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Never discourage them from speaking their minds....

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This is one of the most challenging times of your teen’s life. A myriad of things that go on daily, you as a parent are struggling with the delicate balance of them going from older teen to a young adult. How you react to them is honestly how they are going to react in the world. So much of you is in-grained into them, so you as a parent have to be aware of how you listen and react to them expressing how they feel. Below are some tips to let them express what they are feeling:

• Let them vent
You know when you are going through a situation and you call your best friend, mentor or loved one so you can get “it” off your chest? Well, you have to do the same for them. It builds trust on a higher level for your teen, and you can see what they are feeling and offer possibly the next steps for them to move forward.

• Never minimize the situation
To them this is a disaster they cannot see a way out of. You know those situations that are mountains that we cannot see through? This is what they are feeling, don’t minimize it but let them feel their feelings but offer options. Let them know of their options and set forth a plan and goals on getting there.

• Sarcasm
Do I really need to go deep into this? Let’s just say it’s the WORST thing you can do/say them when they are in a vulnerable state like this.

• Support their ideas
Yes, support their ideas but if they are too outrageous, try to reel them in a bit to make sure they go off on the right track. Remind them of what the overall outcome is and how it will benefit them in staying on the course to the end.

Your goal as a parent is to raise them to adulthood, to be a law abiding citizen. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen eventually. If you personally don’t like how you react to situations, change it! Implement those changes on a daily basis…you know that your teen watches EVERYTHING you do.

Go forth and prosper!

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