With five teenage girls at home, it was an easy decision for Michael and Gwen Birmingham that she should not work for a while but stay at home. So Gwen devoted herself exclusively to taking care of soul mate and husband of 24 years, and their beloved girls. She currently works as an assistant administrator at a school.
Michael agrees, “It’s important that we always have open communication in our family.” Certainly Michael’s skills as a fifth grade teacher help with parenting his girls.
Almost in unison their daughters Kisha, 23, Kendra, 18, a college freshman and twins, Kelly and Kristen, 13 say, “We can talk with our parents about anything.” Kitchy Johnson, their oldest daughter, has her own family and lives not far from her parents.
The consensus among experts is that the most important things to remember when talking with young people are: Teach them about successful relationships. Welcome their comments and questions.
- Always listen as much as you talk, if not more, and respect what they say.
- Make your expectations regarding their behavior clear.
- Help them understand the consequences of poor decisions as well as the benefits of making positive choices.