Who does your child call a friend?

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As a parent, it can be stressful when your child hits a certain age. Worrying is a natural part of parenting; there is certainly nothing wrong with caring deeply for your children. There are many things you might fret about, such as whether they are skiving from school, doing their homework, or even hanging out with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble.

Many parents would agree that some level of communication is lost between child and parent when the teen years arrive. The main reasons tend to be that they want their independence, and donít want mum or dad to interfere or embarrass them. Every parent has their own parenting style, but when your children live under your roof it is likely that you will have certain rules for them to follow.

Curfew

Some teens think that curfews are made just in order to curtail their fun, but from the parentís perspective they just want their child to come home at a safe time and get enough sleep for the next day! A curfew canít control who your child hangs around with, but if enforced it can stop them from being in the wrong place at a late hour.


Mobile phone

Giving your child a mobile phone might lead to a more expensive phone bill, but it can also help you to stay in contact with them. Ringing them constantly might make them more reluctant to pick it up when it rings; but encouraging them to use it to let you know where they are can put your mind to rest.

Sleepovers

A sleepover may be a headache at the time, but it gives you a chance to get to know your childís friends. In turn this could make you more trusting of your child. If a sleepover ďisnít cool enoughĒ, suggest that they all come round for pizza and an evening on the Wii.

Maintaining a good relationship with your child can seem impossible if all they want to do is see their friends or hide in their bedroom and listen to music. By doing activities together that you both enjoy could help to re-establish lines of communication; your teen might even share some gossip with you!

If you are struggling to communicate with your teen, Relate for Parents have trained counsellors on hand who are trained in family counselling and relationship issues. Visit the website at http://www.relateforparents.org.uk/ .


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