A few years ago my mother said, “You know, you boys weren’t disciplined a whole lot growing up.” I looked at my brother and he looked at me. For a brief moment we wondered if Alzheimer’s was setting in. That’s sure not the way we remember it!
Now I’m not saying we didn’t deserve it…in fact we probably deserved more than we got. But while there was indeed discipline, the style of discipline that we received from our father made it less effective than it could have been. His style was to simply whack us when we got out of line. Along with it came a lot of anger and yelling, and the whole family got upset. Continue reading “Discipline and Teenagers”
We want our children to become independent; to be able to take control of their own lives. A natural and essential part of that maturing process is to make choices for themselves. Every decision they make is another step along the path from total dependence at birth to maturity and independence when they leave home. But their choices won’t always be in line with ours; and that’s when we can feel rejected.
Not every choice teenagers make will seem “right” to their parents. But there is a process they go through to establish their own beliefs, and that often includes rejecting our beliefs, and even us, for a time. So, when they make a choice with which we don’t agree, we have two options. We can step in and assert control over them (treating them like a child again), or we can work through the process with them; taking time to understand why they made the choice they did. I suggest you do the latter. Let me give you some tips to help you work with your teen through this sometimes painful process. Continue reading “When Teens Reject Their Parents”
There was a lot of tension in my home when I was growing up. I can remember the whole family nervously sitting around the dinner table and eating a meal without saying a word. When we were at odds with each other we were taught a very simple coping strategy; avoid it! Of course that didn’t solve anything or make it go away; the tension just built up over time, eventually exploding like an erupting volcano.
It’s important that our homes be a place where everyone can release their tension in appropriate ways and find a respite and relief. If not, your teens will find ways to self-medicate the tension away through drugs, alcohol, promiscuity or self-harm. The pressures of their world are far greater than when we were kids, so let me share with you some practical ideas for relieving tension in your home. Continue reading “Relieving Tension in the Home”