Win cooperation with your teen

This blog post is written by Upper School Counselor Richard Curtis, who recently led a free, six-week class on parenting for members of our community. Curtis explains why “Active Parenting of Teens” was an opportunity for parents to learn from and share with each other what works for them and what doesn’t during the teenage years.

Parenting is simultaneously one of life’s most challenging and rewarding experiences. Whether your kids are grown adults or pre-K toddlers, raising children demands heaps of patience and endurance. 

Child-rearing is hardly ever easy but enriches our lives with the spirit of family that few of life’s enterprises can match. Parenting also affords us plenty of opportunities to learn about ourselves and reflect on those principles which guide our lives as we navigate this amazing and complex world. Many times, being a parent can overwhelm us. We often question ourselves. Are we making the right decisions? How can we improve relationships with our children? Where did all the food go?!

Parenting teenagers can be particularly challenging. The teenage years are a time of intense emotion, physical and mental changes, and an increased desire for independence. This is why I offered Active Parenting of Teens, a parenting class designed to help Upper School parents during these complicated and often confusing years. By offering Active Parenting of Teens, I wanted to provide a forum for parents to share experiences with others, learn some tried-and-true parenting methods, and receive guidance and support from the school community.  

Active Parenting of Teens focuses on winning cooperation with our teenagers, establishing reasonable boundaries, and staying informed about the potential risks our kids face during these transformative years. The class is structured as a place where parents can share ideas and feelings, learn from other parents, and develop skills that can improve communication and understanding with our children. Participants also received a parent guide that can be used long after the class sessions are completed.          

Although the six-week fall class concluded last month, I would love to offer another session in the spring.  If you think you may be interested, please reach out to me at