Parenting Your Teenager: 3 More Dangerous Myths

MYTH: If you have not parented as well as you would have liked up until now, it's too late to try anything different.

REALITY: This is one of those seductive little lies that sounds so close to the truth.

But it's not.

Even if you gave up being in charge of your kids long ago, it's still not too late to parent in a different way.

They won't like it at first, but you don't need their permission, and you never did.

You can, over time, get their cooperation.

MYTH: Parents must be in control at all times.

REALITY: Well, yes and no.

If you are asking me if parents need to be in charge of the family at all times, then absolutely yes.

If you are asking me do parents need to control everything a teen-ager does, then absolutely no.

As we put them in charge of more and more areas, we are giving them enough rope, not to hang themselves, but to grow. If they demonstrate they can be in charge in a certain area, then they can have that one.

MYTH: Teen-agers are really just little adults who need their parents hardly at all.

REALITY: Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Teens, though trying on for size some of the responsibilities of the adult world, are really children who are still developing. They need us as parents to guide them through and around the traps of adolescence and young adulthood.

I saw a powerful illustration of this notion at a conference several years ago. The presenters placed several open bear traps at various places on the stage. A blind-folded teen-ager was placed on one side of the stage, his dad on the other.

The kid was to walk across the stage to his father, who represented adulthood. He made a move to take a step, and the father yelled, "Stop!" The father then walked over to the son, took off the blindfold and guided his son through the traps into "adulthood."

Now that's parenting a teen.

Leading parenting expert Jeff Herring is a teen and family therapist, parenting coach, speaker and syndicated parenting and relationship columnist. Jeff invites you to visit ParentingYourTeenager.com for 100's of tips and tools for parenting through the teenage years. You can also subscribe to his free weekly internet newsletter "ParentingYourTeenager."

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


How to Cope With Colic

When my oldest daughter was born, I walked the floor... Read More

Guide To Choosing Educational Toys For Children

In the last few years, parents started getting more and... Read More

The Disadvantages of Home Schooling

"Home Schooling ? Look Before You Leap"Are you considering home... Read More

Twin and Multiple Births are on the Rise

Did you know that the number of twin births have... Read More

Parents of Teens: Do You Ever Ask WHY is she so MEAN to me?

Do you ever wonder what is behind the occasional nasty... Read More

Understanding A Childs Beliefs, Nuturing Young Beliefs

Children are moral and make moral determinations... at least until... Read More

Go Ahead - Make Dads Day

Throughout the year, many days of celebration are tucked capriciously... Read More

Birth of a Parent

So you're pregnant. Congratulations! Your life is about to change... Read More

From Childrens Stories to Study Skills: Help Your Children Succeed in School

IntroductionAs a parent who wants the best for your children,... Read More

How To Develop Your Babys Brain

Have you ever wondered why toys for babies tend to... Read More

Reclaiming Her Identity: A Mothers Diary

After giving up my profession to become a wife, a... Read More

Games Of The Past Meet The Present

Recently, our family had the opportunity to care for sisters'... Read More

What is Hyperactivity in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Most of the ADHD kids that are seen in a... Read More

Picky Eaters - Successful Strategies Part 1

What is in a name?The answer is everything!Jo J. of... Read More

When Kids Hurt Parents

The cruel callous remarks made by our offspring can sometimes... Read More

How to Set Healthy Limits at Work

Back in college, I wrote for a five-day-a-week, award-winning campus... Read More

Dyslexia: Is the Shoe Perhaps on the Wrong Foot?

Reading is the most important skill that a child must... Read More

Finding Answers to Underachievement

Finding answers to a child's underachievement is often a difficult... Read More

Teaching Kids the Value of Money

My husband and I have a 12-year-old daughter who wanted... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: The Teenager and the Gorilla

Q: A parent writes in to ask, "You write a... Read More

A Mothers Love

Once upon a time there was a beautiful bird whose... Read More

Why Wont My Teens Clean Their Room?

Have you ever had this struggle with your teens? Did... Read More

Mommies and Me Special Time

Creating and making special memories with your child is very... Read More

Vision: 20/20 Is Not Enough!

Now is an excellent time to have your child's vision... Read More

Finding A Caregiver You Can Trust

Choosing to leave your child with a caregiver is one... Read More

Anorexia Nervosa Alert - is Your Daughter Dying To Be Thin?

Anorexia nervosa is a serious medical disorder that is statistically... Read More

Teenagers and Trouble - How Parents Can Keep their Teens Out of Trouble

Teenagers are a work-in-progress, and parenting teenagers can be tricky... Read More

Mom vs. Dad: Navigating Parenting Differences With All Good Intentions

Let's face it: raising children can be quite the adventure.... Read More

The Better Behavior Wheel - A New Kind of Calm in the Family

There's a new kind of fun and calm out there... Read More

What is Child Sexual Abuse?

What is child sexual abuse? Any sexual activity that is... Read More

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What is Impulsivity?

Impulsivity is one of the hallmarks of people with Attention... Read More

Diana, Princess of Whales

Younger generations unfortunately will not understand how larger than life... Read More

Parenting Skills - Five Ways To Turbo-Boost Your Confidence

The 'phone conversation had nothing at all to do with... Read More