a teacher and misdirecting their emotions at you. Try talking with them about what could be causing the behavior.

  • Keep Your Teen Busy

    Teenagers who are involved in activities tend to have a more positive outlook and stay out of trouble at a larger rate than those who aren't.

  • Spend Time With Your Teen

    It's easy for parents to get caught up in issues relating to work, finances and the day-to-day hassles of managing a family. It's important, however, to remember to spend quality time with your child a have meaningful conversations. Teens often act out when they feel they're being ignored.

  • Pick Your Battles

    As a parent, it's not uncommon to be at odds with your child. But it's important to make distinctions between those battles that are worth fighting and those that could be best described as vehicles for general contention. Ask yourself, is this argument necessary or can it be put aside?

  • Deal With Issues Together

    Despite what your teen may say, they do not prefer dealing with their issues alone. Making a consistent effort to talk to your teen and listen to what they have to say -- offering advice only when appropriate -- can go a long way toward showing them that you're teammates and not opponents


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