1 . Teenagers need to make dumb mistakes to get smart.
2 . Be ALERT but not ALARMED.
3 . Be compassionate and concerned but not enmeshed.
4 . Love them but do not worship them like idols or despise them when they let you down.
5 . Be observant without spying or prying.
6 . Pretend you have seven kids: Dopey, Bashful, Sleepy, Grumpy, Doc (the “know it all”), Sneezy (Does he have a learning disability? An undiagnosed handicap of some kind?), Happy (Is he too laid back? Where is his passion, focus, ambition and drive?) and that which ever of these seven appear in your child’s form on any given day, they are all just going through a phase
7 . When they come to you in distress, resist responding like a concierge, talent agent or the secret police. Assume that they are capable of figuring out — through trial and error — how to solve their own problems.
8 . Be forewarned that the college Common Application asks about “paid” employment with the word “paid” in bold. Remind yourself that ordinary chores and nonfancy paid jobs provide a great education in ordinary but vital life skills.
9 . Remind yourself that watching dumb YouTube videos is a healthful form of decompression and entertainment for teenagers.
10 .Remind yourself that they are unlikely to fulfill all of your dreams or all of your nightmares.
11. Remember that a snapshot of your teenager today is not the epic movie of her life.
12. Recognize that once they get to college, FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) laws don’t allow parents to see their child’s grades so it’s a good idea for students to learn the relationship between effort and outcome long before they go.
13. Plan parental obsolescence, raise them to leave you. The Talmud requires that parents teach their child how to swim.
14. Put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child.
15. Find support in other adults instead of letting shame or fear about your teenager’s twisting path cause you to isolate yourself.
It helped me to see this.