Tips to Parents with Teens: Bridges to Adolescence
- Build a communication bridge with each child. Quietly develop an interest in some topic that your child is passionate about, learn the details, and keep up with what is new. Choose something that you can both relax and enjoy talking about, even in times of stress. Keep that topic free from any argument or nagging - a safe zone. And build a setting for conversation into the routine - family breakfast or family dinner can be a great conversation anchor. If you haven't learned to be an agile texter, it's a good time to start.
- Build bridges to great peers. In middle school and high school, perhaps the greatest predictor of their behavior is the expectations of their friends and peers. Friendships are forged in shared experiences. Go out of your way to facilitate shared experiences for your children with the friends that bring out the best in them. These last few intense chauffeuring years, where you are a major source of transportation, are a real opportunity.
- Build bridges to their dreams. Listen for their aspirations, both short- and long-term. Encourage them to dream. Find ways for them to try the dreams on - connect them with people, experiences, opportunities, books, movies to support their dreams. And don't mind at all when the dreams change dramatically, and it's time for them to explore something else.
- Build bridges to memories. Think back on some of your favorite childhood family memories. This is a great time to create some for your own family, when your children are old enough to appreciate and remember them, and young enough that they are not pulled in as many directions as they may be soon. Use photos, videos, and stories to keep those great memories present.
- Family traditions are important. When kids are entering into middle school, it's a good time to re-think your traditions in light of what will work when they are in the busy high school years, when they move away to college, or when they out on their own.
About Dr. Greene:
As a father of four himself, Dr. Greene has devoted himself to freely giving real answers to parents' real questions -- from questions about those all too common childhood conditions to those that address the most rare childhood illnesses. His answers combine cutting edge science, practical wisdom, warm empathy, and a deep respect for parents, children, and the environment. He is also an electrifying public speaker, and has personally touched many during his talks in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. >> More