Parenting Teenagers from 11 through 17 – By: Larry Lawton

Parenting a teenager can be one of the most frustrating times of a parents’ life.  You wait up at night worried about who your son or daughter is hanging around with, will they come home on time and an assortment of other worries.  You see changes in their appearance, attitude, and demeanor and wonder if this is my kid. 

Parenting a teenager can also be one of the most rewarding times as well.  You see your son or daughter growing into a mature responsible adult, form their own opinions, get their own identity and a number of other adult things.

Let’s start with your worries.  When your son or daughter starts making choices that are troubling to you, you’re not alone.  Most teenagers at a certain age start experimenting and stretching the boundaries you set.  You’ve set many boundaries when they were young and now they are developing into a person who makes their own choices. 

This is a great time to become that teacher you really are.  All teenagers know right from wrong.  What they sometimes don’t understand is the consequences of their choices and actions.  Here is where you come in. 

Keeping an open dialogue is the key.  Once a teenager feels there is no use in talking with you because you will fly off the handle, give an unjust punishment, or simply give no explanation at all, you will lose the most valuable asset you have.  The ability to communicate with your son or daughter. 

Teenagers want answers, they are testing boundaries, seeing what works and doesn’t work.  They are finding who they are.  Explaining an action or choice your teenager made and truly having him or her understand your explanation is the key.  Not just saying NO, you can’t do that. 

Saying NO might have worked when a child was 5 or 6, but when a teenager is trying to figure out their identity, sexuality, future and a number of other things, they need an educator, not a yes or no person. They deserve an explanation. 

That doesn’t mean you don’t set boundaries, rules, and a number of other things.  All it means is that they are growing up and want answers and explanations.

Parents’ are human beings and it’s not easy to juggle work, family, and a social life. What parents’ need to remember is that the most important part of parenting is getting your son or daughter ready for the real world, and the real world isn’t pretty sometimes. 

Your son or daughter loves, trusts and respects you.  Yes, they do!  They don’t say it and sometimes they say the exact opposite, I hate you, and it’s hurtful. This is when parenting hurts, but put your big boy pants on and stay the course. They are testing you, pushing you and seeing what YOUR limits are. Deep down, whether they say it or not, they want boundaries, limits, rules and answers. It is all about COMMUNICATIONS.

Let’s talk for a second about the feelings you will have when your son or daughter makes the right choices.  You will be so proud when you go to their high school graduation, discuss what college they want to go to, talk about a job they want to pursue, or when your son or daughter debates you on politics, sports, or any other topic and you listen intently because what they say is intelligent and logical.

You can sit back and be proud.  You raised a productive member of society who can pass on all the knowledge, experience and wisdom you gave him or her.  Be proud you stayed the course and did the job you were supposed to do.  Be proud you were a key factor in helping your son or daughter mature into a well-rounded individual with a mind of their own.  Pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.

When things go wrong, never give up.  As a man who deals with thousands of young people making bad choices, my motto is “I don’t believe in bad kids, I believe in bad choices”.  I also believe all young people are at-risk.  If you are having a problem with a family member, no matter what age, purchase (only $35.00) and watch the Reality Check Program Video. (CLICK HERE it comes to your email) the video just might work and it is good for the whole family. Stay pro-active and keep helping your son or daughter understand the consequences of their choices.

God Bless

Drug Education Program – Larry Lawton brings the most educational and informative drug, gang, crime, prison and choice-making programs to audiences throughout the United States and around the world.

reality check Parenting ProgramLarry Lawton – Wikipedia

About the author: Larry Lawton is an Author, TV Personality, Speaker, Teen/Young Adult Expert and Law Enforcement Consultant. Larry developed the nationally recognized Reality Check Program and Reality Check Video Card Program.

Larry Lawton appears regularly on national TV and Radio as an expert on teen issues, crime, schools and community policing. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, MSNBC  —  CLICK HERE to see Larry on TV

In August of 2013, Larry was the first ex-con in the United States to be sworn in as an Honorary Police Officer in the city of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri and in November 2013, Larry was the first ex-con recognized on the Floor of the United States Congress for his work with helping young people and law enforcement agencies.

Contact Larry for availability and cost at 844-922-4800 or