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What is your relationship with your teen/preteen like? Do you feel like you can talk to them about anything, or do you feel like you have no clue as to how to talk to them?
I have a very close and open relationship with my oldest. He has learned all these years that no matter what, I will be honest with him. There are some things that we have a difficult time talking about, but that doesn't take away from the other things. I have learned over the years to let him have his own opinion. True that it may be way out in left field, but letting the kid get their ideas, thoughts and feelings out there, it let's them feel as though they are contributing. I just think that is one of the reasons DS1 and I have the relationship that we do have.
I think I'm pretty lucky in that respect. My girls and I are very close and they are also very close with eachother. There hasn't been anything yet that we haven't been able to talk about. (at least I think)
Family is *the* top priority for us. We do a lot together and make a point to support eachother in our individual activities. (going to sports games, choir concerts, school plays together as much as possible) I thought for sure they'd get sick of it at some point and want their independence but so far....knock on wood....that hasn't happened yet. We'll see what happens when Meg gets her drivers license.
Another thing that has helped us a lot is a piece of advice someone gave me when my oldest was just a baby.
"Make sure *your* best friend is also your daughters friend. Encourage that relationship so if there is ever something she doesn't feel comfortable talking to you about, you know she can talk to someone you trust."
I've taken that advice to heart. It's not only been a great thing for my daughters but it's also brought me closer to my friends and their families.