Too many parents fall into the terrible trap of believing that their teens no longer need them. Because their young teenagers act mortified by kisses, hugs, questions about their day, and other parental acts of love, they conclude that it’s time for hands-off parenting. Nothing is further from the truth.
Wise, caring parents understand that it’s their teenager’s job to test limits and to act annoyed by loving parental involvement in their lives. Wise parents also understand that it’s critical to stay heavily involved with their teens–despite all their complaining.
As a teen, I experienced Love and Logic parenting—and it literally saved my life. Many of my friends’ parents were distancing themselves from their teens, allowing them to run amok. Others were clamping down like full-fledged dictators. Both groups created kids who didn’t have a clue how to think and make safe decisions. That’s why we lost a few of them to traffic- and drug-related deaths before they graduated from high school.
Hug your teens, but not in front of their friends. Do your very best to meddle in their lives so that you know where they are and who they are with. Set plenty of limits but let them make as many decisions as possible. In this way, you’ll save your relationship as well as their lives.
Creating a family based on empathy and respect is crucial for helping teens learn how to make responsible decisions. One of the keys involves allowing our teens to make as many decisions as possible, as long as those decisions don’t have life and death consequences.
Thanks for reading!