Parent's Resource Center

Connecting With Your Teen
Cement Your 'Talks' With An Action Plan

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Dateline 6/9/98

Talking to your teen about heavy issues is only the first step to connecting with them. They need to know what is expected of them. Setting limits and standing by them is, IMHO, the most loving thing a parent can do for their teen. Why? Because it is soooo hard to do, it's just too easy to let things slide.

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When you have conversations with your teen, things can get misconstrued. Teens are very good at misconstruing ;-) Not that I think they do it on purpose, most of the time they don't. Basically, they just haven't been in possession of their critical thinking skills for too long, if they even have them yet.

So conversations about heavy issues need to be followed up. I use contracts which I call Action Plans. I got this technique from a Parent Effectiveness Training class. When it was explained to me, all I kept thinking was, 'How impersonal.' Now, I don't know how I lived without them. Actually I do. There was a lot of mis communication, yelling, and bad feelings.

I have set up an Action Plan for Internet Safety below. The difference between an Action Plan and a contract is in an Action Plan you set the consequence in writing at the end, before anyone signs it. This way not only does your teen know what is expected, they also know what will happen if they do not follow what is expected. (there is a link to a printable copy of this Action Plan at the end of it)


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