Heart-to-Heart Connection

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Boundaries With Teens — Understand the Teenage World (3/10)

I guess knowing who and what I’m dealing with would help me become a better parent to my preteen son.

Knowledge is power, I hope.  So here goes Dr. Townsend’s insights:

  • Teens are divided people — dependence vs. independence, goodness vs. badness, reason vs. emotion, internal vs. social realities, family vs. friends
  • Teens think differently — teens are still developing their ability to control emotions and use their higher thought processes.  Adolescents go with their guts and often react without thinking.
  • Stay connected — bring up drugs, sex violence, and ethics at the dinner table.  Your teen needs you to be explicit, clear, and direct about your view on these matters, even in differences.  Example, “I may not agree about who is drinking but I want to know whatever you’ll let me know.”
  • Children are supposed to leave home and separate from their parentsaccept that your teen is being drawn toward something rather than away from you, and help her be as content as possible at home so she’ll want to leave for the right reasons, not just to escape. … Example, “How about inviting a couple of friends over for Friday night.  I’ll grill steaks for you and you can rent a movie.”

Dr. Townsend also states seven qualities for parent to place in their teen’s Toolbox of Resources (which we’ll look at in detail tomorrow):

  • Relational, not alienated
  • Responsible, not immature
  • Self-controlled, not impulsive
  • Values-based, not peer-driven
  • Autonomous, not dependent
  • Focused, not lost
  • Spiritual, not separated from God (or higher power)

A friend and a teen parent once shared, “Remember, to your child, social life is becoming more important than his family.  Find out what they are and don’t moralize … Use the carpool time to learn what’s going on.  In a few minutes kids will forget you’re in the car.  You can find out all sorts of things you need to know.”

Thanks to all the friends and wise folks who’ve come before me.  I just may be able to survive, hopefully enjoy, parenting teens!  🙂

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September 10, 2009 - Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, Health and Wellness, Heart, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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