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PARENTING TIPS

Talk honestly about stress or conflict in your life. Children need to know that such struggles are a normal part of life. They have a good role model when they see you cope with problems without relying on alcohol or other drugs.

Parents can be good role models for teens by what they do and by what they avoid doing. Teens often will tune out attempts to lecture, but they watch every action.

Talk to your children _ not at them. Allowing your children to talk about their world helps them develop verbal skills and the ability to communicate better with others.

Catch your children "being good." Make a point of telling your child, "I like the way you are studying, reading, eating, cleaning your room, etc."

Let your child see you read every day. As soon as your children are able, let them read to you.

When giving a task, be specific. Don't just say, "Clean your room." Try saying, "I want you to straighten your desk, put your toys away, clean under your bed, pick up your dirty clothes." Just don't make your list so overwhelming it scares your child.

When your teen wants to go to a party, call the host and be sure the parents will be home. If you feel uncomfortable about the situation, tell your child no, and give him or her the reason. Teens really do appreciate and need the guidelines you set, even if they don't act that way.

Parenting tips are provided by the Hernando County Council PTA.

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