15 Listen Talk to your child about what’s happening in school and be a good listener. Pay attention not only to the words your child uses, but also to your child’s body language, attitude, and mood. Parents who have a difficult time talking with their teenager often find that it’s easier to talk when they’re doing something they both enjoy. Make time for one-on-one activities like cook- ing, shopping, taking a walk, working on a car, or watching a game. These are great ways to spend quality time with your child, and they provide excellent opportunities for conversation. Students and situations are different, and parents must find their own way to deal with the issue of homework. Parents must, however, make homework their child’s responsibility. In this scenario, the responsibility for doing homework has been given to the student, where it belongs. Of course, for this approach to work, the father must follow through with contacting the teacher, and if necessary, impose the consequences (restrictions on watching TV, social activities, etc.). Olivia is a high school freshman who received a low midterm grade in her English class. Her father con- tacted her teacher and found out that Olivia hadn’t turned in several of her homework assignments. Instead of getting angry, Olivia’s father calmly explained to his daughter that she would be expected to turn in all future homework assignments. He then told her what the consequences would be if she missed another assignment. Olivia’s father explained that he would check back with her Eng- lish teacher in two weeks. If he got a good report, he would check with her teacher again in another four weeks. If he found out that Olivia had missed one or more assignments, then she would have to face the consequences they discussed, and another two week period would begin.