In Her Words
Lessons from the Teen Frontlines
Tips for dealing with your teens
By: Mary Beth Sammons
Most days, I am challenged with how to communicate with three formerly loving and cooperative kids who, seemingly overnight, morphed into teens who avoid my parental company. But I am making some breakthroughs and have a few insights:
You’ve got mail: You have to be creative to communicate. Learn how to speak their language: Text or IM your teens on their computers or cell phones.
Ah, the spa: With two daughters, I discovered quality time together can happen when you are all seated side-by-side at the nail salon, held hostage at least momentarily by drying nails.
Take the wheel: Offer to be the chauffeur. You’ll be surprised at how much you will learn about your teens from just listening as they converse en route with their friends.
Hold your tongue: A mom of slightly older children gave me this sage advice: “Never say anything to your teen that you wouldn’t want anyone else to hear. You will regret it if you do.”
Keep your sense of humor: Don’t take anything personally. A wise friend once reminded me that a teen’s job is to separate from his or her parents. Smile, take a deep breath and remember, some do their job better than others.