During the preteen and teenage years, I believe the order of importance in parenting is: relationship first, then discipline. When kids are little, you instill values (like respect for themselves and others) and hopefully that worked out well. When they get bigger, you really need to invest energy and time in developing a relationship with them.
If you have a girl, take her out to talk—go shopping or for coffee. If you have a boy, do something you both love together. I started playing golf with my son when he was 16. It was a time we could do something together. If we're playing 9 holes, by hold 3 or 4 he'd just naturally open up! It built a relationship. In my opinion, there's nothing more critical than investing time with older kids to develop a strong relationship.
Besides being a mom, Lisa Welchel is best known for her role as Blair on the TV show
The Facts of Life. She is also the author of Creative Correction
What else is on Lisa's mind?