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Early Teen

Age 13-15 years

Parenting an early teen is a lot like parenting a toddler in some ways. The developmental stage is all about moving toward independence, not always gracefully or responsibly.

We can't change our child's basic personality, and the outside environment has a profound effect, from peers to school to media. But how we parent makes the critical difference in how our teen acts, from how rebellious he is to whether she throws emotional tantrums, from whether he gets enough sleep to how studious she is.

If we can manage our own emotions, extend respect, offer appropriate freedom, and maintain intimacy and communication -- a tall order for most parents -- we can be pleasantly surprised by how rewarding the teen years can be. The rewards are huge, as we watch our child transform and blossom in front of our eyes.


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Gameplan for Peaceful Parenting Your Early Teen

Good relationships between teens and their parents are positively correlated with school success and general happiness. Here's 10 tips for staying positively connected with your teen.

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Navigate Your Teen’s Emerging Independence

If we've accepted our child's dependency needs AND affirmed her development into her own person, she'll stay fiercely connected to us even as her focus shifts.

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Setting Limits with Teens and Preteens

Parenting teens and preteens can be aggravating. Here's how to support them to meet your expectations, while also strengthening your relationship.

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Beyond Discipline for Teens

Discipline as we usually think of it backfires with teens. If you come down like a sledge hammer, you can count on open rebellion. Here's what to do instead.

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Want a Trustworthy 14 Year Old?

Dr. Laura's personal Aha! parenting moment with her 14 year old daughter. Here's what happened...

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Best Books on Parenting Teens

Some fabulous suggestions for books on parenting your teen.

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What Parents are Saying


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Dr. Laura Markham is the author of three best-selling books

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