Annie Fox’s 10 Tips for Improving Adult-Teen Relationships

1. Remember that you are the adult. Being a leader and a compassionate
teacher is more important than being a teen’s friend.

2. Remain calm. Nothing gets resolved while stress levels are making it
impossible for you (and the teen) to think clearly. Can’t respond calmly?
Then take a break until you can.

3. Talk less and listen more. Be a “safe” person to talk to. No one wants to
open up if all they get is lecture and criticism.

4. It’s a balancing act. The challenge is to remain emotionally involved while
granting teens increasingly more earned autonomy.

5. It’s all about 2-way trust. Want young adults to be ethical & responsible?
Make sure you’re modeling the same in all your interactions with them and

6. Make your values and expectations clear and be consistent with your
follow-through. If they know the consequences of their actions ahead of
time, they’re more likely to make healthy choices.

7. Catch teens in the act of doing something right. Praise helps develop
good judgment and self-esteem.

8. Be real. Share your feelings. Admit your mistakes. Make amends when
necessary. Show teens that just like them, you are “a work in progress”

9. Tell them and show them how much you are on their side. Then it will be
easier for them to come to you when they need you.

10. Lighten up! Humor is a great de-stressor. Remember, no one stays a teen

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