Develop a Healthy Relationship with Your Teen/Parent

Do you have a teen who is ready to date? Dr. Phil offers the following advice to parents and teens.

For Parents:

Establish Rules For Your Teen
Teenagers need rules to live by. They need a structured environment and they need to be accountable for their actions. Parents must enforce the rules they put in place so their children will know that there are consequences for their actions. Set rules for dating, driving and other teen behaviors that make you nervous as a parent. Teens need to earn the trust of their parents, and then they will earn the right to have privileges.

Be Involved In Your Teen's Life
Develop relationships with your children. Talk with them about their lives. Support, encourage and show love to your children. You cannot watch your children at all times, so it is important to establish a trusting relationship so they will feel comfortable coming to you with their questions and problems. Get to know their friends and the people they want to date. Ask questions to find out who they are as people and what their morals and values are. Be aware of the television shows they watch and monitor the websites they visit.

Instill Confidence In Your Teen
If parents do not instill confidence in their teens, they will seek approval from other sources. In Alex's situation, her father was not plugged into her life, so she sought the attention of males outside of her family. This caused her to have poor judgment and become sexually active. Dr. Phil explains to Marty, "You, as her father, did not instill in her enough confidence in her dealings with men that she can tell herself, 'I don't have to do this to be accepted.'" He says that when Alex became sexually active she gained a sense of power. He explains Alex's thinking, "'This is something that I have that they want, and that's currency and I control it. If I'm willing to offer that, then I'm in control.'"

Help Your Teen Find A Passion
Parents can help their children find a passion and help them become involved in it. Alex has told Dr. Phil that she is interested in marine biology. He tells her that she should explore this passion of hers to get her mind off boys and dating. Dr. Phil arranges for Alex to go to the Cayman Islands to learn to scuba dive and explore the ocean and marine life.

For Teens:

Be Open And Honest With Your Parents
This is the only way you will earn trust from them. Don't tell your parents what you think they want to hear; tell them the truth. If you think they will use your honesty as leverage against you, then explain that to your parents so the dynamic can change.

Don't Live In The Moment
It is important to think about and plan your future.

Pursue A Passion In Your Life
Find something that you really enjoy doing, and learn as much about it as you can. When you immerse yourself in a passion, you will not be so focused on the opposite sex and let them hold you back from achieving your goals.