As mentioned in my previous blog, friends are the second largest influence in your teens’ lives. However, parents remain the No. 1 influence on decisions about underage drinking, leaving them with great responsibility to serve as a good role model for their teens.
Your teens’ environment at home affects their development and the way they think, process feelings and act towards others. Are you and your spouse/partner modeling positive behavior for your teens? Here are some tips to consider:
1. Be self-aware.
Be aware of your words and your actions. Regardless of age, your kids are always watching. When parents model positive decision-making and discuss potential consequences, teens learn about responsibility, self-awareness and reflection of their choices, which isn’t something that comes naturally at their age.
2. Communicate the importance of boundaries.
Share your boundaries with your teens, and explain the reasoning and thought process behind your decisions. Ask them questions involving classroom or social scenarios they have experienced to help them relate and learn to set their own boundaries.
3. Be firm in your decision-making.
When parents deliver consistent and firm decisions, you show teens a strong example of sticking to your word. Modeling strength gives your teens the confidence to make positive decisions and stand by them.
4. Respect others’ opinions.
Be respectful, and refrain from judging others’ opinions to show teens that it’s okay to have different viewpoints.
5. Be forgiving.
Even parents can be wrong from time to time. When you are, acknowledge it. Show your teen that a mistake is a chance to learn.
For more tips from Parent Coach MJ Corcoran, visit the Coaching portion of our website.
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