Parenting - June 2016

Guide a Young Child to Become a Great Teenager


We can’t mold our child
into the person we want him to be, but the ways that we respond to our babies, toddlers and preschoolers will affect
the way they will be as school-age children, teenagers and even as adults.

There are typical teen behaviors that parents struggle with that actually begin taking root when your child is young. Unfortunately, those tiny seeds are sometimes watered and fertilized unintentionally throughout the preschool and early childhood years until they grow into overgrown weeds that become very difficult to deal with.

If only you could glimpse your children’s future for guidance as you teach them while they’re young! But since you can’t there are many remarkably similar behaviors that children share, and you can benefit from the knowledge of families who have gone before you. Below are some specific examples of unpleasant teen behavior and tips of how you can improve the odds of your child growing into a teenager, and an adult, who demonstrates the good behavior that we all hope for.

This list shows the most common, and the most frustrating behaviors; but of course, it is not a complete picture of everyday life. Each family’s life looks a little different, and it is up to you to figure out what will work best for your family. It takes time and effort to look beyond the present moment. Open your mind to the future, and analyze how decisions and reactions made today will affect that future.

This is not to say that you can’t make mistakes; you will make mistakes. Life is complicated and days with children are hectic, but every now and then you need to look to the guiding lights along your path to head towards a brighter future.

Reknowned parenting educator, Elizabeth Pantley, is the author of The No Cry Solution series. Excerpted from The No-Cry Solution Blog at

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