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"Here to Listen, Here to Help" During National Runaway Prevention Month

Nov 26, 2013

 In celebration of National Runaway Safety Prevention Month (NRPM), National Runaway Safeline (NRS)  is rolling out new tips for parents throughout November, with a unique twist. NRS turned to parents to get these helpful tips on confronting the challenges of being a parent. Each tip was approved by an expert panel that includes me alongside Cyndi Lauper, Grammy and Emmy award-winning artist, civil rights activist, and co-founder for True Colors Fund; Charlotte Latvala, columnist and magazine contributor on parenting; Christina Tynan-Wood, blogger for Momster on the Family Circle website; Congressman Dave Reichert, Representative from the Eighth Congressional District of Washington; James Garbarino, author and professor at Loyola University Chicago; and Darla Bardine, policy director for the National Network for Youth. This is just a snippet of the great advice parents passed on. I encourage you to visit here for more tips, on a variety of topics, that we add each Sunday during NRPM: 

  • A relationship is always more important than an issue.
  •  Communication is key. Parents need to keep in mind that listening is a skill so it is important to hear your children out before rendering judgment or an opinion.
  • Pick your battles. Not everything matters. Let them have freedom with some things (like dying hair - it can be changed!), but not with the important stuff - dating, internet use, drugs, alcohol, drinking and driving.
  • When it's time to talk with teens about a tough or sensitive topic, it is important to share some of your personal experiences, but not to over-share. 
  • Validate your teen’s point of view. Sometimes kids just want to know that you hear what they say, even if you don’t agree. 
  • Collaborate on rules. Your teens are more likely to comply with rules they helped set up.
  • Teens are going to make mistakes. It’s a part of the process of growing up. Let them know you will still be there when they stumble and fall. 


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