12 Most Important Tips From Teens to Parents of Teens

12 Most Important Tips From Teens to Parents of Teens

Today’s teenagers are inundated with more information than ever with computers, cell phones and twenty four hour cable. School shootings, teen suicide, pregnancy and drug usage are not just on MTV and the nightly news; they are a regular part of your children’s middle and high school experience as well. These issues are so prevalent today, it is more important than ever that we, as parents of teens, help our children to navigate, deal with an understand these issues.

I often sit down with my two teenage girls and talk through these issue, but I was left wanting more. So I asked them to share their thoughts on what parents of teens can do to improve “the teen years” within households across the country. This post is brought to you by @ShaylalaRose and @JustShaniEm, my fabulous fourteen and sixteen year old daughters.

1. Don’t use “don’t”

This will just make them want to do even more!

2. Let them do somethings on their own

Don’t always tell them what to do or how to schedule their time, give them the chance to learn for themselves.

3. Don’t try to act like you know everything that is going on

You don’t!

4. Bullying is different, it’s just not at school

With all the new technology like cell phones and computers, bullying can follow kids home. Please take it seriously if they bring it up.

5. Remember, if you bought the computer or cell phone, you have the right to check it

This goes without saying.

6. Please be considerate of teen’s privacy

Even though you can check, give them space.

7. Set & keep rules

Teens still need them and appreciate them. Even though they don’t act that way.

8. Maintain a bed time

Most teens do not get enough sleep. Yes, we do want to stay up and play on our electronics, but we appreciate you giving us a nudge in the right direction.

9. Don’t Urban Dictionary everything

There’s some stuff you just don’t need to know. And please don’t try to use the words in conversation, it just doesn’t work. Remember how awkward it was when your parents used slang?

10. If aren’t comfortable, please do not let your teen go to that friend’s house

Chances are, they aren’t comfortable either and are just trying to fit it. Saying no is okay.

11. Most kids first drink comes from their parents liquor cabinet

Please lock it as well as be careful with prescription drugs. Google pharming, don’t Urban Dictionary it! It might not be that your kids are the problem, it could be their friends.

12. Openly discuss sex, drugs and alcohol

This should not be a one time conversation but an ongoing dialogue between parents and their teens. We need you to be open so that we can talk to you.

Remember, you were a teen once too, no matter how long ago that was! 😛

Note from @pegfitzpatrick: I am one proud mama!!
Featured image courtesy of Pikaluk licensed via creative commons.
Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

Peg Fitzpatrick

http://pegfitzpatrick.com

Peg Fitzpatrick is co-Editor-in-Chief of 12 Most . She's co-author of the best-selling book, The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users co-authored with Guy Kawasaki. Peg works with global brands and leaders in the social media sphere every day. She's spearheaded successful social-media campaigns for Motorola, Audi, Google, and Virgin as well as having been a brand ambassador for Kimpton Hotels. All about being positive and connecting, she is a true social butterfly. Tweet her and say hi at @pegfitzpatrick, find her Stumbling on StumbleUpon, rocking Google+ here Google or happily pinning on Pinterest.

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39 comments
JodiOkun
JodiOkun

First off love Shaniqua..she was our nav lady voice in the car (we named her). "one of those teen weeks"..best advice ..breath and yes find humor when possible... but you know that already. You are a great mom!!

JodiOkun
JodiOkun

I love this so much..my have of the 12 Most are #10, #5, #12, #1 forget it I love them all. Great post Peggy. Your girls rock!

profkrg
profkrg

I love that you asked your girls about this. As you know, my daughter is 10. We are moving into a time of increased independence. It's difficult for me because I want to give her space, but I also want to make sure she doesn't feel alone or isn't harmed. This balance is rough.

I was wondering if your girls might provide some more input on "the right to check" and "maintaining privacy." My daughter isn't a big texter, but a lot of her friends are. I don't want to be invasive of her privacy, but I also find benefit in knowing what's going on. Our nephew also spends a lot of time randomly watching things on YouTube. My kids have picked up this fun practice. Mostly they watch music videos and things like the little boy after he went to the dentist (you know what I'm talking about, right?), but I worry about them randomly searching videos. Who knows what they might find!

Ask your kids to help me! Please!!!!

Thanks for the great post! I love your approach on this one.

Latest blog post: 12 Most Booty Shakin’ Songs

CynthiaKSeymour
CynthiaKSeymour

@PegFitzpatrick @PegFitzpatrick Your teenage girls really have some great points... Parents need to be aware and still provide strong guidelines and boundaries.

alisonlewis
alisonlewis

Great post from a mom with 3 kids and one teen

DixieLil
DixieLil

@PegFitzpatrick Very valid pointers! As a parent of a teen daughter, I'd like to add, #13 - Don't try to be you're teen's best friend; stick to being a parent! @

danenow
danenow

#9 "Dont Urban Dictionary everything" was a real eye-opener for me, but it made perfect sense.

There's no point in trying to appear in-the-know with young people because even if you are, that's not how they want to see you. They need us to be who we really are so that we can model authenticity and strength.

So to all of my friends and relatives who happen to be teenagers: I will no longer try to speak in slang. Out of respect for myself, and for you!

thedomesticexec
thedomesticexec

Fabulous Post Peggy!! Thanks for the reminders!! Love it!!

ShellyLove2002
ShellyLove2002

Great list! My lil guy will be a preteen soon so this helps....

dabarlow
dabarlow

Great post Peg!!! I don't have teenagers,but reflect back on my teen years. It's a different world & some still the same. Will pass on to friends that have preteen & teenagers. Thank You

sydcon_mktg
sydcon_mktg

Great list! I have a soon to be 13 year old daughter! We have covered most things on the list! We check email, texts & facebook page! Its a much different world for her than when I was 13!

TobeyDeys
TobeyDeys

This is superb, Peg! #12? Start that early ~ no shame no blame no taboo and they WILL come to you for help when they need it. I'm blessed to have two amazing, bright, open & loving kids who have rocked my world since day one. I like to think I rock theirs a little, too ;)

Open honest loving people make great parents - you are living proof, Peg. Luv this & u!

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV

Love it! as a parent of a nearly 10 year old daughter I'm starting to think about these things all of the time. Sometimes we forget what our teenage years were like.

A lot of good advice here.

Thanks for dropping by!

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@JodiOkun Thanks Jodi! I am having one of those teen weeks to, ya know the ones! One daughter has decided that she doesn't want to be mentioned on social media and would like Facebook photo approval. I am making up an alternate name for her, like Shaniqua. Best to keep the sense of humor at all times, right? :D

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@profkrg Kenna - my girls text A LOT and they meant that parents should have the right to check the phone when they want to. Being aware of what kids are texting is important, seriously you would not believe what some kids are texting. <asking for photos etc> Keep an open dialog with your daughter.

And yes they can find random bad things on the internet, I used to check the browser history when they were younger. Just to make sure what was being viewed.

Seriously, let me know if you have more questions and I will ask my girls. They are really good kids and speak from the heart.

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@alisonlewis Hello Alison! Thanks for reading my post. I hope that my girls had some thoughts that will help you navigate through the middle school and high school years. I wish you luck and joy with your family.

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@DixieLil Another very valid point! It is a very delicate balance to be a parent of teens. They will get mad at you but it is important to be firm and loving.

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@danenow Thanks for the comments Dane! The girls did preface this by saying that if you are cool and use them appropriately, that it is fine. But their points on not trying to fit in with them by using them were very valid. They made a great shirt for their Dad for Christmas with all text lingo on it and then translated it for him. It was great!

Always appreciate your thoughtful comments Dane!

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@thedomesticexec Thanks so much Michelle! As you know being a mom is a great gift and can be a very big challenge. Appreciate your support. <3

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@ShellyLove2002 I hope it does help! My girls worked really hard on coming up with things that they thought would help parents and teens. Thanks so much!

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@dabarlow Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, it is a very different world for teens today!

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@sydcon_mktg I am so happy that you already have open communication with your daughter. I was quite surprised that they said some of the things they that did, it was a great bonding time for us working on it.

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@TobeyDeys Aww thanks Tobey! Being a mom is the biggest gift ever. I love it.

Love being able to share and discuss things with you Tobey!

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@danielnewmanUV I was really proud of what they thought was important to tell parents. They are pretty smart kids!

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@danielnewmanUV I appreciate that very much. Parenting changes over time even from day to day. There is no rule book or list or do's and dont's. As a parent, I worry about the decisions that I made but I have to trust that I thought them through and did the best that I could.

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV

@PegFitzpatrick I can't even put into words how great this post is. It is epic for the mom's and dad's out there.

These things are all so true!!

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