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June 2013 / Bronx/​Riverdale Family / Brooklyn Family / Long Island Family / Manhattan Family / Queens Family / Staten Island Family / Teens

Communicating with a teenage brain

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Get through to your teenager with clear limits, empathetic communication, and brief, direct messaging.

Don’t bend the law

Restrictions for teens like city-wide curfews or rules about driving with passengers are backed by science and exist for teens’ safety — insist that teens follow them.

Make or break

Teens crave limits, so set clear rules with your teen’s input, and provide logic-based consequences for failing to follow through.

To the point

Teenagers’ views exchange more emotionally than parents. To keep tempers from boiling over during a heated discussion, express your viewpoint in 25 words or less, then declare a cool-down break.


Teenagers are still learning the give-and-take of adult social interaction. Giving them the chance to negotiate about rules, curfews, and limits builds this critical skill set.

Sources: Sheryl Feinstein, PhD, and Laurence Steinberg, PhD.

Updated 7:03 pm, October 28, 2016
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