Happy parents raise happy kids

Un-sense-able teens

TeenagersDuring my parenting workshops, I ask the parents to describe the challenges they have with their kids. Parents of teens often excuse all their challenges as the result of their kids reaching the "teen" stage. "You know how teens are", they say.

During the workshops, we discuss many of our beliefs and how they affect our kids' behavior and I hear myself saying to parents again and again that the image teens have is worse than their behavior. Teens are considered emotional, insensitive, subject to peer pressure, disrespectful, irresponsible and moody, but what they have is just a bad reputation!

I am lucky enough to have two great teens at home (one is already an ex-teen) and I had the honor and pleasure to meet many other teens who did not fit that horrible image.

I do not think it is a coincidence that all those teens have parents who are able to see beyond their hair color, their hairstyle, their piercing, their desire to be with friends, their rebellious behavior and their academic achievements. It is not a coincidence at all. It is a formula that works. If you can see beyond what is on the surface, you will raise happy teens and you will be a happy parent.

If you can see that the hair color and style are a desire to be unique

If you can recognize that piercing is a desire to be accepted

If you can accept that the desire to be with friends is a quest for love

If you can understand that rebellious behavior is the beginning of independence

If you can acknowledge that your teens' academic achievements are but a mirror of their self confidence

Then you will be a great parent for your teens

- Ronit Baras

Happy teensYou know, it is also not a coincidence that kids who grow up in a family that rejects this negative teen reputation are advocates for teens. Meet Tsoof and Eden Baras, my teen and ex-teen who decided to give their point of view on adults' insensible view on teens.

Last month, I was very proud when Eden and Tsoof wrote a song that expresses that understanding. Tsoof, our 14-year-old son, wrote the music and lyrics with help from Eden, our 21-year-old daughter.

I will put the words here, because they speak for themselves.

Un-sense-able

Music: Tsoof Baras
Lyrics: Tsoof and Eden Baras
June 2010

When you wake up in the morning,
thinking no one cares,
you look into the mirror
and you start to fix your hair

You put that heavy makeup
on your pretty face.
You cover up your body,
trying to look like somebody else

Chorus:

But inside you say:
When you see my face in the crowd,
looking for someone who can help me out,
all I want is to know
if you could tell me something simple, oh

Can you see me?
Can you see me?
Can you see me?
Can you see me?

You're that kid
standing on the stage,
overdrive guitar and a whole lot of rage.
You're swearing and you're screaming
at the top of your voice,
belting out music, making lots of noise

Chorus:

But inside you say:
When you see my face in the crowd,
looking for someone who can help me out,
all I want is to know
if you could tell me something simple, oh

Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?

You're sitting in the playground
in the middle of lunch,
you see a little kid
and you give him a punch

You show off all your muscles,
saying you're the best.
You even bug your friends,
you never give it a rest

But inside you say:

I've picked on somebody,
made him feel crap.
He doesn't know what
I'm trying to get at

I've picked on
so many people they've cried.
Their lives are good,
oh, but what about mine?

Chorus:

When you see my face in the crowd,
looking for someone who can help me out,
all I want is to know
if you could tell me something simple, oh

Can you feel me?
Can you feel me?
Can you feel me?
Can you feel me?

When you see my face in the crowd,
looking for someone who can help me out,
all I want is to know
if you could tell me something simple, oh

Can you see me?
Can you hear me?
Can you feel me?

Can you see me?
Can you hear me?
Can you feel me?

You can hear Tsoof singing it here:

I could not have never said it better myself.

Happy parenting,
Ronit

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Ronit Baras

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