Your relationship with your child matters. You are important, and they do hear you even if they don’t seem to be listening. Talk with them early and often. But don’t just talk.  Be a good listener too.  You are the number one influence in their life so use that to your advantage! Get to know your child’s circle of friends and the parents of your child’s friends. Remember this old but wise saying:  “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

Family Dynamics

The change in the makeup of the American family brings with it significant parenting implications. One out of every four children live with only their mother. The rise of single-parent households and “breadwinner moms” places new pressures on both teens and parents.

And no matter what your family looks like, quality family time can be hard to find. Perhaps the more we fall apart, the more we need to pull together as a community.

23% Of families in America are single parent families with children under the age of 18.

Dating

No area of a teen’s life is more exciting and confusing than dating. Along with raging hormones, teens may seem doomed because the rational decision making functions of their brain haven’t fully developed yet, and the emotional sensation seeking functions are on overload. Throw in the need for companionship and you have a mixture known as the teenage dating scene.

As a parent, you may want to focus only on rules and what you don’t want your teen to do while dating, but it is much more important to be a source of guidance and encouragement. And when your child faces the inevitable setbacks and heartbreaks of teen relationships, be there to love, support and even forgive, and then help them move forward.

Sexual Activity

It can be easy for our kids to give into temptation and engage in sexual activity. The decision to abstain is no small feat. It takes maturity, forethought and dedication. Abstinence is a powerful statement to make, so it’s important for you to be there to support your teen.

A common misconception that parents often feel is, “I can’t tell my teen to practice abstinence because I didn’t wait myself.” This is not the case – you can absolutely talk to your teen! Every teen/parent relationship is unique, and maybe admitting your failures will start a larger conversation. When you choose to have this type of conversation, give thought to your response ahead of time, and be mindful of your teen’s age and maturity level.

88% Of teens say it would be easier to postpone sex if they had honest conversations with their parents about it.