Thoughts on raising adolescents

Here are a few of the great pieces I've read online recently on some of the many topics that arise when raising adolescents. I thought other tween and teen parents might also appreciate them and wanted to share

If your child is being particularly defiant of late:

Three Proven Ways To Help Children and Teens Behave Better by Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D., in Psychology Today

"1. Be an Active Listener: If you are in a conflict, draw your child out to see how he genuinely feels. Avoid being overly judgmental, which leaves your child feeling criticized and will cause him to become defensive. One of my clients, Ken, shared with me how he found it helpful to say to his 12-year-old son, Troy: 'Please help me understand why you seem upset.' Just that simple statement helped Ken remember to listen to rather than lecture his son. Even if Troy did not give Ken an immediate answer, Ken realized that by asking this question he left the door open for Troy to share this thoughts and feelings later on. This question also helped prevent Ken from going into what Troy referred to as 'lecture mode.'"

If you watched Downton Abbey:

17 Parenting Lessons From Downton Abbey on Grown & Flown

When our deepest gut feeling tells us that there is something wrong with our child, even when experts may not agree, we need to follow our gut.  Watching our child for a lifetime, through all of its up and downs, makes us an expert. No one knew Sybil better than her own mother.

If your teen is dating:

#ThatsNotLove: Helping teens spot signs of relationship abuse by Kelly Wallace on CNN

"'I think the idea behind #ThatsNotLove is how can we think of a lot of different, creative ways to emphasize the same core message, which is that there is a difference between relationships that are about love and relationships that are about control, that you can see in some of the earliest phases of a relationship behaviors that are healthy and unhealthy,' said Katie Hood, chief executive officer of the One Love Foundation.

'We're trying to sort of make this very clear, that every kid has a stake in solving this problem. Every kid has a stake in working for change and thereby make it easier for people to do so,' she said."

If you're frustrated with your kid's lack of effort around the house and need to know you're not alone, or need a good laugh:

An Open Letter to My Teen Daughter Who Is In The Next Room by Margarita Gokun Silver on Brain, Child

"When it comes to household chores, asking you to unload a dishwasher or walk the dog isn’t the same as making a Cinderella out of you . . . And while we are on the subject of rights, let me assure you that allowance is not a human right. Neither is it your indisputable right."

and

20 Things That Are Too Hard For Teenagers by Stacey Gill on Scary Mommy

"Now, whenever my daughter says she’s thirsty, and I say, 'Go get yourself a drink,' to which she responds, 'Oh, just forget it,' I say, 'No, now I demand you get a drink.' She may roll her eyes and slide off the couch onto the floor before picking herself up and heading to the kitchen, but when she gets there, she is actually able to remove the iced tea from the refrigerator and pour it into a glass. It’s a real confidence builder."

If you've been feeling a bit out of sorts or out of your comfort zone recently:

The Most Important Choice You’ll Ever Make by Dr. Kelly Flanagan of Artisanal Counseling

"Parenting. Marriage. Raising a family. Friendship. Owning a business. Maintaining a blog. Writing a book. All of it. All of life is a first. Even if you’ve done something before, you’ve never done it now, on this day, feeling this way, in these conditions, with these particular limitations and advantages. Let that awareness be grace. Let it be a peace that surpasses all understanding. Let it be the seed of kindness, toward yourself and everybody else. And let it be just enough to help you tolerate the discomfort of being fully alive."

If your teen is having wisdom teeth removed or :

Should You Ever Give Your Teenager Prescription Painkillers? by Diana Simeon on Your Teen

"Here’s what you should do before giving your teenager an opioid painkiller.

1. Ask for an alternative.

'There are a lot of instances where narcotics are handed out to adolescents where they don’t need to be,' says Jerry. 'Challenge the physician. Would high-dose Motrin be more appropriate? Or is there another alternative you could use?'

2. Ask for less and take control of the pills.

In some cases, like major surgery, your teenager may require a prescription opioid. 'If a prescription narcotic is unavoidable, parents should take possession of that prescription and give it out as needed,' says Jerry. 'As soon as your child is able to get by without it, immediately dispose of the rest of it.' Never leave leftover opioids in your medicine cabinet. 'The medicine cabinet has become the liquor cabinet of our day,' adds Jerry."

Prior Post: Happy National Day of Unplugging!

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