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Top 10 Tips for Raising Teenagers

Susan is the last of 8 children, has raised 2 children, and has spent 26 years teaching high school kids. She grew up with a strong mother.

Adolescence can be a trying time for both teenagers and their parents.

Adolescence can be a trying time for both teenagers and their parents.

Raising Teenagers Right

The teen years are an awkward time for the teen and the parent. Teens are trying to figure out who they are, and parents are trying to figure out what happened to that child they were holding in their arms "just yesterday." It can be a stressful time, but it can be fun and rewarding, too.

I loved the teen years. I shared my love for raising my teens in "Why I Love Being the Mom of a Teen." Here, I hope to share some useful tips that will not only allow teens to be individuals but will help parents to set guidelines to help teens reach their potential and keep love and respect in the changing relationship. These are my 10 tips:

  1. Keep communication lines open.
  2. Have guidelines and consequences.
  3. Know how to say no!
  4. Develop their problem-solving skills.
  5. Assign chores and responsibilities.
  6. Build up self-esteem.
  7. Allow for some personal development.
  8. Remember your youth.
  9. Be their parent first.
  10. I hope you have kids who are just like you.

1. Keep Communication Lines Open

You must always make sure your teen knows where you stand. As a high school teacher, I see teens who try to do what their parents want them to do. Unfortunately, I see teens who do not have a clue as to what their parents want from them, and they flounder about looking for ways to get attention – sometimes this is good, but often times it is bad.

Also, you want your teen to be able to talk to you. You need to let them know where you stand, but do not make yourself unapproachable so they will not come to you during a crisis or when they should seek adult advice. They are dealing with peer pressure. If the door is open for them to talk to you, chances are you can guide them with advice about handling alcohol, sex, anger, sadness, fear of failing, and a variety of other issues. Ask yourself, “Would I rather they talk to me for advice or their inexperienced friends?"

2. Have Guidelines and Consequences

Teens, and children from birth in general, want guidelines. When I hear a parent say, “I am going to let him decide on his own,” this is usually a comment made about religion, politics, and/or philosophy. My question is how can teens decide for themselves if they have no guidance and support at home?

Guidelines are not popular with teens, but they do make teens feel secure in knowing what is expected – not that they will not break the rules sometimes. For instance, normally teens can’t wait to get their driver’s license. With a driver’s license, there are privileges, such as going out with friends and dating. Teens need to know you expect them to keep their grades up, do their chores, and be part of the family. Give teens a strict curfew. When they start driving, you are going to worry, so 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. on weeknights is a good curfew and 11 p.m. on weekends. Teens must prove they can handle the responsibility, and you must be consistent with your guidelines.

When teens keep up their end of the deal, there are positive consequences. Nice evenings at home with you showing interest in what your teen is doing, movie night, or going out to eat. When you see your teen being responsible, you could make their curfew a little later. When the teens break the rules, you must give a consequence. I must say that I never took the car away from my teen. That was a punishment to me. Once they get their driver’s license, they gain back some freedom. You can limit where they go – school, job, and church. Other consequences that they hate are taking away their phone, computer, and time with friends.

Look at the rule that has been broken and be reasonable with the sentenced time of the consequence. A broken curfew may mean the teen can’t go out the following Friday night. You know your child and need to discipline appropriately. Trust me, your teen will appreciate guidelines and consequences after they are grown. It teaches them self-discipline and organization in their lives. They also learn what is socially acceptable. (For an analogy of guidelines and consequences, please read my article "Parenting: Jail or Consequences.")


3. Know How to Say No!

Teens can be quite creative and persuasive. For instance:

Teen: “Mom, all my friends are planning a camping trip on the lake.”

Mom: “Whose parents are going to be there?”

Teen: “No one’s parents are going to be there, but we will be in a group.” OR “Jimmy’s parents are going to be there.”

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Mom: “No responsible parents, you aren’t going.” OR “It concerns me that no adults are going to be there. I am going to call some of the other parents to see what they think.” OR “I want to talk to Jimmy’s parents.”

Teen: “Everyone is going. I don’t see why you are making such a big deal out of it.”

Mom: (Sarcastically) “You poor thing. You have a mom who loves you and wants you to be safe. I am going to make a few calls.” ( A little sarcastic humor helps lighten the mood.)

After such a discussion, the teen usually sees the parent is on to them. Also, when the parent makes those phone calls, they find that “everybody is not doing it,” or other parents feel the same, or “Jimmy’s parents” might be surprised to know they were supposed to be camping on the lake with a group of teens.

Giving in to your teen's every wish, whether it is social or material, is giving them a false sense of security, which will lead to a false sense of reality when they leave home. Plus, when a kid is raised with everything, nothing is special.


4. Develop Their Problem-Solving Skills

Okay, as a high school teacher, here is one thing I see too much of: WHINERS. They wallow in every minute problem that comes along. They blame everyone but themselves and cannot see outside their own created world. More often than not, their parents will come in and side with them. My thoughts are, “Good luck to you and your kid when you are paying his bills ten years from now because you enabled him by making him feel the world is against him.” Whatever happened to "in trouble at school, in trouble at home"?

If you are enabling a wallower, stop it. You are creating a weakling who will be negative in life and dependent on you longer than you want. Practice tough love, and know when to tell your teen to get over themselves.

Realize when your teen has a problem, and help the teen work through it, not wallow in it. Don't minimize problems, but give them perspective by showing your teen there are worse things. Also, show them the positive side of life. When they see how much better they feel with a positive attitude, you will see many problems diminished for your teen with you and others.

5. Assign Chores and Responsibilities

As our children turn into teens, they want to be with their peers most of the time. They need to understand there is a trade-off. In order for them to know how to behave and live when they move out on their own, be sure you have given them chores that will teach them how to take care of themselves, their home, and their sense of self. You want them to know how to clean a house, mow a yard, take a car to get the oil changed, etc. You want them to learn these skills so they can be independent. You should teach them how to do these things by showing them and giving them guided practice. Practice patience. These teaching moments can be enjoyable or they can be miserable for both; try to make the best of them for your child’s sake and for your sanity. Many chores should begin at a much earlier age. You need only add age-appropriate chores as they grow older.

Help instill a sense of responsibility in your teen. For instance, when your teen balks at a chore, remind him it is his responsibility to be part of the family and to help out. If the teen does not want to do chores then time spent with his friends (or something else the teen enjoys) must not have been that important. Even though they want their freedom, they still need to know the responsibilities of being part of the family and the order that chores create in their lives. They get a sense of what should be prioritized - "this before that..."

6. Build up Self-Esteem

Your teen may be a great kid, or your teen may be struggling to fit in and have a bad attitude. Try to build self-esteem and self-confidence by giving chores, guidelines, consequences, praise, and constructive criticism. Also, keeping the door open for communications will help teens and you. Don’t publicly or privately humiliate them for flaws beyond their control. For instance, your teen may be overweight or have a learning disability. You want to help them overcome these issues, not entrench them as part of their self-identity. Build them up, don’t tear them down. Mental abuse can create worse scars than most physical abuse. You chose to have this child, so be responsible by helping the teen feel their existence holds worth with you and the world.

7. Allow for Some Personal Development

You have great aspirations for your teen. Discuss what your teen’s goals are. If they do not know and you see their potential in sports or academics, you want to encourage them to rise to their potential.

Do not push them into what you believe to be their potential, though; allow them to engage in some personal development. As a high school teacher, I see teens doing things for their parents and resenting every minute of it. I also see teens with supportive parents who thrive and work toward going past their potential. My kids were like me. I didn’t know I wanted a career until I was out of high school for four years (you can read my experience in “Why Did You Become a Teacher?"). My oldest son got his general education out of the way, went into the National Guard, got married, and is now near the end of his degree program. My youngest daughter is close to having her general education out of the way, but she still is not sure what to major in. With both of my kids, we had long discussions on their strengths and weaknesses and what they thought they could and couldn’t do.

After all the years of guiding them, this was the time for me to step back and let them decide while giving them objective advice. I knew what I wanted them to do, but I want them to be happy in their lives by doing what they want to do. I want them to be responsible adults who like to be around me, not resentful because I pushed them into something they didn't want, or, God forbid, are constantly seeking my approval. I want them to stand on their own.


8. Remember Your Youth

One thing that helps me keep perspective with my teens is remembering I, too, used to be a teen. Are there things I did that I don’t want my teens to do today? Absolutely. The reality is that my kids are going to do some of the same things I did and probably add some new things I never dreamed of because they are a new generation.

Keep in mind the positives and the negatives from your teen years and adjust your parenting accordingly. It is hard to be a parent because we know too much about being a teen. Your teens are going to make mistakes just like you did. Don’t try to “save” them each time because mistakes allow them to grow and learn. Remember how your parents were good examples - yet, if your parents were not good examples, remember what you wish they had done now that you have maturity on your side in your retrospect?


9. Be Their Parent First

As I mentioned earlier, I love being the mom of teens, and I love teaching teens. You must learn to draw the line. Teens need guidance and discipline to help them become adults. You can have many fun times with your teen and many meaningful times with them, but remember your first job is to be the parent, not the friend. You have to draw the line in many instances, and your teen needs to know the line. I shared my experiences as a teen with my mother in "Lessons I Learned from My Mother." Her tough love at times is what helped me deal with life's curveballs and made me a stronger, independent adult.

10. I Hope You Have Kids Who Are Just Like You

This is one of my favorite lines about raising children. Some of us may feel worn out by our teens and tell them that we hope their children grow up to be just like them – a pain in the butt. My best scenario is taking the good with the bad and hoping my children have kids who will be as good as they were but who still have a few glitches.

Raising teens can be frustrating, but it can also be rewarding. Remember, you are the adult. You have already been through this phase in your life. Share your wisdom with your kids by guiding them and by being a good parent who is willing to take the hard line of laying down the law and helping your teen be a good person. Spend time with your teen and know what they are doing.

Do a good job with your teens now, so you won't be raising their kids later.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Susan Holland


Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on September 01, 2013:

What an awesome testimonial of love and perseverance, which is what it takes to raise kids. My son is 27 and my daughter is 20. I still get the hugs and "love you's" every time they come home. That is the best reward!!

My mom was a single mom when she raised me. I know she had very trying times. I am a military wife, and if not for the way my mom raised me, I don't think I could have done so well. My husband was gone more than he was home while raising the kids, and there was a range of emotions and behavior with both of them. It is hard to keep the balance, but as parents we have to have ourselves disciplined enough to keep that backbone when we need it. My son had ADHD, too. There were some difficult times, but spending time and giving guidelines paid off.

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 01, 2013:

Susan, these are great tips. You have to set boundaries, but leave the door wide open as far as communication. I raised my son pretty much on my own, as his dad and I divorced when he was 6. It was quite a trial; my son was ADHD until he was a senior in high school. That, coupled with his resentment over the divorce made life rather tumultous at times. We made it through tho, with love and perseverance. Today we are closer than ever. I get a hug and an "I love you, Mom" every day before he leaves for work. He's now 21 and a young man of whom I am very proud.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 30, 2012:

Hi Nyamache! I agree, we must keep communications open with our teens. Making ourselves approachable yet still giving them guidelines and discipline are extremely important.

Thank you for dropping by! :-)

Joshua Nyamache from Kenya on August 27, 2012:

Parenting teens is not an easy task. Parents should befriend their children who are teens so as to make them open up. By doing this, parents and teens are able to discuss freely without fear. This helps parents to know what their teenagers are up to and advice them accordingly.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on July 22, 2012:

Docmo, my son was easier than my daughter and he was the oldest, too. Maybe it is because my daughter and I are too much alike. It is a challenge. You have to stand your ground when you feel like just giving in to get past a situation, but that only hurts their sense of right and wrong (words of experience). I am sure your youngest will learn a lot from watching you with your older children. I was the last of eight, and I know I did.

Thanks for dropping by and the vote. :-)

Mohan Kumar from UK on July 21, 2012:

I found this extremely useful. I have one teenager and the other in just entering teens and these useful tips do make a lot of sense, Sharon. My eldest is a boy and the middle is a girl. I do feel sorry for my seven year old as he observes everything and takes it all in. It tough to be a balanced, fair yet challenging parent. You've summed it all up nicely. voted up!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 30, 2012:

Exactly! :-)

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on June 29, 2012:

Again sholland10, I totally agree with what you just said. Seriously it is very annoying that I have to qualify my love in this day and age just because I am a stay at home right now and the sole giver of discipline when need be. I love my kids, but again I want them to turn out to be respectful, loving adults so I do whatever is necessary at this point to ensure that.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 29, 2012:

Mary, you are so right about there being many outside forces working to pull our kids away. Also, I don't think some parents have the commitment to raising their kids that they should. It is so hard to raise kids, and it ALWAYS has been. There have always been things to pull kids away, but parents have to be strong and stand up for and to their kids (whether their kids like it or not).

I would be honored for you to link this hub to yours. I admire you for raising 4 daughters (and my mother for raising 5). :-) I will link your hub back. :-)

Thanks for dropping by, voting, and sharing. :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 29, 2012:

Oh Janine, I don't question your love for your daughters... Isn't it a shame that we have to say such things like, "Don't get me wrong..." because some people do not understand that discipline is a form of love. Those are the people who have adult children that are abusive in some form or the other, whether it is feeling entitled to everything or not being able to support themselves and always having a hand out. Nope, I think you and I deeply love our children, and I know mine are great adults and know your girls will be too.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on June 29, 2012:

My favorite line in this Hub is the last one: Do a good job with your teens now, so you won't be raising their kids later on.

I agree with all you have said in this article. It's hard trying to instill in kids now a days values and morals when there are so many outside forces against what you believe to be true.

I raised four daughters. I'm very proud of them and the way they have turned out.

May I link this Hub into mine, "Raising four daughters, one a a time?"

Thanks in advance. I voted this Hub UP, and will certainly share because it is so worthy of reading.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on June 28, 2012:

Sholland19, that totally sounds like me with my girls too. They are still young, but I am the one who makes sure to put my foot down when need be. Don't get me wrong, I love them dearly, but you are right about being strong when need be to make sure they grow up being as wonderful and perfect as I know they can be. Thanks again for sharing.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 28, 2012:

Thanks, Janine, so nice to share with you, too. My daughter is 19 and gone most of the time now with work, school, and friends. We've always had a good relationship and have always butted heads, too. LOL I am glad she is becoming the adult she is, and it goes back to not being her friend when she tried to talk me into something - then went off to pout when she didn't get her way. (My son never did that...) Whew, it is really tough to stand strong, but it pays off. :-) ENJOY! I would not miss a minute of it!

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on June 28, 2012:

Again so true Sholland10. I am totally enjoying both my girls while they are home and little right now. I only have girls, but from everything I have seen and heard, you are correct about girls being moodier. Again very happy to share and vote up for you. Thanks again!!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 28, 2012:

Thanks, Janine! I have one daughter and one son and teach high school. You are right, especially with strong-willed girls, you can't be their friends at times and it is unpleasant. As I said to Josh above, it is important for us as mothers to daughters to try to hang onto our empathy. We see so much at school, but we know our girls and can hopefully guide them.

Just from my experience as being the last of eight (5 girls and 3 boys) and having 1 boy and 1 girl myself, girls are moodier than boys. LOL I sure do enjoy my daughter, though. I have to try to remember what it was like when I was her age, and I also think, "This is what my mother should have done," and I do it. LOL Most of the time my mother DID take action. :-)

Thanks for dropping by, voting, and sharing! Enjoy your girls while they are still home. :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 28, 2012:

Hi Josh! I appreciate you reading! When dealing with children, it is so helpful to hang onto your empathy. That doesn't necessarily mean there isn't difficult times though. Sometimes we don't want our kids to make the same mistakes we made. On the other hand, we can't always step in for our kids when they are trying to gain their independence, and it's hard to watch them fall but it's wonderful to see them succeed.

Thanks for dropping by and the VG&S!! :-)

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on June 28, 2012:

I am the parent of 2 young girls and also a middle school teacher by trade, I enjoyed this hub and can totally agree with most of your points, especially being a parent and not their friend. I will definitely be sharing and voting up.

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on June 28, 2012:

Sholland, an awesome hub, thanks for posting in the FB group! I especially enjoyed tip number 8 on remembering your youth. Although this whole hub was filled with tremendous insight! When I have kids of my own, this is what I will follow, this hub is getting bookmarked as I type, great job Sue! VG&S (votes galore and sharing)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 02, 2012:

Hi ALocsin! Yes, I have two grown children, and I teach teenagers. I hope the guidelines I use help them be better people. I think my two have turned out to be awesome adults. :-)

Thanks for dropping by and the votes.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 01, 2012:

You obviously speak from experience. Your tips help them become leaders, which is an excellent way to counter bad pressure. Voting this Up and Useful.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 25, 2012:

Hi CJISA! Yes, they, like all of us, need guidelines and direction. Sometimes it is really tough to be a parent of a teen, but it pays off if we take the time to give our teens the attention, love, and direction they need because they are learning about life.

Thanks so much for dropping by! :-)

comparejuniorisa from United Kingdom on May 25, 2012:

It's totally true that we have to focus on their future and give them guidelines to became better adults.

Thank you, great article!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 20, 2012:

Yeah, Beth, I know what you mean. I may be a bit jaded since I teach high school - LOL. I overhear enough to know "everyone" isn't doing it or going. By the time my kids reached their teen, we would tease about how they couldn't lie to me because they knew I already knew what was going on in TEEN WORLD. LOL That is not to say that they did not try to get things over on me, and now that my son is in his mid-20s and married, he has come clean with things I just didn't know about. That is when I take a deep breath and remind myself of being that age. Fortunately, my kids have never done anything I would consider negative in the way of being life-changing. I hope I had something to do with their choices. :-)

Thanks for reading!

Beth100 from Canada on April 20, 2012:

So true!! Everything you have listed here is exactly what every teen needs. I'm glad that I'm following each of those that you have listed. :) The most challenging aspect for me is the "everyone's doing/going" thing. Luckily, my teens are honest and come clean once I put the pressure on for the "rest of the story". :)

Thank you for listing these wonderful, and important aspects of raising a teen!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 14, 2012:

Hi PeachPurple, I think daughters are harder than sons. I have one of each, so that is a very limited statement on my part. I did watch my mother and listen to stories about raising the 8 or us (5 girls/3 boys). She always talked about the difficulty of the girls, so we girls always accused her of favoring the boys. LOL She loved all of us, but I think her point was that the girls were more challenging. The trick is to keep your relationship going with girls. My daughter has an attitude just like her mom and dad... Uh oh... LOL She is so strong willed, but we communicate a lot - sometimes when she doesn't want to. She definitely knows she is loved, and we are not just trying to make her life miserable when we lay down rules. Also, this may sound sexist, but I worry so much more about my 19 yr old daughter going out at night than I did my son at that age. Good luck with your girls. They are treasures! :-) Even though we lock heads, my daughter and I have gotten to a friend/mom stage, which is nice. :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 14, 2012:

Hi Mike, I agree. We need to consistently raise our children with values and guidelines from the time they are born. It can get touchy as they turn into pre-teens and teens, though. LOL I thoroughly enjoyed time with my teens and am a hs teacher. People have told me I am crazy. I do well with teens, and I love their sense of humor and watching them grow into adults. They just need to know they are worthy. All children do, but teens analyze everything where children don't think about it as much until they are older.

Thanks for reading! :-)

peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 13, 2012:

Your tips are great help for most parents who are having problems with teen kids. I have a teenager daughter and parenting is tough. Now I understand why my mom had a hard time raising me !

mikeydcarroll67 on April 13, 2012:

These are essential at any age, not just with teens.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 10, 2012:

Hi Phil! Yes, each child/teenager is different, but I think these are some common sense guidelines that can be applied to all. I loved be a teenager's mom. They are so much fun at that age, even with the raging hormones and the need for independence which often can flair up into arguments. So many good times outweigh those challenging times. :-)

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Phil Plasma from Montreal, Quebec on April 09, 2012:

Great tips. My children are not teenagers yet, but soon enough they will be. I'll come back to this hub a few times later on to read these again.

Voted up and useful.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 08, 2012:

Thanks, Michael... That last line is so true. I am sure as a teacher, you have seen as many kids whose grandparents are raising them as I have. I feel like I have raised my kids, now they can raise theirs - I think I set them up with the right practical common sense my mother gave me. I think they will find it invaluable when they have kids. I would never see them starve or homeless, but they would have to work. Fortunately, my kids like to be independent, and the grandparents get to be the stereotypical grandparents who just enjoy their grandkids. Thanks so much for sharing! :-) I really appreciate you!

Micheal from United Kingdom on April 08, 2012:

OMW the last line really does say it all!

Great advice all the votes useful and interesting.

Sharing this where it really needs to go... Facebook!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 06, 2012:

It isn't easy, but it is rewarding. :-)

raciniwa from Talisay City, Cebu on April 06, 2012:

great tips on parenting...and yes, raising teenagers is not an easy task...

taw2012 from India on April 03, 2012:

This is really nice.Voted up.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 31, 2012:

Mary, thanks so much for dropping by. It is wonderful to have raised children that we are proud of as adults. Thanks for reading and the votes!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 31, 2012:

Great Hub, great advice. I've raised 4 kids, and they have turned out great. I'm proud of them. I wrote a Hub on raising 4 daughters, read it when you have some time. I voted this UP, etc.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 31, 2012:

Hello All! Thanks for dropping by, commenting, voting, and sharing! I appreciate you so much!

Loving our teens is the top priority, and sharing in their lives, even when it is tough, is going to reap rewards.

@Bob - we love our pets too. Drop a line to those grandkids. They will appreciate it even if they don't show it. Don't you know, being the "surly teen" is "cool"? :-)

Sondra from Neverland on March 31, 2012:

Excellent tips here! I do all of the above with my three daughters now soooo hopefully I can stick to my guns through the teen years and have happy successful young adults. I especially love the statement to raise your kids correctly now so you won't have to raise the kids kids! Amen. When I'm a grandma I want to be fun and not the legal guardian

Debbie Roberts from Greece on March 31, 2012:

Another good hub sholland10, I find that gentle sarcasm works very well when guiding my two teenagers. Giving a teen responsibility is also a good way of building trust. Rules, boundaries and consequences are the three things important for bringing up any child teenagers included.

Voted up and shared.

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on March 30, 2012:

This is a great hub for parents and I will be sending a link to my sister. She has a teenage daughter who became very nasty towards her and out of control. Her younger brother is very sick with Chrons desease, needs a lot of attention and care, and lots of time missed from school. So it was natural that her daughter was green eyed and thought she was missing out on the attention. I advised my sister to leave her son with a neighbour and take her daughter out for the day and spend some real quality time with her. Things are not right yet but they have improved somewhat. I am just sorry that she lives on the other side of the world so I can't be there to help out and have some influence on her daughter and pay her the attention she is missing..

I am ever so thankful that my own two have grown into loving responsible adults with no teenage problems except the odd broken heart.

Voting this up. I think many will find this hub very useful.

KathyH from Waukesha, Wisconsin on March 30, 2012:

GREAT advice! The teen years are even more challenging than the "terrible two's" I think! :) The teen years are when parents really CAN use helpful advice like this! Voted up and across! ;)

diogenes from UK and Mexico on March 30, 2012:

I am of the age which prefers my pets. I have grand kids but they live overseas and are all a long story!


Hady Chahine from Manhattan Beach on March 30, 2012:

The value of open lines of communication cannot be over stressed. And I appreciated the section on teaching “responsibility.” Nice hub.

Hady Chahine from Manhattan Beach on March 30, 2012:

The value of open lines of communication cannot be over stressed. And I appreciated the section on teaching “responsibility.” Nice hub.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on March 30, 2012:

First of course is let them know you love them. All else are the skills of parenting so well defined here. Nice Up, useful, interesting, awesome Hub.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 29, 2012:

ALUR, pre-teens are good at that. You just have let them know that you are standing strong and you know best. I have actually looked my kids in the eye and said, "I am the parent and you are the kid." My kids would back down when I did that because they knew they had pushed the wrong button. Patience is so important. They can say just the "right" thing. Those were the times I had to repeat in my head, "I am the adult." It is hard, though. Hang in there. :-)

ALUR from USA on March 29, 2012:

Good, practical insight. I have a pre-teen that is magnificent at using guilt and manipulation: I"m actually considering teaching a class about kids bullying their parents. I often write about my struggles. But steadfast determination has caused a better lifestyle and patience, patience patience!!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 29, 2012:

NYBride, my son was not nearly as moody as my daughter. She just turned 19, and we still can go head-to-head. She, like your girls, is a good girl, but very strong willed. I am not sure where she gets that from? ;-) Hang in there and make the memories count! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 29, 2012:

Thanks, Bill! It is true. I have so many grandparents who come in during parent/teacher conferences. Thanks for your kind words. :-)

Lisa Kroulik from North Dakota on March 29, 2012:

Great tips. I'd in the midst of it with my 15 1/2 year old daughter, who is basically a good kid, but whose mood issues drive me crazy. Then I've got her 12 1/2 year old sister coming up right behind her.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 29, 2012:

I love the last line the most. Great hub and right on! It was a challenge raising my son pretty much alone but we managed to stumble through it without too many major blow outs. You have great perspective here and your suggestions are oh so important.

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