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          Parenting

          For Parents: How Well Do You Know Your Teen?

          July 20, 2003

          The questions below address how much you know about your child. They can be answered with either “yes” or “no.” Make sure you can truly answer each question if you are going to write “yes.” Often people assume they know the answer, but when pressed, they really do not.    
          Connect the Parent Questionnaire Do you really know:
          1. What your teen is putting most of his/her energy into right now?
          2. What personal issues your teen is trying to resolve?
          3. What daily hassles irritate your teen?
          4. Who has the most daily influence on your teen’s thoughts and behaviors?
          5. The names of your teen’s three closest friends?
          6. Who your teen would confide in first if there were a serious problem?
          7. What your teen considers to be his/her greatest strengths?
          8. What your teen considers to be his/her greatest weakness?
          9. Who your teen considers to be his/her biggest enemies?
          10. Your teen’s favorite time of day?
          11. Your teen’s favorite movies?
          12. Your teen’s favorite childhood stories?
          13. Your teen’s favorite hobby or pastime?
          14. Your teen’s favorite colors?
          15. Your teen’s favorite foods or meals?
          16. Your teen’s heroes?
          17. Your teen’s favorite song, band or singer?
          18. Your teen’s favorite books?
          19. Your teen’s favorite television shows?
          20. Your teen’s attitude about his/her body?

          If you could answer “yes” to every question, you apparently have invested considerable time in getting to know your teen. If you could not answer “yes” to every question, there’s a gap between you and your teen. The more questions that stumped you, the bigger the gap. To mend your relationship and to vastly improve the quality of your lives, you will need to bridge the gap.  

          From Closing the Gap: A Strategy for Bringing Parents and Teens Togetherby Jay McGraw

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