Who are the real experts on teens? Teens themselves.
We were all teenagers once, but it’s not always easy remembering what it was like. Especially when your efforts are met with grunts, hands in your face for cash, monosyllabic requests for car keys, and mind-boggling mood swings.
Truth is (despite my magic powers of invisibility), as the parents of teens, let’s face facts: we can’t always imagine what their lives are like.
You know my view – dialogue, observation, listening. Taking cues from our kids, and adjusting behavior accordingly – if appropriate. Humor whenever possible. A mix of space and careful monitoring. OMG it ain’t easy! And so much of the time, it hardly seems enough.
Like every parent of a teen, I have my good days, my bad days, and everything in between. Patience is not in limitless supply in this household! And just in the past month or so, my parade of adolescent adventures has led me through:
- the moan, groan, 16-zone,
- tough days when my kid won’t talk,
- party panic when I’ve been outnumbered,
- and OMG moments with my son, the babe magnet!
Bridging the knowledge gap – where to begin?
Help is available. We can stay more in the loop by maintaining relationships with other adults our kids confide in, or who see them in another context – teachers, mentors, extended family members; we do need to be careful that we not ask anyone to betray a bond of trust, unless a child is at risk.
What else? We can keep our eyes open for other resources to provide information.
Recently, I came across a site called Radical Parenting. Lots of great info! And something a little bit different.
Take a look at this article by Vanessa Van Petten, who runs RadicalParenting.com, a parenting blog written from the kid’s perspective with 20 teen writers. Their goal is to give parents a secret view into the world of kids and youth.
Vanessa delves into the four different types of kids she sees today, and what their pitfalls and strengths are!
Enjoy the article, and I’ll be sure to provide additional links to articles by Vanessa and her team. When it comes to raising teens – or being one – we can use all the insights we can get.
© D A Wolf