Real Talk     Home and Family     K-12     Health Guide    

Top tips for parenting teens



Parenting expert offers her best advice on surviving life with teenagers

Top tips for parenting teens

Parenting a teenager can be an uphill battle. In addition to the problems you may have faced in your youth, a new host of issues are presented by texting, sexting, social media and cyberbullying, point out experts.

“Say the right thing and you’ll open up lines of communication. Say the wrong thing and it could lead to a fight or silent treatment,” says Joani Geltman, child development and parenting expert and author of “A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens: Talking to Your Kids About Sexting, Drinking, Drugs, and Other Things That Freak You Out.”


Geltman offers her “Top Ten Parenting Tips.”

• Encourage teens to think independently. Restrain yourself from being chief problem solver, so they can make good choices even when you’re not around.

• Try not to ask a zillion questions. You won't get the answers you want anyway. Engage them in a conversation on a neutral topic before you start the interrogation.

• Refrain from going on the "lecture circuit." Model what it means to be a good person so you don't need to tell them. They will "get it."


• As uncomfortable as it may be, you have to talk about sex. Do it with honesty, and understanding, not judgment. Talk about your own experiences when you were a teen, especially those moments of which you are the least proud so that they will feel freer to share their questions and worries.

• When it comes to alcohol and drugs, make your house safe. Again, have honest discussions, sans judgment. Help them to anticipate new situations and problem solve about ways to stay safe.

• Don’t rule with an iron fist. This may have worked when the kids were younger, but teens need to be part of the rule making. Most kids are actually pretty reasonable when given the opportunity to have some control.


• With their input, set limits with phones, computers and video games. Just like you let them eat only a few pieces of Halloween candy a night when they were younger, you need to see these devices in the same way.

• Express your appreciation and pride in your teens. Not for the good test scores or grades necessarily, but for moments of kindness and hard work. There’s nothing more important than an out of the blue "you're a good kid, and maybe I don't tell you that enough."

• Find some fun with your teen. Hang out, watch TV, order pizza, go to the driving range, play a video game, listen to music, go get manis and pedis, bake a cake, take the dog for a walk, go shopping -- anything that may give you a moment, maybe just a moment, of sweetness with your kid.

When it comes to teenagers, the stakes can be high, with scary, emotional and even legal consequences. By being open and receptive, you can help navigate these treacherous waters.

Article courtesy of State Point



More Real Talk


  • USC quarterback Caleb Williams support young adults' mental health

    The athlete teams up with national "Seize the Awkward" Campaign

    In Collaboration with the Ad Council, AFSP, The Jed Foundation, Caleb Cares Foundation & USC, a new student-produced Public Service Advertisement encourages young adults to check in on their friends. read more »
  • "I Have The Right To" launches nationwide pledge

    Offering support to students and survivors of sexual assault

    In an exciting announcement and a first for the celebrated organization, I Have The Right To launches a nationwide pledge to ensure all students receive an education free from sexual assault. read more »
  • Proper medication use can help tobacco users overcome nicotine addiction

    The New York State Smokers' Quitline can help you kick the habit

    The New York State Smokers' Quitline (Quitline) reminds New York State residents that cigarettes and vape products are highly addictive. read more »
  • Weeklong FAIR Film Festival 2022

    The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) Hosts a Film Screening Plus Q&A

    The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) will kick off the FAIR Film Festival 2022 with an in-person screening of the documentary film I Am A Victor plus a selection of short films on Sunday, June 12 at 1:00pm EDT at Caveat on the lower east side in Manhattan. read more »
  • Resources for LGBTQ youth

    Positive online places for your child

    LGBTQ youth are more likely to be bullied and harm themselves because of it. read more »
  • How to prevent cyberbullying with technology

    Who is at risk and what you can do

    Cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent among children and teens, as young people now spend more time on phones, computers and digital devices. About 6 in 10 teens have been bullied or harassed online, according to Pew Research Center. read more »
  • Teenage Period Cramps

    How much pain alerts to medical conditions?

    More often than not prevailing period stigma holds adolescents back from expressing concerns about severe menstrual pains. Experts say that debilitating cramps are not normal and might be caused by underlying medical problems like endometriosis. read more »
  • Mother Shares Her Journey with Heroin-Addicted Daughter

    Read the gripping new book about this family

    September is National Recovery Month and one mom has shared her journey with her daughter struggling with addiction. read more »
  • Learn How to Help Your Struggling Adolescents Navigate Change and Overcome Anxiety

    Parenting expert Erica Komisar has a new book that can assist you

    Adolescence is a notoriously complicated time for kids as well as their parents. Plus, the epidemic of mental health disorders in young people has made parenting today even more challenging. But it’s not too late. Parents of adolescents can still have a profound impact on the health and well-being of their children. read more »
  • How to help high-achieving students manage stress

    Tips and insight for parents

    School administrators at Howard County Public Schools (HCPS) in Maryland were surprised to learn that high-achieving students wanted to get rid of class rank—a measure of student success that weighs higher-level classes differently when calculating grade point average. The class ranking system created an unnecessary burden, students said, and discouraged them from taking the classes they really wanted. read more »