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Rather than trusting their instincts, many parents turn to outside experts for advice on how to raise teens.
“Parents can tie themselves into knots trying to follow the advice they read in books,” says Robert Evans, Ed D, author of Family Matters: How Schools Can Cope with the Crisis in Child Rearing.
They may wonder if the other parent manipulated their child into feeling this way.
The custodial parent may be frustrated and worried.
Teenagers get a bad rap, says Richard Lerner, Ph D, director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University.
That's being an authoritative parent, an approach that "helps children develop the skills they need to govern themselves in appropriate ways," Lerner says.
“Books become a problem when parents use them to replace their own innate skills,” Evans says.
“If the recommendations and their personal style don’t fit, parents wind up more anxious and less confident with their own children.” “A lot of parents don't want growing up to involve any pain, disappointment, or failure,” Evans says.
Even if it's "just" alcohol or marijuana -- or even if it reminds you of your own youth -- you must take action now, before it becomes a bigger problem.“The years when kids are between 13 and 18 years old are an essential time for parents to stay involved,” Amelia M. She is director of the University of Maryland's Center on Young Adult Health and Development.
Parents might consider teen drinking a rite of passage because they drank when they were that age. Watch for unexplained changes in your teen’s behavior, appearance, academic performance, and friends.