Ten Ways To Become Your Teenagers Best Friend

Best friends! It may seem impossible to believe, but today's teens do want to consider their parents as friends, even though they think we could never understand the realities of their world. They are also interested in what it was like being a teenager during the Stone Age. Life without cell phones or the Internet must have been unimaginable!

So even with this interest, can parents and teens really become best friends when competing with busy schedules, and raging hormones? The answer is a resounding YES?and it is worth the effort!

What is important to understand is that both of you have to want the new relationship on a long-term basis. You cannot appear to be going through the motions, or acting like you are fitting this new relationship into your busy schedules.

As a father, I knew I was a good provider. I put food on the table, a roof over my teen's head, and helped fund those great sales that saved me so much money.

As important as the father role is, it was improving the "Dad" role that allowed me to develop a lasting relationship with my daughter. This also helped me with my two stepsons. Essentially, I modified the communication and problem-solving skills that I successfully used at work to improve my relationship with my teens.

The following are the ten ways that will help you to become one of your teenager's best friends:

1. Define what trust meant to each of you. Agree that there will be no games or hidden agendas-just honesty-to build the trust.

2. Agree that mutual trust is earned by exhibiting consistent behavior. The amount of trust that you develop will be proportionate to the amount of freedom that they will enjoy.

3. Anything that is discussed with you must be kept in the strictest of confidence. This will help reinforce the trust.

4. Talk to them as adults while remembering that they are still kids. This allows for flexibility during those trying adolescent years.

5. Become an attentive listener. Multitasking may be necessary at work, however it will make you appear distracted when discussing something important with your teenager. Learn to focus.

6. Ask the right questions without appearing to interrogate them. It is important that they not fear coming to you to discuss what is important to them. It is equally important that they feel that you will take the time to understand what they are trying to communicate.

7. Do not judge them for their actions or ever say, "I told you so! This helps in having them continue to come to you to discuss topics, and encourages them to do things better the next time.

8. When helping them with problem solving, discuss the desired outcomes first, and what they need to do to resolve their problem. Then allow them to proactively make their own decisions based upon the facts rather than reacting to their emotions.

9. Set guidelines instead of making rules for them to follow. They should have input into the guidelines, and then be expected to follow them. They will perceive this as fair and in their best interests.

10. "Hang out" together as oppose to just spending time together. Remember that there is a difference between motion and productivity, so make your time together interactive. For example, if you go to a movie, then go for an ice cream and discuss the movie. Or play some "one on one" games or sports. Do what best friends do!

If you want to be a better parent, don't forget the child within you. All too often, we get so wrapped up in being an adult that we forget how to have fun and enjoy life. I found that by using my imagination, I rekindled my creativity, and this made me an "okay guy" for my teenagers to hang out with.

About The Author

V. Michael Santoro, M. Ed. coauthored, "Realizing the Power of Love," with his teenage daughter Jennifer S. Santoro. For more information, a free e-zine and more free articles, visit their Web site at http://www.dads-daughters.com

In The News:

How economic inequality gives rise to hyper-parenting  Washington PostThese days, residents of different countries often drink the same coffee, buy clothes from the same retailers and use the same social media apps. Globalization ...
Positive Parenting  BW BusinessworldVasant Kallola - While not taking away the hard work and sacrifices being made by most parents, I wish to discuss complaints of most parents about difficulties ...
Stay-at-Home Parenting Is Completely Overwhelming Me  SlateCare and Feeding is Slate's parenting advice column. Have a question for Care and Feeding? Email [email protected] or post it in the Slate Parenting ...
How To Be A Good Parent? 9 Common Parenting Mistakes Moms & Dads Make With Their Kids | T-Ann Pierce  YourTangoKnowing how to be a good parent isn't a perfect science, here are the 9 most common parenting mistakes mom and dads make without even realizing it.
Common parenting mistakes  BlueRidgeNow.comA journalist recently asked me for the single biggest mistake being made by today's parents. I was tempted to say, “Having children,” but stopped myself.
Parents put 'intensive parenting' on a pedestal; experts say there's a better approach  Longview News-JournalImogen Dransfield's two sons don't get much sympathy from their mom if they tell her they're bored. Dransfield's own mother met the same complaint with an ...
Raising Faith: Parenting seminar set in Belton  Temple Daily TelegramRaising Faith,” a free parenting seminar providing practical information on raising children in today's culture, will be offered March 30-31 at the Belton Church of ...
Parenting with presence  soprissun.comAs usual, our favorite Mexican restaurant was packed. The parents at the table next to us didn't even flinch as their kids raced around not just their.
Dr Justin Coulson: How to deal with temperamental teenagers  Daily TelegraphIf you are the parent of a 12 to 14-year-old, you wont be surprised to learn that parenting young teens is the hardest parenting gig going. If you only have toddlers ...
The screens and me: a crisis in parenting  National Catholic ReporterIf someone would just place a mitre on my head, I'd solve the problems of the Church — easily and quickly. Then, I get a whiff of my own hubris and realize how ...
The Early Years: Making sense of your child’s tantrums  The Indian ExpressBy Abha Ranjan Khanna. Advertising. Toddlerhood (between 12 to 36 months old), in particular, is a time for children to learn the bounds of acceptable ...
Keep calm and don't carry on when parenting teens: Researchers look at how mothers and fathers control themselves (and their rising anger) in difficult interactions with their teenagers  Science DailyIn a new study, psychologists find that mothers and fathers who are less capable of dampening down their anger are more likely to resort to harsh discipline ...
These jokes will make your kids laugh out loud  The Indian ExpressGet your kids interested in puns and witticisms with these great jokes that they're sure to share with friends and relatives. What do you call a dinosaur that is ...
Why pushy parenting works after all | Weekend  The TimesFabrizio Zilibotti and Matthias Doepke expected to give their offspring the kind of relaxed childhoods that they had enjoyed in the Seventies and Eighties ...
Triple P Parenting at Family and Childcare Resources of Northeast Wisconsin  WeAreGreenBay.comParents know that their children do not come with a manual.
Hadley offers lessons in business, parenting in bid for City Council  Easy Reader NewsManhattan Beach, newsletter - by Mark McDermott Suzanne Hadley walked away from a thriving business career two decades ago to focus her energies on ...
DeGale v Eubank Jr: Parenting, pedigree and retirement in focus in O2 Arena bout  BBC SportDoes James DeGale have enough left and did Chris Eubank Jr ever have enough? Two questions that form the spine of the debate for a fight which is close to a ...
Watch: How to help kids find their voices  The Indian ExpressWhat do you tell your kids if they ask what racism is? Or how one religion is different from the other? Here are two Ted Talks, in which educators Liz Kleinrock ...
17 Sweet Parenting Quotes From Drew Barrymore  HuffPostDrew Barrymore has a long list of accomplishments ― including actress, producer, director and beauty line creator ― but one of her favorite things to gush about ...
Parenting in Manhattan is a Darwinian struggle  The GuardianA slew of new books treats child-raising like another branch of economics that only the fittest will survive, says Guardian columnist Emma Brockes.
Gay parenting 'boot camp' moves to Asia to meet growing demand from China  ReutersKUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The world's largest "boot camp" to help gay men become parents will stage its first Asia event next month to ...
Modern Meghan’s parenting tips from the VICTORIANS - Duchess’s doula joins team to nanny n  ExpressMEGHAN Markle has portrayed herself to the world as a modern mother-to-be in the nine months since marrying Prince Harry and becoming pregnant with her ...
Psychologist Dr. Rob Daniels talks teen anxiety and new book “Adventure’s in Parenting: The Playdate”  WGN TV ChicagoAdventures in Parenting: The Playdate is the first in a series of books that combines entertaining, interactive fiction with real-world expertise from a licensed, ...
PARENTING: Staying calm so we can be an influence  Sarasota Herald-TribuneOne of the primary roles of parenting is to influence our kids. We can't control them because every child is his or her own unique person, an individual separate ...
Call for Australians to take an old-fashioned approach to parenting  NEWS.com.auAustralian parents are being urged to take a step back from the pressures of modern parenting and adopt a simpler approach to raising children.
Sometimes, Parenting Is Boring  The New York TimesTaking care of a young child can be the most fascinating thing in the world, but there are times, let's face it, when it is not.
Aspen Laugh Fest: Jo Koy on parenting, skiing and upcoming specials (podcast)  Aspen TimesComedian Jo Koy can't go more than a few days without doing stand-up. When he does, withdrawal sets in.“When I take a week off I look like a crackhead.
Parenting tips: How to ensure your child is not bullied  Times NowAccording to a study conducted recently, it was found that children with multiple siblings are at a higher risk of being bullied in comparison to children with only ...
Dancing in the rain: The joys and jolts of parenting  Hindustan TimesChildren grow up and become individuals, but their essence remains the same.
KILDARE PARENTING COLUMN: GAA disco tunes spark memories of 'back in my day'  Leinster LeaderAs I stood at the entrance I could hear We Like to Party by the Vengaboys blaring out over the speakers. Read also: Traffic lights to be installed at busy north ...
'Parenting in a Digital World' topic of free presentation  Coos Bay WorldBANDON - A free presentation of "Parenting in a Digital World" will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, in the Bandon High School cafeteria.
8 quotes on parenting by comedians that will make you laugh out loud  The Indian ExpressParenting is hard, no doubt and can transform your life in ways you can't imagine. These hilarious punchlines from celebrated comedians will tickle your funny ...
Dancer Matthew Morrison offers parenting advice to Meghan  Independent.ieThe Greatest Dancer coach Matthew Morrison has offered parenting advice to his compatriot the Duchess of Sussex.
Loose Women's Stacey Solomon reveals surprising parenting confession  HELLO! MagazineStacey Solomon is known for always being real and isn't afraid to open up about the bad as well as the good times. And this week, the Loose Women panellist ...
Revive Ministries to offer teen parenting courses  KSNB Local 4For those raising teenagers, it can be difficult to deal with all that comes with that process. That's why Revive Ministries is offering classes on how to navigate ...
uh-PARENT-ly Ep. 32 | Why helicopter parenting might not be so bad (and why NOT to move to Sweden)  WGN Radio - ChicagoIn his 1969 book Between Parent and Teenager, Dr. Haim Ginott talked to teenagers who said their parents hovered over them like helicopters. Since then the ...
Parenting a procrastinator? It’s more complicated than you think.  The Washington PostHave you ever received an email from your child's teacher letting you know she assigned a project that would be due in three weeks? And have you then asked ...
These genius hacks prove we're all just trying to survive parenting  NBC NewsLike most new parents, Hillary Frank dove into parenting advice books after her daughter Sasha was born. “I was reading all these books about how to get her to ...
How to overcome parenting isolation  Sunshine Coast DailyMeridan Plains couple Bec and Kieran Van Jole found out when their third child Lyla was a baby they had passed on a rare genetic disorder neither of them ...
Here are parenting tips to learn how to raise a reader  Miami HeraldReading can transport and transform us, making us laugh (and cry), introducing us to different cultures, and encouraging us to see and think about the world in ...
Anne Hathaway is following Prince William-Kate’s parenting trick. Here’s how it helps  The Indian ExpressAnne Hathaway has started following the royal couple's practice of bending down to maintain eye contact with their children while speaking, she said in an ...
Role shifts: What happens when addiction results in grandparents parenting  MinnPostSharon Olson had been a mother for decades and a grandmother for only a few years when she got a call that would change her life forever. “I was at work,” ...
Fort Pierce Class in Fort Pierce teaches 'Secrets of Modern Parenting'  WPTV.comKimberly Eardley heads up "Families of the Treasure Coast" and is behind a course called the "Secrets of Modern Parenting."
Making parenting a little easier  The Herald ArgusMICHIGAN CITY — “We believe that parenting is not an easy job. Many parents have questions on what to expect and that's what we are here for.”
Problems with today’s parenting  NEWS.com.auPARENTING has never been more stressful, with mums and dads moving cities even countries for jobs, leaving behind the backup of family and friends, experts ...
NRL Player vs. Parents: Is parenting harder than sport?  Now To LoveIn a new experiment, NRL star Kalyn Ponga proves Aussie parents work harder in a day than a professional rugby league athlete does during a match.
20 Best Parenting Quotes - Funniest Quotes About Parenting  WomansDay.comFrom funny to relatable to inspirational, here are the best parenting quotes that show exactly what life with kids is really like.
Kate Middleton's Honest Parenting Confession Is Refreshing To Hear From A Royal  RomperKate Middleton is presumably a dab hand at parenting by now. After all, she has three children which is basically like being a pro-level parent in my opinion.
Katie Price ignores latest parenting criticism as she shares adorable new video of daughter Bunny: ‘Beautiful moment’  CelebsNowKatie Price has snubbed her latest parenting criticism by sharing an adorable family moment with her daughter Bunny in new Instagram video.
Hax: Resist the urge to be a parenting coach  Minneapolis Star TribuneAdapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: My husband and I got married and had kids relatively young, especially by his family's standards.
Parenting Advice To Help Ease The Heartbreak & Effects of Divorce On Children | Dr Karen Finn  YourTangoParenting children of divorce requires divorced parents to work together by doing these 10 things every day so they can ease the heartbreak and effects of ...
Khloe criticised for parenting approach | Entertainment  Jamaica Star OnlineKhloe Kardashian is fed up of being criticised for her approach to parenting. TheKeeping Up With The Kardashians star finds it “annoying” how she is constantly ...
How do you relieve gas pains in children? | Parenting Tips  ABP LiveExcess gas that can be caused by eating large amounts of indigestible foods can cause bloating, cramps, pain, and diarrhea. Will it be a fruitful day for you?
Prince Harry reading military parenting book to prepare for Baby Sussex  New IdeaPrince Harry has reportedly taken to reading military-style parenting books to help him prepare for the imminent arrival of his first child with wife Meghan Markle.
Stacey Solomon Admits She's 'Given Up On Parenting' This Half-Term – And We Can All Relate  HuffPost UKStacey Solomon's refreshingly honest post about “giving up” on parenting this half-term has been a hit with her parent followers on Instagram. The TV presenter ...
Russell Brand's 'inept' parenting is unacceptable and not at all cute  USA TODAYThe "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" star said he feels "inept" when parenting. All parents do. But they also learn basic childcare skills. So should he.
Parenting vs. child rearing: Different as night & day  Arkansas Democrat-GazetteThere is "parenting" and then there is bringing up, rearing, or raising children. The difference is night and day; so are the outcomes, short- and long-term, to all ...
When parents need parenting!  East Coast RadioAfter witnessing a mother smoking in a car with her children in the back seat, Terence Pillay questions parental responsibilities. I recently witnessed quite a ...
Parenting in the age of legal pot: Household rules, conversations help guide teen use  Science DailyThe legalization of marijuana in Washington state in 2012 gave parents the opportunity for a new teachable moment. Many say that as society has become more ...
Parenting Advice For Raising Good Kids Who Are Happy & Healthy | Lianne Avila  YourTangoRaising healthy and happy kids can be a challenge to some parents but taking these 6 parenting advice to heart will allow you to spend time with your children.
Parenting is not the same as raising children; Here's why [Column]  Reading EagleTo raise, rear or bring up a child is to lift said youngster out of childhood into genuine adulthood.
'Parenting' is on its way out, child-rearing is coming back | Rosemond  Reno Gazette JournalThere is “parenting” and then there is bringing up, rearing or raising children. The difference is night and day; so are the outcomes.
John Rosemond: Parenting should not be about instant gratification  Index-JournalA friend of mine named Scott shared an absolutely brilliant thought with me when I dropped in on him unannounced at his workplace, a bank, the other day.
20 Little-Known Details About Natalie Portman's Parenting  BabyGagaThere are some celeb parents out there who will post about every detail of their child's life—and then there are celeb moms like Natalie Portman, who would ...
Edith Bowman: Parenting is harder than anyone admits  Telegraph.co.ukWe asked the DJ and broadcaster, 45, what her childhood self would make of her life.
PARENTING: Nurturing our kids with healthy soul food  Sarasota Herald-TribuneOne of the most obvious jobs of parenting is to nurture our kids, and a major part of nurturing has to do with feeding them. Most of us understand that what we put ...
The Best and Funniest Dad Tweets of the Week  FatherlyAs a dad, there's nothing better than hearing a hilarious insight or story from the world of parenting. And lucky for you, dads love to share all the funny things that ...
What free-range parenting is and how it could change the way SC children are supervised  WBTW - Myrtle Beach and Florence SCA bill in the South Carolina senate would clarify state law saying that parents who let their kids go off on their own are not neglectful.
Carrie Bickmore posts Instagram photo showing the reality of parenting  NEWS.com.auCarrie Bickmore has shared a brutally honest post about the realities of parenthood — and people are loving it. The 38-year-old shared two contrasting images ...
20 Best Parenting Books - Top Resources for Raising Children  WomansDay.comThere's no such thing as a perfect parent. Even the best moms and dads in the world need advice every now and then. Check out these great reads, which cover ...
PARENTING: How to really eat the elephant this year  Sarasota Herald-TribuneYou have probably heard the saying that you eat an elephant one bite at a time. It's an encouragement to break big goals down into small, doable steps.
Kate Middleton Made This Surprisingly Relatable Parenting Confession  The Cheat SheetKate Middleton shared a parenting confession during the recent Mental Health in Education conference.
LIVING WITH CHILDREN: Parenting or child-rearing? The difference is like night and day  GoDanRiver.comThere is “parenting” and then there is bringing up, rearing or raising children.
Hecht: Parenting little piggies  Asheville Citizen-TimesIf messiness is a sign of genius, as some studies say, then nearly every child I meet must be one.
The exhaustion that comes with parenting is crippling at times, writes Jane Lundon  RSVP Live"The doctor explained that the first thing she prescribes working mothers is a cleaner"
Being Baba: Protect your baby from the monsters out there  The Indian ExpressBy Mihir Joshi. Advertising. “Close your eyes Have no fear The monster's gone He's on the run and your daddy's here. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Beautiful boy ...
PARENTING: Empowering the knight in our kids  Sarasota Herald-TribuneA major duty of parenting is to nurture our kids and part of the definition for nurture is to cultivate, support, encourage and train. There are many things that we ...
14 Charming Quotes From Emily Blunt About Life As A Mom  HuffPostThe actress has two daughters with actor John Krasinski.
Positive Parenting: “It's never too late to parent”  WKOWYou might have heard that to raise a child, you need to “nip” bad behavior in the bud early. But a new study shows that's not necessarily the case.
Baba And Deedee: Why Some Parents Pick Titles Beyond 'Mom' And 'Dad'  HuffPost CanadaSome LGBTQ parents are shaking the monikers up.
St. Luke's Jerome offers parenting classes  KMVTThe program titled 'Love, Limits and Latitude' is an evidence-based plan for parenting. The mental health therapist who oversees the classes in Jerome, says its ...

Stress is No Kiddy Matter

Kids today no longer live the kind of privileged lives... Read More

Dad, Go Ahead and Cry

She slipped her small, soft eight-year-old hand into mine. Her... Read More

Helping Your Children Develop Their Self-Discipline

We want our children to do the right thing, especially... Read More

Parental Internet Control Tips

The Internet is one of the greatest inventions of all... Read More

10 keys to Developing Your Childs Genius

Would you like your child to be the best that... Read More

The Different Types, or Styles, of ADHD

Research literature, recent books, and common sense, all point to... Read More

Picky Eaters - Successful Strategies Part 1

What is in a name?The answer is everything!Jo J. of... Read More

Teaching Kids the Value of Money

My husband and I have a 12-year-old daughter who wanted... Read More

Putting Your Child To Bed

Are you glad for the chance to put your child... Read More

Thirteen Values You Can Teach Through Homework

Are you a parent concerned about passing values on to... Read More

Helping Your Teen Get Back to School With Clear Skin

Backpack? Check. Notebooks? Check. Ink-pens? Check. Clear Skin? Mommmm!If you... Read More

True Romance for Couples with Kids: 10 Inexpensive Ideas

Anyone can splurge on a formal dinner or a pricey... Read More

Why Scrapbooking Moms are the Secret Weapon in the War on Terror

There is a front line and a back end to... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: 6 Tips for Dealing with Bad Report Cards

One of the basic issues we need to understand is... Read More

The Twenty-First Century Parent

John was a 43 year-old sales manager at a large... Read More

Where Will YOUR Kids Get A Job?

Let's face it.The job market is getting tougher every day.Computerization... Read More

Grandparents --- Homeschool Your Grandchildren and Feel Younger

Grandparents, what better way to stay close to your grown... Read More

Top 10 Things To Never Believe From Your Teenager

1) It's not my (pot, beer, cigarettes, etc.), I'm just... Read More

Financially Stable Kids ? Prepared for College

We are all familiar with the stories that most students... Read More

Understanding The Report

"No thank you. Don't bother to send me the report... Read More

Childrens Allowance

When we consider that the word allowance means, "allowing for,"... Read More

Childrens Safety in Public Places - 10 Useful Tips

My kids ask me all the time to take them... Read More

Who Wants To Date Their Mother?

Do any other reality TV junkies remember a show on... Read More

Parents: You Can Do Something About Professional Sports Ethics

Most of us can agree that there is a lack... Read More

Why have children? DINCs, This is For You!

First there were Yuppies (Young Urban Professionals). Then came the... Read More