Monday, December 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: Parenting 2009 Wrap-up (Part 2)

Parenting is always a priority. 2009 has been filled with stories of cyberbullying, sexting, school violence and more. Of course we also have to look at the positive, teen volunteering increased and more teens and parents are taking the time to learn about college applications.

6. Encourage your teen to get a job or volunteer: In today's generation I think we need to instill responsibility and accountability. This can start early by encouraging your teen to either get a job or volunteer, especially during the summer. Again, it is about keeping them busy, however at the same time teaching them responsibility. I always tell parents to try to encourage their teens to get jobs at Summer Camps, Nursing Homes, ASPCA, Humane Society or places where they are giving to others or helping animals. It can truly build self esteem to help others.

7. Make Time for your Child: This sounds very simple and almost obvious, but with today's busy schedule of usually both parents working full time or single parent households, it is important to put time aside weekly (if not daily at dinner) for one on one time or family time. Today life is all about electronics (cell phones, Ipods, Blackberry's, computers, etc) that the personal touch of actually being together has diminished.

8. When Safety trumps privacy: If you suspect your teen is using drugs, or other suspicious behaviors (lying, defiance, disrespectful, etc) it is time to start asking questions - and even "snooping" - I know there are two sides to this coin, and that is why I specifically mentioned "if you suspect" things are not right - in these cases - safety for your child takes precedence over invading their privacy. Remember - we are the parent and we are accountable and responsible for our child.

9. Are you considering outside treatment for your child? Residential Therapy is a huge step, and not a step that is taken lightly. Do your homework! When your child's behavior escalates to a level of belligerence, defiance, substance abuse or God forbid gang relations - it may be time to seek outside help. Don't be ashamed of this - put your child's future first and take steps to get the help he/she needs - immediately, but take your time to find the right placement. Read Wit's End! for more information. Take a moment to read a recent News Articles from the Miami Herald on Wit's End and Sun-Sentinel - Rescuing Your Troubled Teens.

10. Be a parent FIRST: There are parents that want to be their child's friend and that is great - but remember you are a parent first. Set boundaries - believe it not kids want limits (and most importantly - need them). Never threaten consequences you don't plan on following through with.

Did you miss the first five reminders? Go Back. <<<<<
Parenting 2010 - Five Part Series that will help you become more computer savvy to further protect your kids while they surf online.

Do you have an at-risk teen? Visit

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