Recently in teenagers Category

 Here is the handout from a talk I am giving tomorrow on the challenges for parents when we watch our children struggle with developmental issues:

1.     Welcome: it's good to talk about our roles as parents

2.   Quaker beliefs: growing into goodness/minding the Light in each of us/ integrity in word and deed/experience life on life's terms

3.   Freud - a healthy adult is able "to love and to work"

4.   Developmental tasks to be accomplished:

·        experience my gender and my sexuality...

·        learn the difference between being assertive and aggressive...

·        learn to be more independent...

·        figure out the person I want to be using the traits of the person I am...

·        learn to live in the middle and not be too big or too small...

·        learn to be a critical thinker...

·        establish and maintain healthy friendships with peers...

·        come to terms with my changing body..

5.    Good parenting versus overindulgence: what does overindulgence look like?

·        No firm limits and expectations

·        More concern about child's feelings than family needs

·        Parents emotionally overattentive

·        Too much authority too soon

·        Children expect to have things done for them

·        There is too much emphasis on perfection

6.   Research on overindulgence in children:

·        Poor development of conscience

·        More aggression and non-compliance

·        Lack of assertion skills

·        Lack of self-confidence

·        Less concern for others

·        A sense of entitlement

·        Overly dependent on parents

·        Feel "too big"

7.    Good parenting versus overindulgence in the face of challenges:

·        Separate your pain from your child's pain.

·        Avoid "interviewing for pain" (Thompson).

·        Praise appropriately.

·        Set limits and stick to them.

·        Realize that you are the parent (not their friend).

8.   Respect your child's ability to handle the situation:

·        Empathy: "That must be very hard..."

·        Pause - allow them to experience your kind attention.

·        Turn it over: "What are you going to do about it?"

·        Affirmation: "You are a smart/brave/honest/caring individual. I am sure you can handle this."

·        Keep the door open: "Let me know how this goes."

9.   Raising our children to be adults we'd like to have as friends: what are the qualities of my friends that I admire...

It is my privilege to work with you and your families.

Given all of the uncertainty and worry that being a teenager (and raising a teenager!) can entail, sometimes it's good to know what's supposed to be happening during the adolescent years.

1)      experience my gender and my sexuality: What's it like to be a male or a female in this society? In my school?  In my own body?

2)    learn the difference between being assertive and aggressive: How can I stand up for myself and still respect the boundaries of others?

3)    learn to be more independent: How can I make my own decisions without simply reacting against the rules of adults?

4)    figure out the person I want to be using the traits of the person I am: What are my strengths? What am I good at doing? Where do I want to be in ten years?

5)    learn to live in the middle and not be too big or too small: Am I "right-sized" in my dealings with others? Can I avoid being overdramatic (too big) or invisible (too small)?

6)    learn to be a critical thinker: Can I make sense of the world around me, using my thinking skills to make good decisions?

7)    establish and maintain healthy friendships with peers: What do I look for in a friend? Am I a good friend?

8)   come to terms with my changing body: In a culture that idolizes only certain types of bodies, can I become comfortable in my own?

 

Quite a list, no? As adults, how do we measure up on these tasks? With all humility and good faith in human nature, may we promote these skills in ourselves and our loved ones.

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