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Keys to Parenting Teenagers

Would you like some help with parenting your teen-ager? As a Marriage, Family Therapist for 27 years, I noticed that parents were having similar problems with their children during their teen-years. I realized that the children and parents often talked about their frustrations and did not know how to express what they wanted. The following poems that I made into posters are designed to help the fathers and mothers (or guardians) and children communicate in a positive, constructive way.

You can use these poems to connect with your teen-ager, and make win-win agreements that can help you be the successful parent you want to be. "As I Grow Up" is what your teen-ager may want to say to you. "Dear Teen-ager" is what you may want to say to your child.

I suggest that you ask your son or daughter to check off what he or she wants to say to you, and you check off what you want to say to your child. Then switch papers, and each of you take turns reading off what the other person wants to say to you. Finally make agreements of what you are both willing to do. This process can greatly improve your parent-child relationship. AS I GROW UP Please. Treat me more as a friend and less as a child.

That helps me feel like an equal and encourages me to act more mature. Problem-solve with me appropriate boundaries and guidelines. That will help me know you care and keep my agreements.

Understand that I may need to spend a lot of time with my friends. I learn important social skills with my peers. Be guided by my level of maturity. Then you can clearly see who I am and make the appropriate decisions. Realize that times have changed. Then you'll base your opinions on the present and not the past.

Forgive me when I make mistakes. That will help me learn how to forgive myself and others. Teach me how to be responsible with money.

Then I can learn how to be financially independent. Accept that my values may be different than yours. That will help me feel okay and respect our differences. Encourage me to keep my room safe but allow me my private space. Then I can learn how to honor your space and privacy. Remember that I always need your love and support.

That helps me love myself, feel secure, and make the right decisions. Thank you for preparing me for life. I love you! DEAR TEEN-AGER Please . . . Be patient with me.

I am human and sometimes I make mistakes. Tell me where you are going and when you will return. Then I'll know that you're safe. Keep your agreements and be responsible. Then I'll be open to allowing you more freedom. Compliment and appreciate me.

That will help me know you realize and value all that I do. Know that I care about your health and safety and that I am legally responsible for you until you are 18 years old. Then you'll understand why I may sometimes insist you do things a certain way. Accept me the way I am. I may be different from you or other adults, and I'm okay. Understand that I may also be going through changes.

Sometimes I may need you to be there for me. Pay attention to me and spend time with me. That will help me feel as important to you as you are to me. Know that you are okay no matter how I feel and what I do. I'm responsible for all of my feelings and actions.

Be positive and realize that you are responsible for your decisions. That will help you make wise choices and be happy, healthy and successful. Thank you for hearing me. I love you!.

2007 Helene Rothschild, MS, MA, MFT, is a Marriage, Family Therapist, intuitive counselor, speaker, and author. The article is excerpts from her new book, "ALL YOU NEED IS HART!" She offers phone sessions, teleclasses, books, e-books, MP3 audios, tapes, posters, independent studies, and a free newsletter. http://www.lovetopeace.com , 1-888-639-6390.

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