What works for you when your child is two years old may not work when your child is ten years old. You won’t teach a two-year old how to use the stove, but you should be willing to teach a ten-year old.

If you constantly find yourself saying “no” to your child, you should consider changing the environment. For instance, if the child keeps touching things they shouldn’t touch, it would be better for you both to either change the environment (remove the things they touch) or remove the child from the environment. You will both be calmer and you wouldn’t need to say “no” all the time.

Teenagers look more to their friends for role models than their parents. This is why it is so important to influence them and teach them right from wrong before they become teenagers. You can teach your teenager to earn more independence through good behaviour and appropriate discipline, and teaching them to choose appropriate friends. The most important thing to remember when your child is a teenager is to communicate openly and calmly, explaining the reasons for your expectations, and spending as much happy time with them as possible. Remember, happy time doesn’t mean that you do it on their terms.

Elsabé Manning

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