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Parenting Teens

Peer Pressure
Political Process and Teens
Positive Attitude
Put A Ring In It!
Racism
R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Respectful Communications
Ring-A-Ding-Ding
Risky Business
Sharing Cultural Heritage
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Single Parenting Teen
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Social Life and Teens
Suicide and Your Teen
Teen Depression
Teen Volunteerism
Teen's First Car
Teen's Hygiene
Teens and Body Image
Teens and Death
The Bully Pulpit
Up In Smoke
Victory or Defeat
What's Eating Her...
Why Don't I Understand...
You Are What You Eat

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Yackity-Yack, Don't Talk Back:  Keeping Communication Respectful

One of the most difficult aspects of raising teens is communication.  So often they hide behind a wall of silence for days before exploding with a barrage of language couched in such disrespectful words and tones that we wished they had never learned to talk.

In Men in Black, Will Smith had a great line:  "Don't start nothin, won't be nothin."  This is a good thing to remember when talking to your teens.  Treat them with respect and there is a good chance they will return the favor.  But remember, they owe you respect for you position as their parent.  You do not have to earn it; you deserve it just for showing up.

The same applies to profanity.  While you can't necessarily talk a blue streak around your kids and not have your own words come back to haunt you, even if you do occasionally curse, that does not necessarily give them the right to.  Like drinking and sex, cursing is adult behavior and not the purview of children.  At the same time, it does no one any good for you too lay awake at night and wonder what they are saying when you are not around.  So try laying down some simple ground rules that you can enforce: no cursing where you or anyone significantly older or younger than they are can hear it.

Finally, learn to take time to listen to what your teens says the first time he says it.  Sometimes teens get loud and mouthy because they are trying to make an important point but don't yet have the skills to do so in a civilized manner.  If you are sincerely listening, there is less chance that he will feel the need to resort to disrespect to get you attention.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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