"Here's What I Believe About That."
On the last page we talked about presenting the facts to your teen about controversial issues. But a talk with your teen is also a time to lay out your own beliefs and values -- just make it clear which statements are facts and which are opinions. Your kids want to know where you stand, and how you feel about the choices they're making. You don't need to preach your values as the only existing truth, but your stand can help kids shape their own opinions and form some boundaries. After you've expressed your ideas, ask your kid what he or she believes, and be ready to remain calm if you hear something you don't agree with. If you yell or put down your teen's opinion, your child may cut you off, which eliminates your chances of further shaping and influencing his or her ideas. Acknowledge that you've heard what your teen said, and then reinforce your own beliefs.