The internet means that there is never a shortage of reading material, but we all know that quantity doesn't always mean quality. This week, though, there were many great articles about raising teens that I've read and loved.
One thing I appreciate is that the list below comes from a variety of sources. If you needed any reassurance that parenting adolescents is far from easy, I think the fact that pieces in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and U.S. News and World Report all addressed some of the struggles should give you just that.
How to To Build Influence With Kids and Teens Through Emotional Connection by Karen in Hey Sigmund
"Let all feelings be okay, because they are. What’s not okay is the behaviour those feelings drive. Kids won’t stop getting angry because we tell them not to, or because we punish them for it. Ditto for jealousy, frustration, impatience or any other feeling that needles all of us from time to time. It’s still up to us as parents to decide what behaviour is okay and what isn’t. "
(I also love what this piece says about not associating too closely with your child's mistakes.)
The Secret to Getting Your Teen to Talk by Anne Marie Chaker in The Wall Street Journal
"Journals are being used as a way for parents and children—often in awkward adolescence—to communicate and deepen relationships. Sharing a private communication can help, they say, parenting during some of the toughest years.
. . .
When a parent and child are writing back and forth, it can balance out a relationship where the parent is usually the one with the upper hand. In a diary, both parties are charged with the same task, in the same book, writing about related topics. 'It creates a much more level playing field,' says Kathleen Adams, founder of the Center for Journal Therapy in Denver."
The Most Valuable Thing a Parent Can Do for Their Kids by Glennon Doyle Melton on Oprah.com
"So is it possible that we’re trying to protect our kids from the one thing that will allow them to become the people we dream they’ll be? And is it also possible that as parents we feel like failures because we’ve been assuming the wrong roles? What if it has never been our job—or our right—to protect our children from every incoming bump and bruise? What if, instead, our obligation is to point them directly toward life’s inevitable trials and tribulations and say, ‘Honey, that challenge was made for you. It might hurt, but it will also nurture wisdom, courage, and character. I can see what you’re going through, and it’s big. But I can also see your strength, and that’s even bigger. This won’t be easy, but we can do hard things.’”
How to Reduce Kids’ Sense of Entitlement in a 'Me' Generation by Jennifer Hartstein in U.S. News & World Report
"It’s important not to say yes when you should say no. We often over-indulge to avoid disappointment and argument. Neither are good reasons to give in. When we cave to demands, we fail to teach our children how to handle not getting what they want, a skill they certainly need in life. It’s never fun to disappoint another person. Sometimes, though, it will happen. As the adult, you can model how to handle it and how to maintain a relationship in the face of feeling badly."
Online Risks Are Everyday Events for Teens -- But They Rarely Tell Their Parents by Tara Haelle on Forbes
"But until more educational materials and training are available, the least parents can do is ask their teens more often what’s happening—but resist the urge to lecture or freak out about it if they want to keep those channels of communication open."
An X-Plan Could Help Your Kids Avoid Addiction by Bert Folks on Huffington Post
"[W]e now have something called the 'X-plan' in our family. This simple, but powerful tool is a lifeline that our kids are free to use at any time. Here’s how it works:
Let’s say that my youngest, Danny, gets dropped off at a party. If anything about the situation makes him uncomfortable, all he has to do is text the letter 'X' to any of us (his mother, me, his older brother or sister). The one who receives the text has a very basic script to follow."
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Filed under: Parenting