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Age 16-18 years

Here’s where you get fired as the boss. If you've done a good enough job you get rehired as a trusted friend and advisor. If you continue to do a good job, your teen may well even take your advice.

It's appropriate for your teen to want to make her own decisions now, and to think for herself. And yet teens are still developing, and have widely varying levels of maturity. It can be a scary time for parents, especially those who don't yet trust their teen's judgment.

The most effective parenting strategy with teens is to focus on the relationship. Punishments just drive your teen away and make it less likely that you'll have the information about what's going on in his life that you need to be a good parent. The only leverage you really have with your teen is love.

It's appropriate for teens to be oriented more to their peers than their parents now, but kids who are well grounded in their families will respond well to parents' efforts to stay connected. And parents who have bonded adequately with their children at each earlier stage will feel invested enough in their teens to stay connected, even if a lot of effort is required.

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