Parenting into the ‘stormy’ years

From: "Teen Party Theme for the Hep Kids - Find Cool Ideas." Tips To Raise Our Kids The Most Caring And Correct Ways. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. .

It’s that time of the year again… PTA Coffee Talk on Tips for Parenting Teens.  I have been invited to cover ‘the school perspective’ and our drug testing philosophy and policy.  I consistently return to the same conclusion regarding where many problems develop from – clear, open communication.  Find a problem and you’ll likely find, at its root, a breakdown in honest communication.

If the problem is so easily recognized, why is it such a problem?  Are we really a species of atrocious communicators? I blame it on ego and emotions – a truly volatile mix for hormone charged teens! So! How do we parent our teens through these turbulent, stormy times?  Here’s some tips I plan to share with out PTA:


  • Teach responsible decision-making to our teens.
  • There’s always a choice.
  • When it comes to partying,  ask questions centered around these three words: Who, Where, and Expectations; ultimately leading to one of these three choices – stay sober; get drunk; do drugs.

e.g. Who is going to be there? Who is ‘responsible’? Who knows about the party and who doesn’t?; Where will the party be (in a house or hotel with ‘private’ rooms; in a club)? Where will the ‘responsible’ people be?; Are there expectations that the party will be short or long? What are the expectations re: drugs and alcohol?

  • Stay informed – first and foremost with your teen; other parents; the ‘net’; and, the school (teachers, counselors and principals all add to the picture)

Ultimately, we’re all in this together!  We want a happy, healthy, successful teen – ready to take on the ‘real’ world.

"Lorraine Cook's Homepage." Loraine Cook's Homepage. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. .

Here’s some resources I’ve found useful:

  • “Parenting Help Me” is a blog maintained by several parents with diverse backgrounds – it’s very open and wide-ranging, at
  • The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, sponsored by the US Government, maintains an informative, ‘heavy’, American biased website at called “Parents, the Anti-Drug”.

Resources from a previous post can be found here.



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