Archive for the ‘Teens / Teenagers’ Category
Though many parents tell their teens that popularity is not the only thing that matters, not wanting them to compromise more important things in life to fit in and be subject to peer pressure, I think in a way they are deceiving themselves.
If popularity is not that important to us as parents,
where did our teens get this idea?
Grownups compromise a lot to gain popularity at home, at work and among their friends and family. Most extended family struggles runs around popularity. Siblings fight to be the most popular kids and the most popular grandchildren. When a couple divorces, there is an immediate struggle for being the most popular parent and most couples, unfortunately, compromise many of their values and much of the wellbeing of their precious kids just to gain imaginary popularity over their partners. Whether you like to admit it or not, you compromise a lot and are subject to social pressure yourself.
I think popularity counts, not because I think it should, but because it just does.
If you have been in a long term relationship long enough (and since you are reading a parenting blog, it is likely you have been), you can probably come up with quite a few examples of things “the other person” says to you on a regular basis, which you find infuriating. In fact, saying them is just like pressing some invisible button in your mind and triggering anger and resentment.
In the past few weeks, I overheard talk about a teenager (let’s call him Jonathan), who used to be friendly and “normal”, besides being very talented, but who recently started to miss classes, show up late, fail various subjects and behave indifferently. One speculation was that he might have started using drugs, but he was clearly troubled.
As an author, people ask me about the origin of my stories. Almost every person who has read my stories has asked, “Are they real?” Maybe this is a good opportunity for me to write how I came up with them, because some of the stories are so real it was painful. All my characters are based on real people whose personalities I borrowed without their knowledge, but some parts of the stories are twists I created to convey a message.
Some time ago, my teen daughter went to a teen motivation seminar (that shall remain anonymous at this stage). Gal and I were very happy she was going to participate. As you can imagine, us two life coaching parents are happy with every opportunity for our kids to hear some of our “preaching” from someone else. However, she came back so disappointed, our heart dropped.
If you have ever wondered how dumb parents can be, wonder no more. I believe the parents in the story “Parents Fight over Which Gang Toddler Should Join” take the lead for more than one reason. If there is ever a parenting qualification exam, they would fail miserably. This may be how it seems, but is it the whole story?
Years ago, someone showed me this book called “I’m OK, You’re OK”. In the book, the author describes 4 psychological positions and their effect on communication and relationships. What I read in that book has helped me a lot over the years and is a handy way of explaining relationships to clients, especially parents.