Roundup of great pieces about parenting tweens and teens

We took a family vacation and returned in the wee hours this morning. I’ll be sharing more about our trip soon, but reentry has been a bit rough and I’m still recovering. While I work on clearing the cobwebs from my brain, here are some great pieces about parenting tweens and teens by more rested writers.

With All the Planning for My Son’s Bar Mitzvah, I Never Expected This
by Michelle Tauber on Kveller

You don’t have to be Jewish to understand and appreciate this mother’s thoughts on how her 13-year-old “wasn’t simply ‘becoming a man,’  he was becoming his own man. That in stepping up to the Torah, he was stepping away from me. That I needed to let go, just a little, before I need to let go a lot.”

by KJ Dell’Antonia on Motherlode – The New York Times
“Being 13 has always meant walking a tightrope between adolescence and childhood, between self-awareness and self-absorption, between being yourself and being the person you hope others will see. Social media may have amplified that balancing act, but it didn’t create it, and now, it’s just one more rite of passage — and one more chance for parents to strike a balance between guiding children and letting them find their own way.” I liked the perspective and also the good concrete advice in this piece a great deal.
by Allison Slater Tate on
“That’s what it’s all about, after all: the effort and the ability to keep on trying. I hope that when you fall and when you fail, and when your own children go to school with half-brushed hair and mismatched clothes someday, you’ll remember me and how I made imperfection perfectly normal.And please, tell everyone that your mom tried.”

by Robyn Gearey on Club Mid
“There’s no option to monitor these except to view your child’s account directly. Any private groups will be listed on the right-hand side of the screen and messages can be viewed by clicking on the chat bubble icon in the blue bar at the top of the page, though these are easily deleted. Of course, a really determined kid can figure out how to set up a second, secret profile that they don’t share with parents. As with everything online, the only real safeguard is to talk openly and honestly with your tween about your expectations and keep the lines of communication open.”
by Donna Moncivaiz on Chicago Now
Note: Donna passed away on Friday, and we at ChicagoNow are incredibly saddened by her passing. To honor her, we are sharing this wonderful post she wrote a few years ago. She had melanoma and was committed to educating people about the importance of protecting yourself, as evidenced by the last line in this post. “And for God’s sake, wear sunscreen.  Every.  Single.  Day.” In addition, she shares a whole lot of wisdom and truth bombs.
“Time is precious.  If I could only share one thing with you, that would be it.  Every single day is a gift.  Even the days you’re mad at your kids, or your boss, or the love of your life.  Don’t hate Mondays…and don’t live just to get to Friday.  Friday might, or might not, get here.”

by Shannan Younger on Make It Better
“Conventional wisdom used to be that having teens drive older cars was a safe and economical way to go. Experts agree that is no longer the case. ‘The rules are different now, and they’ve changed from even just five years ago,’ explains Scotty Reiss, co-founder of She Buys Cars and president of the International Motor Press Association. ‘Safety technology has changed a lot in the last five years.’ Safety features that used to be markups are now coming standard in cars, including rear view cameras, blind spot monitors and additional airbags. Electronic stability control was required in vehicles starting in 2012.”

Prior Post: Thoughts I had in the first 24 hours my kid had an Instagram account

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