For Better Teen Years, Start When They're Little

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The teen years aren't ever a breeze, but they can be pretty darn good if some character traits are in place from a young age. The effort you put in when they are young can help build smoother teen years. Of course it won't solve all potential problems that will come along, but will just make them easier to deal with then.

The best tip is leading by loving relationship of course, that is assumed. But here are just a few other thoughts.

1. Develop absolute respect for you and others early on. The more respect you can get in place when they are young, the easier their teen years will be for both of you.

2. Develop self control and imagination at a young age. Daily, make sure they spend a few minutes alone in creative play without use of technology. (Be very careful how soon you give them the freedoms of phones, internet and social media. Make sure those two things are in place first, self control and imagination).

3. Develop thoughtfulness toward others and awareness of their world. Empathy and perspective are powerful.

4. Help them understand and experience the power of waiting, being patient and not receiving everything they want immediately.

5. Develop the knowledge that they are loved and taken care of but the world doesn't revolve around them. They have to know how to exist without being the center of attention. They are an important part of a bigger picture. They are one part of a bigger family.

Of course how you present each of these ideas will look differently at each wonderful age and stage, but they are guiding principles that are valuable to hold up as standards.

Don't you just want to squeeze that little baby in the picture??

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