The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Serita Jakes


Author, How to Have a New Teenager by Friday(2011)

NY Times Best Selling Author

Former Consulting Psychologist for Good Morning America.

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Kevin Leman: Parenting Teens Successfully

By The 700 Club

Today’s children are growing up faster than before. Dr. Leman calls it the critical years when a child is between 11 and 19 years old.  These are the years that he says can affect the rest of their lives. "These are years of great change," says Dr. Leman.  He believes the greatest thing you can do for yourself and your teenager is to have a healthy sense of humor. "These are the great years, the best and the most fun years with your kids if you understand the mission you're on and maintain your balance along the way." 

Dr. Leman survived all five of his children's teenage years. When his daughter Lauren announced she was getting her nose pierced and connecting it to her mouth, Dr. Leman said, "Oh good honey. We're having spaghetti tonight." The point for parents is that you don't have to react to everything. Maintain a sense of humor. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.

To have a new teenager by Friday, Dr. Leman says you need to know what you have to start with and then you need to know where you want to end up. Begin with the end in mind.  There is a reason your teen is acting a certain way - whether he or she is drinking and driving, using expletives in conversations, or not doing chores.  Dr. Leman  says your child’s behaviors and attitudes were created within the space of your home. It is important that the rules in the house must change with no warning. Dr. Leman says it all starts with identifying what kind of parent you are now and how you've chosen to relate to your child in the past.

There are 3 types of parents:
“Whatever You Want, Dear,” are parents for whom anything goes.  There are few guidelines and boundaries in the home.

“My way or the Highway,” or authoritarian parents, believe kids should be quiet and their opinions don't matter.

“Equal but Different Rules,” is a parenting strategy that is balanced and one where parents are in healthy authority over their kids. Dr. Leman believes balance is the key.  Change starts with you as the parent and your own willingness to turn things around.

For example:
On Monday: Teach self control by staying in control yourself. Let your “no” be “no.”

On Tuesday: Get your teen talking by listening. Offer suggestions when asked. Don't tell them what to do.

On Wednesday: Partner with your child. Every teen needs a place to belong. Run your home where every family member is equal and pulls their weight.

On Thursday: Establish healthy boundaries such as curfews, rules for driving the family car and personal responsibility.

On Friday: Teach your child wisdom, good judgment, and discernment. Teach kids about saving money

Dr. Leman says what parents do now counts. Every minute you spend with your teen makes a difference.

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