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Summary of Question:Dealing With Teenagers 16-18
Date Posted:Tuesday, 11/09/2010 11:37 AM MST


A friend at work sent me to your website and is Sikh.
I wanted to know what your thoughts are to dealing with attitudes of teenagers? I have a son (17) and daughter (16) and it's very hard and stressfull for me to handle.
I feel like we spoil them and they show no respect or gratitude towards us.
Try to be there for them or at least be friends with them and I get the feeling I'm not needed.
Thank you

<<<<< REPLY >>>>>

Steve - By the time your kids are this age their attitudes towards their parents are pretty well-formed already. The sense of 'entitlement' you describe is normal in this generation. The real question is, what's been happening in your relationship with them during the last 17 years? It takes consistancy and consciousness to build trust over many years, and, for fathers, this has to start when the kids are about 3-4 years old and be steady from there. There is a lot of "silent" communication that goes on, especially in families - body language, tones of voice, etc. Awareness of the children's world and what it comprised of, free from your own frame of reference, is not easy to do and one must train oneself to do that. Your kids look to you for steadiness, consistancy, calmness and protection.

Remember the definition of a parent: a parent is the one who pays the rent.


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