STICK TO THE GOALS: Before initiating a conversation with your teen, have a goal or information to relate. Teenagers can throw a conversation off track. So clearly state what you want your teen to know and keep the topic on course.
SHOW APPRECIATION AND PRAISE: Parents can never underestimate the value of this when motivating their child. Acknowledge their accomplishments along the way. When you evaluate their progress and critique their work, start with sincere compliments before easing into criticism.
CONSIDER IF THEY'RE COPING WITH A TRAUMA: Children who've experienced a death in the family, suffered abuse or neglect, are dealing with serious issues at home or other traumatic experiences may act and react in unexpected ways. If you're concerned your child's behavior may be caused by a trauma, you can call the Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County for guidance at 561-801-4357 or the Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative at 561-366-9400.