How to survive your teenager: Rules and discipline

By Hundreds of Heads
Raising a teen? Here’s some advice on discipline from the book “How to Survive Your Teenager” (Hundreds of Heads Books,, $13.95), straight from people who’ve done it:
“Treat your teenager and his friends as if they are lovable, trustworthy, capable and admirable — and watch what happens. This doesn’t mean they don’t need guidance and limits: It simply means that kids need to know you have faith in their goodness. Over the years, I’ve noticed that most adults treat teens as if they are always on their way to trouble, and I suspect this is why they sometimes make our worst nightmares come true. So act as though you’re waiting to catch them doing something right, something noble. You’ll be amazed.”
– Cindy Laferle, Royal Oak, Mich., mother of a son, 17

“We’re really terrible parents. We’re completely lax. We’ve never grounded our children. We don’t have any rules they would respect. We have no authority. It started when they were young: I would say, ‘I’m counting now, don’t let me get to 10.’ And I would get to 10 and nothing would happen. They found out I was bluffing. But our kids are really great kids. I’m not proposing this is how people should raise their kids; we just didn’t have any plans.”
–B.S., Brooklyn, N.Y., parent of a son, 22, and a daughter, 17
“Telling them until you’re blue in the face doesn’t work. Teenagers see how you conduct yourself. They’ve got a very critical eye on you. If you’re kind, polite, productive and gregarious, they are, too. If you function in the world with a lot of bad attitude, or by putting on a phony face, they will, too. Or hate you for it.”
–John W., Longmeadow, Mass.

“I was not afraid to be tough or punish them if I had to. There is nothing like losing privileges to get a teen’s attention.”
–Rosemary C., Montville, N.J.

Hundreds of Heads Books’ survival guides offer the wisdom of the masses by assembling the experiences and advice of hundreds of people who have gone through life’s biggest challenges and have insight to share. Visit to share your advice or get more information.

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