Relationships and family
Talk frequently and honestly with your son about his friends, his life, his worries and his joys. Share your own stories. And most of all, listen with an open heart. Let him know you love him unconditionally and will be there to him whenever he needs you. Work out a secret code word that means he needs you to come get him right away when he calls to let you know he’s in over her head with friends.
Get to know his friends and their families, and open your own home to them, so you can participate in (or at least keep track of) what’s happening with your teenage son. When he goes out, find out whom he’ll be with, where they are going and when he’ll be back. Wait up to be sure he makes it home safely. Set a curfew that is reasonable and provides adequate sleep time.
Set clear boundaries for cell phone and computer use. Remind him that these rules are in place not to squash his freedom, but to assure that he has time to eat, do homework and rest.
Make time for family time. In today’s busy society, teens are torn in many directions, but nothing is more important in the long run than maintaining a strong family. Consider a weekly family night with pizza or games, and expect everyone to show up – including parents!
Share meals together – eating as a family promotes closeness and allows you time to exchange ideas and gather important information about each other.
Above all, love your son the best way you know how.