what teens need from dad, part 3

What Teens Need from Dads, part 3

Over the past two weeks, we’ve been talking about some of the many things teens need from their dad (and/or mom). While this is the conclusion of our series, in reality, there’s no end to what our children need from us—or to how many times you might have to satisfy what looks like the same need. As you know (or soon will), a 13-year-old is a very different from a 17-year-old, and the approach that works perfectly with one might flop with the other.  

  • Set clear, reasonable expectations and limits. Some activities (drugs, alcohol, R-rated movies) may not be acceptable in your home at all. Others, such as doing her own laundry, time spent with friends, screen time, and curfew, may be negotiable. If you don’t set limits, your child will go to her friends for support. The problem with that is that in most cases, those friends don’t know any more than she does. But because teens share a certain herd mentality with sheep, she’s likely to go along with what “everyone else” seems to be doing. Get her involved in coming up with the rules and setting the consequences. You enforce them.
  • Give responsibility and encourage independence. This can mean everything from letting your teen babysit for younger siblings or neighborhood kids to letting him drive your car or helping investigate and plan overseas trips. Let him make his own decisions (within reason) and don’t bail him out unless you really need to. Teens, like the rest of us, learn a lot from making mistakes.

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Photo by Sam Headland on Unsplash

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, mrdad.com. You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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