Thursday, October 22, 2009

Good advice for parents of teens

I subscribe to an e-mail newsletter by Mark Gregston, who is an author, speaker, national radio host, and the founder of Heartlight, a residential counseling center in Texas for struggling adolescents. Yesterday, his most recent newsletter arrived in my e-mail inbox.

The subject of the newsletter was "Never Give Up Parenting a Difficult Teen." One paragraph of the newsletter especially screamed out to me, so I thought I'd share it here. I need to start following this great advice:

"It’s easy to be so overwhelmed by problems with your teen’s behavior that you fail to recognize any progress. Progress is not 'problem solved.' Progress means steady improvement. So, if your child is screaming at you every day, and then only yells at you once every other day – then that’s progress! Finishing some of his homework, when he previously did no homework, is progress. Effective parenting requires that you look at the big picture while focusing on just a few problems at a time; then applauding any progress, no matter how small. Refuse to make your teen’s lack of a complete turnaround to be your constant disappointment. Turnarounds rarely happen overnight. Instead, applaud every step in the right direction, even if it is a small one."

Pretty damn enlightening, if I do say so myself.

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