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Talking To Your Kids
Although this has a Halloween theme it applies the whole year through!
 
FIVE WAYS TO TRICK YOUR TEENS WITH A HEALTHY, DRUG-FREE HALLOWEEN
 
1. ‘Trick’ Them Into Talking
 
A) Listen First: Let teens vent, talk and not feel judged – and be sure to keep the focus on them when they are talking to you.
 
B) Ask The Right Questions: Instead of giving advice, ask questions. Ask them more about how they feel, what they think they should do, what others have done. Not only will you learn more about how your teen thinks, you will also help them explore their own situation.
 
C) Let them, or show them, how to come to their own answers: When you ask them questions, try to guide them to come up with the answer on their own, instead of you telling them what to do. That way, they will feel more empowered. They ‘own’ their solution because they came up with it. This will also help them feel closer to you. (FamilyDoctor.org)
 
2. ‘Treat’ Yourself to Digital and Interactive Technology
Interact with the latest technology, and you’ll gain a better understanding of your teen’s world. Learn to use online social networks like Facebook, blogs and status update services like Twitter. Texting your teen is a great non-confrontational way to check in, show your support and stay connected.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average amount of time young people spend consuming entertainment media is up dramatically to almost eight hours per day – that’s at least 53 hours a week of immersion in some form of media. That’s why it’s more important than ever for parents to break through the media noise and make their voices heard.
3. Trick Your Teens Into Staying Out of Trouble
Encourage your teen to join a club, play a sport or do community service. This will give her something structured to do after school, and she can include her wider circle of friends in the activities. There may be lots of healthy (and cheap!) opportunities right in your community. Try getting ideas at the library, her school or your place of worship for how your teen can get actively involved in community volunteering (The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World)
 
4. Trick Them Into Feeling Good About Themselves
Give your teen lots of praise and positive feedback. Teens need to hear the "good stuff" just like the rest of us. They need to know you can still see beyond the things they do wrong from time to time. Catch them being good and always reward positive, responsible, mature behavior to help build their own self-esteem so they make more positive choices.
 
5. Treat Them with Love and Support
It's important that teens feel supported by their parents, so be sure to let your child know that he or she can always count on you and come to you for guidance.
Reassure your child that she can confide in or seek advice from you when she's stressed or dealing with a personal issue.
 
As frustrated as you may feel sometimes (let’s face it, teens know how to push our buttons), try to speak from a place of love, caring and concern – and express these feelings to your teen.
Remind your teen that the reason you're always talking with her and asking questions is because you love her, care about her and want her to be healthy and successful.