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Be aware of your teen's friends. Encourage your teen to
choose healthy companions and teach them what healthy relationships look like.
Invite your teen's friends over for snacks and a
visit. Talk with them. Ask about their family if you do not know them. Make an inquiry about
where they live, family and school interests. Soon, you will have a sense of
the appropriateness of the friend's relationship with your teen.
Adolescents are drawn to popular websites that encourage teenagers to post pictures of themselves and divulge personal information, so educate your teen about the importance of using good judgment when chatting with people they do not know online. Predators and victims that were lured from online chat rooms or websites make make the news often. Sometimes with tragic results. Share your concerns about this kind of activity and the possible risks associated of believing people are who they claim to be. Monitor online activities.
Be clear in explaining that house rules apply to guest, too. The rules can be presented in a warm and friendly manner.
When teenage houseguests are visiting and the noise or busyness is getting to be more than you can bear, set up in advance, a signal with your teen that indicates the need to calm down or the party will be over. This is easily done by having a code word or a seemingly innoculous sentence prepared. "I can hear (or see) that you are having a blast." "Blast" might be the code word for too much noise or too much boisterous activity. By using the code, your teen is not embarrassed and this gives them the opportunity to be socially responsible.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|