A couple of weeks ago, I delivered a Parenting Skills workshop for the Mullumbimby High School parents and friends. It was great fun and I was honoured to have the school principal and the mayor of Byron Shire attending. Here is an inspiring true story I told them about the important messages kids & teens need […]
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In her article More male teachers needed, Gayle wrote about the reasons male teachers are needed in the education system. She expressed it from a mother’s point of view and described how beneficial it is for children to have male figures in their life, especially in a society where many kids do not live with mum and dad in the same house.
Now, although the education system’s purpose is to mould the habits and mindset of society, what happens when the teachers says, “Men can be whatever they want and women can be whatever they want”, but when the kids go home, they see dad fixing electrical appliances and mum cleaning. YOU, the parent, are still the most influential agent in your kids’ life. Compared to you and your thoughts, beliefs and ideas about gender, the education system stands no chance.
If you are a parent of a teenager, every bit of advice is welcomed. This is what I thought before I read what Busy Mom wrote in The Ten Commandments of Being the Parent of a Teen. And I ask you, “With parents thinking like that, who needs enemies?”
Do you really, really believe that the day her kid reached his thirteenth birthday, something in his head started going wrong and turned on the “reputation” light? Or maybe her kid really gave her a crash course in parenting teens.
I think that our kids are like little mirrors of us, reflecting back everything we do and say. Parenting teens is no different than parenting younger kids. The only difference is that teens are much larger mirrors.
So I have revised the Ten Commandments of Being the Parent of a Teen.
This week, I received a post that Jennifer Satterwhite wrote called Parenting a teen and other things that make you stupid. “Catchy heading”, I said to myself, “It is about teens and it is close to my heart, so I went (well, I clicked a few clicks) to read it. It was very sad to read how terrible teens seem in some parents’ eyes. Parents interpreting everything their teens do as negative and disrespectful do not leave much room for the teen to grow and evolve.
The most famous research was done many years ago when two great teachers were given 2 classes to teach. Back then, they used to put all the “good” kids in one class and all the “not so good” kids in another class. They told the teachers with the “good” class, “Unfortunately, this is the worst class in the whole school”, and to the other teacher with the very troubled class they said, “Lucky you, you have the best class in the school”. And what do you know, at the end of year they realised that the grades in the “good” class dropped and the grade in the “not so good class” went up high. You probably ask yourself, “How could that happen?”
Research with parent and children indicates that one of the most effective methods to prevent young people from using drugs is a devoted parent who spends time with their teens, talks with them (not to them) about their friends, their school, their sports and what interests them. The research also reports that teens appreciate parents’ advice and care a lot about what their parents think of them, their actions and their friends and consider this parental feedback a sign of caring.
But how do we get to be our teens’ friends?
I recently spent some time coaching a woman suffering from Anorexia Nervosa. She weighed 32kg and would not eat to save her life!
A study in high schools in Canada found that 50% of girls were on a diet because they thought they were overweight. If your daughter is young and you think, “I’ll deal with it when she is a teen”, think again. Records show that eating disorders are increasingly seen in children as young as 10. A research in Canada in 2002 found 37% of Canadian females aged 11, 42% aged 13 and 48% aged 15 say they need to lose weight. By the way, 52% of them started dieting before the age of 14.
What can we do about it? I think we can do a lot.
Read Anorexia: Dying to Be Thin! »