Teen Line - Teens Helping TeensMany times teens in crisis prefer to talk to someone who understands their feelings and can relate to their issues, another teen. However, numerous teens cannot confide in their friends due to trust issues and a fear of embarrassment. TEEN LINE, an anonymous and free hotline, trains volunteers to listen to their peers’ feelings, educate the caller about options, and encourage positive decisions.

Teens worldwide call in as they struggle with problems involving pregnancy, abuse, depression, drug abuse, relationships, eating disorders, sexual orientation and homelessness. Every year more than 10,000 teens call TEEN LINE and over 30,000 individuals attend TEEN LINE outreach presentations. Elaine Leader, Ph.D., the executive director of TEEN LINE says, "Our program provides a safe, confidential way for teens to talk things out with a peer who can understand and who will listen, but not judge."

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Throughout life there are many thrills and many disappointments. In a child's life failing at something can be very devastating. A child in a soccer game may let the ball get past him or her for the losing shot, or a teen may not make varsity. There might be a big spelling or reading test that out child messes up at.

As parents our job is to help kids learn how to handle disappointments and failures (see our article Helping Kids Overcome the Fear of Failure). As Parents, it can but very hard, but at times, we must let our kids fail at things, but be there for them and teach them how to overcome that failure. What we do not want to happen is that our kids get paralyzed from talking risks. Success can many times only be achieved through many many mistakes or failures.

So, if your child is a little down, watch this movie with them about some people who like them, may have failed one or many times. Talk about your own failures and what you learned from them.  Most important of all, talk about what would have happened if these people ended up letting failure defeat them. Our world would have been a much different place.


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kids-holding-hands.jpgSometimes it amazes me the demands that are placed on children these days. While as parents we can all say that we had it “harder” then our kids do now because we had to be creative and play with our imagination where as now there are video games and computers. Let’s face it, the pressure that is put on our children today to grow up fast is really out of control.

We have them in multiple sports, we push them to join different clubs, their peers put pressure on them to look more grown up and dress more grown up and the media encourages this. Take a look at the toys we want our little girls to play with, Bratz and Barbie… or have a look at the style of clothes that are available, do those toys look innocent to you?

Life passes us by quick enough as it is. Let your child be a child, regardless of how old they are. To help make sure your child isn’t robbed of their youth, here are several tips you can follow, one for each day of the week to think about.

Mondays Parenting Tip: Set limits but be realistic!READ More on Weekly Parenting Tips: Let Kids be Kids

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Father and Teen SonImproving Communication with Your Kids

There are times when you sense that something is bothering one of your children, but it can be difficult to get kids to open up. This becomes frustrating and can make you feel helpless as a parent. In some cases, you may even push your child in the wrong way, making them clam up even more. Communicating with your kids is an important parenting skill – it helps you find out how you can help them and also enables your child to learn how to talk through problems, an important life skill. If you want to find out how to get your kids to open up to you, here are some excellent tips for improving communication with your kids.

Tips for Communicating with Younger Children

When it comes to communicating with younger children, it's all about learning to get on their level. Kids age 10 and under communicate in different ways and as a parent, you need to learn how to get them to open up. Here are a few tips that can help when you are trying to communicate with younger kids.

Tip #1 – Draw Them Out By Talking About Their Favorite Things – Most kids think about things like their favorite toys, foods, games, or movies. You can draw younger kids out by talking about their favorite things, which will get them talking.

Tip #2 – Build a Connection – Find a way to build a connection. Sometimes something as simple as playing a little game, like asking them to guess which hand you have a treat in, can establish a connection between the two of you.

Tip #3 – Get on Their Level – You need to physically get on the level of your children. Instead of talking from above them, sit down with them so you are on their level. This makes you seem less intimidating.

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Mom and Son TakingBeing a parent isn't easy. You want your child to be happy and successful through life. Of course, this means we worry about our kids, the friends they have, their grades in school, and even their safety. Although it is natural to be protective of our children, sometimes we can go a bit overboard. In fact, there is a point where we are going to have to start trusting our children to make positive choices. You can help to empower our children while they are still kids to be secure, safe, and sensible so they will grow up to make the right choices and enjoy success. Enabling kids and really to disable them in the long run. The key is to stop enabling your children and to learn how to empower them so they will develop into individuals that are competent and confident. Here is a look at some helpful information and tips that will help you avoid enabling your child and some great ways that you can empower your child.

Enabling – What is It?

First, you need to understanding what enabling is. Enabling happens to be a process that occurs when parents that are well meaning allow or even encourage behavior that is destructive and irresponsible from their children. This is done by shielding kids from the consequences that are a result of their actions. However, this is something that is done unintentionally by parents. Basically enabling occurs when we help to rescue kids from their own problems instead of letting them deal with the consequences. It can also include taking over their tasks, bailing them out when they get into trouble, or allowing them to get away with things instead of making them be accountable for the actions that they take.

Maybe you need examples. One example is giving your child more money when they spend all their allowance so they can have money to go out with friends. Another example is doing homework for your child so they don't deal with bad grades. Yet another example is giving into your child's every desire and whim because you can't stand seeing them upset. While you probably feel like you are doing the right thing to help your child, you are actually enabling your child instead of empowering them to be successful and responsible children, and later, adults.

Stop Enabling Your Child with These Tips

Maybe the enabling side sounds familiar to you. Perhaps you have realized that you are enabling your child with your actions. In fact, you may be so used to stepping in and taking care of things for your child that you don't even realize what is going on anymore. It's time that you stop enabling your child, and here are a few tips to help.

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First Day of School With school starting many kids get a little apprehensive about being alone at school. They worry that no one will like them or want to be a working partner with them in class. There are a number of things that you can do to help squash the fears of your youngsters as school starts.

Tip One: It's the First Day of School for Everyone

Everyone has jitters on the first day and during the first week or so of school. Let your child know that everyone in the class is going to have the same fears as your child. Everyone is worried they won't have friends or that they will be the last one picked as a partner.

Tip Two: Encourage them to be Themselves

While everyone wants to fit in, it is important that your child knows the best way to make friends is to be themselves. Let them know that it is okay to pick up a new "like" such as if their new friend likes the Jonas Brothers, it is natural for them to have an interest in the Jonas Brothers, but they don't want to go out and buy everything that their new friend has.

Tip Three: Encourage them to Speak Up

It is never okay for one child to make another child feel like they are less important than someone else. That is true for adults as well; we are all equally incredible in our own ways. If your child is being bullied by someone at school tell your child how important it is that they let their teacher know. They also need to let you know. We had an incident with our son being bullied on the bus. He would complain to the bus driver and the bus driver would just tell him to sit down. We called the principal of the school and transportation to complain. The other child tried to say it was the other way around. THANKFULLY, the bus had video on it and we requested that the video be pulled so it could be viewed and it showed what was happening.

It is sad and scary how frequent bullying happens. If your child is acting like they don't want to go to school or get on the bus, or they come home with bruises or missing items, talk to them and find out what is going on.

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Parenting tips for Better BehaviorGood behavior from children doesn't just happen. It takes time and work on your part as a parent. It's not always easy to shape a child's behavior, but it can be done with patience and love. When you take the time to work on the behavior of your child, although they may not appreciate it now, in the future it will help them become productive adults that are happy and successful. Here are a few parenting tips for better behavior that can encourage and help your child to change and improve their personality for the better. With a little positive coaching, anything is possible!

Tip #1 – Learn to Ignore Harmless but Undesirable Behavior

One important tip that can help you to encourage better behavior from your child is to learn to ignore harmless but undesirable behavior. Sometimes it can be hard to find a balance in parenting. It is important that you fight the important battles while allowing some behaviors to simply be ignored. If the behavior is not hurting property, an animal, or humans, then it may be a behavior that you should simply ignore. Instead of getting into arguments over the small things, sometimes not even acknowledging the behavior is a good way to deal with it. Negative reactions in some cases can actually reinforce the bad behavior of the child, so in some cases, the best thing you can do is show them that the particular behavior will be ignored. This will teach them to abandon this behavior, since it won't get them any attention.

Tip #2 – Teach Your Child About Cause and Effect

Teaching your child about cause and effect is one of the best things you can do to help them learn the right way to behave. When children experience the effect of their behavior, they will be more likely to learn the lesson. To become successful as an adult, kids must learn that wise choices are important. Experience can help to teach your child many lessons that you could never teach by talking to them. Although you need to make sure children to not make choices that are dangerous, in many cases, allowing your child to make their own choice will be an important lesson. Allow your child to deal with the consequences of the choice they make, which will provide fast learning for them.

Tip #3 – Praise Your Child

When you want better behavior from your child, praising them is one of the best things you can do to help shape them. Praising them for some good when they don't think you are looking can be even more powerful and effective! In most cases, kids really want to have your approval. Make sure that you are praising the positive behavior though instead of praising the child. For example, if your child does a good job on their room, consider saying "You did a wonderful job on your room," instead of just saying something like "good girl." Of course, you don't want to take praise overboard, but genuine praise can definitely be helpful. Too much praise can give your child the idea that good behavior is an option. It is better to expect good behavior from your child and use praise to reinforce that good behavior from time to time.

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