Teens - privacy at home & sibling relationships

* FREEDOM & PRIVACY - Just as you value your freedom and privacy so too does your teen. Once upon a time you walked freely in and out of your child’s room.


Always knock before entering their room - and this really should be started to from an earlier age of nine or 10.


Don't listen in to their phone conversations.


Although you should know who their friends are up and make a welcoming atmosphere in your home you should not quiz them about every move they make. Bake


Plan is to agree that for a basic safety you always know roughly where they are up and what time they'll be home. They should give you a courtesy call if they're running late. At a packed


At a practical level keep a note pad by the phone or in the kitchen where you writ each other notes about your movements.


There's a big difference between such basic safety measures and intrusion into their right to privacy.


All this changes if you suspect they are unhappy, being bullied, drinking, taking drugs, having sex too early. If you have such worries sit them down and talk them through. Hysterics won't help where a confident tone of voice will.


If you find your child has been doing something like truanting, or taking drugs, then their privileges should be curtailed, and their freedoms more limited, and you may consider getting advice from a professional.


When it comes to having friends and/or boy friends/girlfriends visit then as a group they may want to socialise in your child's bedroom. However when it comes to boyfriends/girlfriends encourage an open bedroom- door policy, or for them to stay in this family areas, so they’re less likely to experiment sexually before they're ready.


*SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS - The most important rule for generating positive and harmonious sibling relationships is to be fair. Children have different temperaments and this is particularly true during adolescence. The temptation for parents is to favour the child whose, e.g., easier going. You may find yourself naturally taking this child’s side when in actual fact they may be in the wrong or jointly to blame for any difficulties. This is not fair to anyone!


When complimenting one of your children ensure you do the same to the other.


When trying to sort out sibling rows get an egg timer and give each child two minutes to explain themselves without interruption.


Don't allow them to swear or use put-downs against their sibling, instead encourage them to describe the situation and what's caused the disagreement as if they're writing it in an essay for a teacher. When you generate respectfulness even during a disagreement you'll get much further in resolving differences.


Take what each child claims to be that "truth" with a pinch of salt. If they see they can’t pull the wool over your eyes they’re less likely to try!


Never compare your children to each other. If one child is better at doing their school work it's tempting to ask your other child, "why can’t you be like your brother/sister?" Such remarks are the quickest way to generating hatred between them!


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