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          Parenting

          Parents’ Top Three Questions

          October 15, 2010

          Parents: How tuned in are you to your children’s interests, friends, hobbies and extracurricular activities? If you suspect your child might be headed down a wrong path, sit down with him or her and ask the following three questions:

           

          1) Are you drinking or taking any sort of drugs — legal or illegal? Why or why not?

          “You’re sitting there thinking, ‘Come on, Dr. Phil. Like they’re going to tell me.’ Some of them will. They will tell you. But I said follow this up with ‘Why or why not?’ because you want a dialogue here,” Dr. Phil explains. “You want to hear when they say why not. You know your kids. Listen to their logic. Listen to their reasoning, because that’s what you need to be focused on.”

           

          2) Ask your teens the five Ws: Where? Who? What? When? Why?

          “If they close the door in your face, open it. Get the answers. The more you ask questions, the more information you get, the better you’re able to govern, to be involved in your lives,” Dr. Phil says.

           

          3) Are you posting any videos of yourself online, doing stunts or anything that is illegal or dangerous? Why or why not?

          “You have a dialogue; you get to get into their reasoning. You don’t want to respond to their answers, ‘That’s just stupid!'” Dr. Phil warns. “If you give them judgment, you might as well zip ’em up. They’re not going to talk to you.”

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