Pick Your Battles
Parents of out-of-control teens can usually make a long list of things they want to change about their child. It's normal to want to completely reform a troubled teen so that he or she resembles the good child you once knew. However, parents aren't going to be able to get everything they want, so it's important to distinguish between the issues that need to be addressed (such as drug abuse, risky sexual activity and criminal acts) and those that really aren't important. Parents may have to accept that they'll never like their children's friends, appearance or grade-point average again, but these issues are secondary to teenagers' safety and security. Parents should avoid nagging their teenagers about the superficial things and save their ammunition for the big battles.