- Lauren Dungy
- Shaunti Feldhahn
- Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- Betsy Landers
- Dr. Walt Larimore
- Mark Merrill
- Joanne Miller
- Dr. Gary J. Oliver
- Kathy Peel
- Dr. Greg Smalley
- Dr. Scott Turansky
- Jill Savage
Articles by Dr. Walt Larimore
- Your Child Needs a Well-Child Checkup
- You Are the Key to Your Teen’s Well-Being
- Why Energy Drinks Are Bad for Your Teeth
- Why Bottled Water is Bad for Your Teeth
- Why Baby Media Does Not Advance Learning
- Whooping Cough Epidemic
- What Is the Genetic Link With ADHD?
- What Is My ADHD Child Feeling?
- What about Adopted Children?
- Weight Loss That Works…and Keeps Working
- The Ten Commitments of Great Parents
- The Teen Years--Ready, Set, Go
- The Parental Team--It Takes Two
- The One Thing Your Kids Need to Avoid for A Good Night’s Sleep
- The Different Layers of Health Care
- The Death-Defying Power of Healthy Marriage
- The Crucial Importance of R.E.S.T.
- The Attributes of Great Parents
- The ADHD Child
- The ABCD's of Parenting Teens
- The 12 Ways of Hands-On Parents
- Television and Childhood Obesity
- Talking to Your Kids About Puberty
- Superfoods for Women
- Summer – Fun, Food, Fellowship, and Fat?
- Study shows no link between increased cell phone use and brain cancer incidence
- Small Changes Bring Big Results
- Showing Gratitude for Partner's Generosity
- Quality Time or Quantity Time?
- Postpartum Depression
- Poll Shows Sex within Marriage is More Fulfilling
- Obesity: Television, Video Games and Your Children’s Health
- Obesity: Soft Drinks Effect Health
- Obesity: It’s a Killer Epidemic
- Obesity: Children and Fast Food
- Loud Music and Teenage Hearing Loss
- Learn as much about ADHD as you can
- Is Chocolate the Next Super Food?
- Is ADHD Different in Boys and Girls?
- Is ADHD Associated With Risk-Taking Behaviors?
- How to Change These Four Bad Habits
- How to be Happier and More Satisfied
- How Common Is ADHD?
- Hepatitis C and Tattoos
- Healthy Holidays
- Hands-on Parenting: How it Works
- Good Relationship with Dad Can Help Fight Stress
- Fast food and your family
- Explore Treatment Options
- Dr. Larimore’s 11 Tips for Weight Loss Success
Dr. Walt LarimoreWalt Larimore, M.D. has been called “one of America’s best known family physicians.” He is a nationally-known and nationally sought after speaker and health expert. read bio
The ABCD's of Parenting Teens
Highly healthy teens need four things from their parents to maintain their emotional health during their preteen and adolescent years. I call them the ABCD's of parenting:
A = Affirmation
B = Blameless love
C = Connectedness
D = Discipline
I define emotional health as the state of one's emotional and mental well-being. I know that mixing the words teen, emotional, and mental well-being is like mixing chili powder into a cake mix—they're disagreeable ingredients.
Teens are highly emotional, and it's easy to question their mental well-being. Anyone who has spent time around teens has witnessed their incredible highs and the earth-shattering lows. One moment they're on top of the world ("I aced my biology test!"), and the next moment they're inconsolable ("I'm ruined—no one asked me to the homecoming bash"). There will be days when your teen's emotional wheel will be pumped to the point of bursting, and there will be days when it's flatter than a crêpe suzette.
Their sudden mood shifts cause everyone to be on edge. As you might suspect, hormones are the underlying reason behind their inflated highs and out-of-air lows. These are the times to maintain a steady hand on the rudder. Just as a sudden jerk of the wheel can tip a boat over, any emotional overreactions from your side will feel unsettling to them.
To maintain an even keel and a steady course, look for opportunities to Affirm and Approve.
Love them unconditionally, or what I call "Blameless love," even when they're driving you crazy.
Stay Connected with them, even though they're away from the house more often, and ensure that their out-of-home connections are highly healthy.
Maintain Discipline (coaching and cheerleading) as you continue to train these adolescents so they can become self-sufficient, highly healthy young adults.
I know it wasn't long ago that these teens were cuddly creatures who hung on your every word and accepted everything you said at face value. Now they're growing up and leaving childhood, beginning a journey that will take them to the Land of Adults. They're not quite there. Teens aren't mature enough or prepared enough to go it alone or to have life all figured out—and that's simply because they're still teens.
This is the time when you need to be an emotional rock for them. The teen years are a critical time for mothers to be stay-at-home moms—or at least to be home when they arrive home after the end of the school day. And it isn't a time for Dad to be AWOL either. When parents are physically present and emotionally available, they strengthen family intimacy and build healthier children.
Related Resource: 10 Things Your Teen Shouldn't Be Doing
Taken with permission from the book, God's Design for the Highly Healthy Teen byWalt Larimore, M.D. with Mike Yorkey. (Zondervan)comments powered by Disqus