Live with intent, take time, have patience and gain a new perspective. See how having a relationship with your teen can change both of your lives. Say goodbye to status-quo.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


1.) Don't be afraid of your teen child
In my experience, many parents take this approach with their children. They are afraid to confront, afraid to talk and afraid to hear their teenager. DON'T BE. Like any relationship, it's hard work to wrestle with things, especially that of the teenage girl: hormones, sex, boys, self-esteem and the list goes on. But the more you refuse to approach your daughter, the more she will recluse and withhold from you. Believe it or not, your daughter WANTS you in her life! It's just easier as parents to blame her age than to make a real effort with her. HOW you ask? More to come...

2.)Give a reason behind your "no"
"Because I'm the parent and your the child" or "Because I said so" is no answer. Come on, you can do better than that. I consider that a hierarchically approach. I also consider this authoritative behavior.
To build a relationship it requires conversation, communication, which to me is a TWO WAY STREET. You may be the parent and you are obviously older than your child, but how is saying that FACT, AN ANSWER? Why, just because they are younger than you or because you are the parent an adequate answer? How will your child learn anything by that sort of answer? Won't they learn more and become better people if they HEAR your reason? Do you even have a reason? And is your reason "good"? Tough things to consider, huh? We will learn about our own lives as we try to raise up our own children.

3.) Don't try to be her best friend
There is something to be said for being your child's friend. Not that it's altogether a bad thing to be her friend, but our first job is to parent. And just because we have children, doesn't mean we are automatically parents. IF you look at the definition of the word PARENTING it says it is a constant state, it is an adjective. Finding the balance of "being cool" or being her friend, and being a parent can be tricky.As my blog moves along I will be putting lots of input on this subject.

4.) Discipline is LOVING
One of the hardest things I had to figure out as a parent was that it is better for BOTH parent and child to discipline. From the very early ages to present, how ever you respond to "punishments" will reflect in the parent child relationship. Obviously the earlier you can start the better. When they are little and they are so darn adorable, it's nearly impossible to discipline. There is a stigma that we are "wrong" or "mean" for doing it. That is where feelings have to stay out of it. If I disciplined my daughter based on how cute and funny she was, she'd never be disciplined. Figuring out how and when to do it is also a challenge. Which again will be another topic I'll have input on. Because finding this balance, once again can be tricky. Some parents tend to be too heavy on discipline, and some not disciplining enough.

I am convinced that half the reason my daughter is so fun loving and happy about life is because of the constant praise I've always given her. We didn't really have much money until she was about 10 or so, so most of what I gave her were not things that could be held in her hands. It's so easy to look at our children's flaws, just like it's easy to look at our spouses flaws or our friends etc. . But with our children it's like we have this pre-conceived idea of WHO AND HOW we want them to be! But they are their own people! And as they go through life, in whatever they do, we've got to praise them to the max! They need encouragement with anything negative they might do or experience. They are growing to become people for the real world to connect with others, and survive in the workplace and school. Along the way we've got to be their cheering section, we have to.


  1. Gina, I love the new title, it's much more open and fitting.

    I learned that as a child growing up we learn who WE are by our parent's reactions. If we are excited and they are excited, they show us how it looks and feels.

    If we get a boo-boo and mom wrinkles her brow and says, "Oh, that hurts!" you are being given reinforcement that it's real and it's okay.

    I love tip #5, that must be tough. I know you struggled with Maddy changing her mind on some activities because you had a preconceived notion... you are so right, you grow too, as a parent while you parent. :)

  2. Thank you so much for your feedback Aj. I know what your journey has been as a daughter, so I appreciate all your insight. Thank you for reading, and if you know any Mom's out there, pass my blog along! TTYS