- Accept the uniqueness of each of your teens.
- Be willing to admit your own mistakes and ask for forgiveness if you have hurt your teen.
- Spend time with each teen; play with them, get to know their likes and dislikes.
- Help them when you are asked but don't take over! Give them space to develop their own gifts.
- Affirm them, focus on their good qualities, praise them for effort and work well done.
- Teach them to be truthful.
- Set realistic boundaries and rules, but be flexible.
- Be consistent with your boundaries and rules (this is not always easy but it is important)
- Be authentic, be real! Kids can tell right away if we are phonies.
- Teach them to be responsible for their own things like jobs, money and school work.
- Love them unconditionally; be patient, kind, accepting of who they are as people; separate who they are from what they do.
- MODEL, MODEL, MODEL what you preach and teach. For example, don't tell them to tell the truth and then ask them to lie for you on the phone.
(From: Karyn Gordon's Guide to the Teen Years, HarperCollins, 2008, p57)