When teenagers stay out past their curfew, they’re doing the same thing.
Janet Elders, a high school guidance counselor from Cincinnati, Ohio, says that teenagers need to know they can affect their own lives and their own behavior. “Young people tend to view adults as people who take away their ability to influence and control their lives,” she says.
And while teenagers still need rules, they also need to feel that they have some ability to affect their life.
Here are some ways to help your teen feel she has more influence over her life:
- Whenever possible, allow your teen to make her own decisions.
- When you have given your teen a chore, suggest a wide time frame for completing it. Then let her decide exactly when she’ll do the chore. “We need the laundry folded before bedtime tonight. Will you see that it’s finished by then?”
- Ask your teen for an opinion concerning some family decision, such as meal planning or making a purchase.
- If possible, encourage your teen to redecorate or paint her room so it’s the ways she wants.
- Put your teenager in charge of planning the next family birthday celebration.
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