The Teen Commandments Next Gen

by Lian on April 22, 2010

Those of you that have been following along since the early day of Satellite Sisters know that my sister Julie wrote a popular essay for our book Satellite Sisters UnCommon Senses called The Teen Commandments. In that piece, Julie imparted her wisdom on raising teenagers. At the time of the book’s publication, I had toddlers so I barely glanced at her Teen Commandments. Why? Because I wasn’t really getting enough sleep to focus on the toddler years, never mind the teen years. But nine years after the publication of the book, we still get a dozen requests a year for that essay.  Obviously, the parents of teens still wanted those words of wisdom. Or any words to help get through! So, with Julie’s permission, I updated The Teen Commandments for this week.

I had to laugh about one of Julie’s original commandments: no more than one electronic device plugged in at a time. And then Julie went onto list such quaint “devices” as radios and cds players. No mention of laptops, cellphones, iPods, iPads, iPhones, iTouches, Xboxes ,PSPs, or the Nintendo Ds. Ah, what a simple time 2001 was!

Please add your own commandments, either here or at Along with her original teen commandments, Julie also advised parents of teens to keep talking– to each other even about the tough stuff. That piece of wisdom I did absorb. Thanks, Julie.

Embracing my Chaos, Lian

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Chris in San Diego April 25, 2010 at 5:29 AM

This parenting business is rough!

Finally had a chance to listen to the extra podcast with Sheila – loved hearing the two of you together again. Very funny! Sure do miss The Satellite Sisters, and I really enjoy The Chaos Chronicles. Thanks, Lian!

MaryCatherine April 23, 2010 at 2:59 PM

My advice is for parents of college age teens. Before you decide to solve their problems when they are away from home use the phase “What do you you think you should do?” This is almost always better than being a helicopter parent! You can step in after they try their own method if there is still an important conflict. Some “major problems” seem to work their way out without your help. Your children will grow!

Sue S from MN April 23, 2010 at 8:30 AM

This article is just fantastic! I can relate to every single thing on the Teen Commandments with two teenage sons. I would add a couple of things:

Never speak loudly in a public setting around your teens – you will get chewed out in the car for completely embarrassing them.

Never talk too friendly with their teachers at conferences, my son was convinced that I had just ruined his High School experience by being very chatty with one of his teachers.

Try to keep on them helping with chores, because once they have a job outside the home, they don’t feel any obligation because they “already have a job”.

Always keep huggling them, but in the privacy of your home! Both my boys still let me hug them at home, with the blinds closed, and they do hug back!!

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