Making Time with your Teens/Tweens Count

In the tween/teen years, it is normal for your children to want to start spending more time away from you. Therefore, it is paramount to make the time you do spend with them count.

In their book "Positive Discipline for Teenagers: Empowering Your Teen and Yourself through Kind and Firm Parenting" (2000), Nelsen an Lott recommend that parents with tweens/teens spend at least 5 minutes a day with their child while keeping:

1. Your mouth shut (listening)

No lectures or judgments. Just be.

2. Your sense of humour intact (perspective)

This will give you perspective and objectivity. Humour is like changing a baby’s diaper; it doesn’t change things permanently, but it makes things easier for a while.

3. Your ears open (curiosity)

Your ears and mouth cannot be open simultaneously. Keep your ears open without expectations of what you will hear.

4. Your heart emanating warmth and gratitude (love)

Doing this creates a contagious positive energy, and you’ll see possibilities and solutions rather than mistakes and problems.

5. A desire to understand your teen’s world (focusing)

You need to want to understand the world of your teen. Don’t try to change them but rather focus on what it’s really like from their perspective.

For more tips on how to communicate with your tween/teen, join us for our workshop on March 10, 2015 at Swansea Town Hall. Tickets are just $25! You can register by clicking here. We hope to see you there!

P.E.N. is a non-profit charitable organization providing courses/workshops to child caregivers in an effort to improve the quality of family life. Donations are welcome and are tax deductible. Contact the Parent Education Network on the web at, by phone at 416-255-8969, by email at, or follow us on Twitter @ParentEdNetwork or on Facebook at

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