There are four important keys to getting the best from your teens.
BECOME A ROCK SOLID FAMILY
Present a united family front built on strong family values. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and model the expectations you require of your kids.
DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN GREAT COMMUNICATIONS
Nurture a strong two-way connection with your kids. Spend time with each individual child so they feel they can talk to you about their stuff - good and bad. Teach them to make wise choices and be proactive in preparing them for the many situations that might present in their teens.
BE INVOLVED IN YOUR KIDS' LIVES
You can't be encouraging if you don't really know what makes your kids 'tick', floats their boat, or gets them excited. When they find what they are really good at they will pursue it with your encouragement and involvement. When they are experiencing success, they will be much less likely to be led down a potentially destructive path. Keep them busy. Get them outdoors in the fresh air. Less time staring at their hand-held devices and more in using their energy and their brains, makes for a much healthier lifestyle and outlook on life.
EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM YOUR TEENS
Kids are much more inclined to do great things when YOU do. They see your excitement at achieving high goals and they naturally want to experience that same kind of satisfaction for themselves. Life is not over at 40, 50 or 60. If we learn how to set and reach goals for ourselves, we can pass on the same skills to our kids.
Speaking from personal experience, I can honestly say, I have achieved far greater heights than I would have ever dreamed possible. This opened the eyes of our children who, in turn, have discovered their strong points and their purpose, and are also flying high with excitement for theirs and their children's futures.
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Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families