I stole this title from a conference that I attended today. The conference was put on by the Grant Halliburton Foundation and was about dealing with the teenagers in our lives. At Community Partners of Dallas we certainly deal with teens -- both as clients of CPS and as donors and volunteers through our high school teen board called THANKs.
The entire conference was interesting but the Aha moment for me was advice from Paul, a member of the teen panel, who gave parents this advice: Create a regular shared experience with your kid -- even if it is only once a month -- just find time to do something with each child that will give you the time to listen to your child. Paul also said to do this with each child separately -- he said that there were things that he wouldn't ever talk about in front of his sister.
I know, I know -- I'm not a parent, but I just had to pass this along to those of you who are. Keep your kids safe. Listen to them and create time to be together so they will come to you when they are confronted with crisis.
And by the way, what is for dinner? It's five o'clock. And I don't hate you. Yet.
P.S. If you have high school kids, be sure to have them join THANKs -- it is a great way to get service hours and to have some fun. Visit http://www.communitypartnersdallas.org/ and click on the volunteer tab to find out more.