HAVE THE COURAGE TO STICK TO YOUR CONVICTIONS
Listen to yourself and trust your opinions. As a parent, you have the right to decide what you think is the best thing to do. The more clearly you show your teenager what you expect, the easier it is for your teenager to accept it. And try to stand by what you think, even if someone ends up getting angry. The anger is simply an expression of how hard it can be to deal with a set-back – nothing worse than that.
If you say “No” to something, make sure you tell your teenager why you’re saying it. It’s not about your child deciding whether you’re right or wrong. It’s about them understanding that there are good reasons why you’ve said “No” and that you’re not just saying it for the sake of saying it.
If your parents just say OK all the time, they don't really care.
Eddie, aged 15, Umeå
Teenagers are in the midst of developing their own opinions, and it’s important that they know what their parents think about things. The best thing you can do is to stand up for what you believe and tell them why you want things to be a particular way. Over and over again, if necessary. If you start quarrelling, it’s not the end of the world – it can sometimes be good for both of you to get things off your chest and it’s also a way for teenagers to understand where you draw the line.
IF IN DOUBT, THINK ABOUT IT
You can’t always except yourself to have an opinion or be prepared when an unexpected situation arises. If your teenager asks you something and you’re not really certain what you think, you can try saying that you’d like to think about it and maybe talk to someone else before you give them your answer. It’s about showing respect for your teenager and showing them that taking a stand on different issues isn’t always easy.
BEING A PARENT ISN’T THE SAME AS BEING A FRIEND
Letting things slide doesn’t make you a nicer parent. Teenagers don’t need another friend – they need an adult they can rely on. The trick is to be close to your child, be able to talk about anything and everything, to share confidences – and, at the same time, to be an adult.