Straight Talk about Teens booklet: Realistic Ideas and Advice for Parents of Older Teenager

The goal of this booklet is to help parents/carers understand their teenagers better, and to offer some useful ideas about how to talk with them, listen to them and continue to be a positive influence as they move toward adulthood. Although every family will experience a different journey through the adolescent years, this book concentrates primarily on families who need extra support. Advice and information on adolescent development, communication, effective discipline techniques, risky behaviours, and learning and working are all discussed in this resource. The last chapter even includes a section for teenagers on how to communicate with parents about expectations and difficult subjects.

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1. What Makes Teens Tick?
A guide to adolescent development
Insights into teenage behaviour, facts about adolescent brain development, teen sleep patterns

2. What Matters to Teens: Hint, it’s friends and freedom
Data on teen attitudes, what teens really think about parents, who they turn to for help, how teenagers affect parents

3. Keep Talking: Communicating with teenagers
Strategies that enhance parent-teen communication, pitfalls to avoid, dealing with “attitude,” how to keep teens talking

4. Who’s The Boss? Fair and effective discipline with teenagers
The balance between control and independence, negotiating with adolescents, dealing with lying and serious misbehaviour

5. Risky Business: Drinking, drugs and sex
What teenagers are really up to, how parents can make a difference, prevention and harm reduction

6. Learning and Working
High school and transitions to college, university and jobs
Navigating learning, social and behaviour problems in high
school, helping teens adjust to post secondary school and work

7. Final Thoughts for Parents

8. For Teenagers: A guide to your parents
What parents worry about, how to help your parents worry less, communication tips, what to say when you’re in big trouble

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