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And when things come out wrong, these kids often view themselves as victims.

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At 16, they’re starting to drive, they’re often getting money on their own, and they’re around people with drugs.

On the surface, they may seem much more independent and responsible, but often they are simply better able to put their parents off and hide what’s really going on with them.

If you’re in constant conflict with an older child over everything from curfews (should they have one or shouldn’t they?

), to getting a job, to alcohol use, James Lehman offers advice on how to set reasonable limits and how to coach your child to responsibility and independence.

At eleven they’re starting to play football or baseball and you’re afraid they might get hurt with a piece of equipment.

But as kids get older, they engage in more risky behavior, and “taking care of them” becomes more challenging.

Many kids don’t give a darn in high school, aren’t ready for a better job, and they resent the fact that they have to work at Mc Donald’s, 7-11, or some other starting out position. When my son went to college, one of the biggest shocks he had was when we started to refer to his room as the guest room.

So they avoid doing it and think they’re better than that. I remember him saying: “But that’s my room.” We said: We said it with love and kindness, but we wanted him to see his role in a different way. For parents who are very anxious and have a lot of fears about their kids, this sounds like a difficult thing to say. But it’s really the best thing to say because you need to let these kids know that they have to start to make it on their own.

If you feel compromised and taken advantage of by an older child, you need to realize this: the child is an adult now. I met many kids in my practice who refused to go to school and could only read and write at a seventh- or eighth-grade level at best. Consider the kid who says: “I’m not making it in school, but I’m gonna be a rap singer.

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