Parenting a teen is a lot like parenting a toddler in some ways. The developmental stage is all about moving toward independence, not always gracefully or responsibly.
We can’t change our child’s basic personality, and the outside environment has a profound effect, from peers to school to media. But how we parent makes the critical difference in how our teen acts, from how rebellious he is to whether she throws emotional tantrums, from whether he gets enough sleep to how studious she is.
If we can manage our own emotions, extend respect, offer appropriate freedom, and maintain intimacy and communication — a tall order for most parents — we can be pleasantly surprised by how rewarding the teen years can be. The rewards are huge, as we watch our child transform and blossom in front of our eyes.
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