You can listen to the people who tell you teens can't be trusted, or you can listen to two expert moms who don't want you to waste a single minute disliking your teenager. If the latter sounds good to you -- this is your book!
Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids
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As the CEO of Envision Possibilities and the mom of twins I was delighted to read this book now before entering the teen years. The authors have put together a masterpiece that truly teaches you as a parent not to fear the teen years. I especially enjoyed the chapter on how listening is effective, because I work with busy moms who want to take their life back I will use this as a resource for those moms who have teenagers to help them navigate the parenting waters.
Dixie Andrade - the Mom Coach
Teens struggle with everything from body image to time management. They are learning social skills, logistical skills, and how to manage the new awkward body they now possess. They are faced with choices and decisions that are new and complex. Do they protect their friend who is skipping school or not? Do they cheat on the test since they didn’t study and really really need to get their GPA up? Do they eat what is easy and tastes good or actually sit with the family for dinner? Do they bother to try and sleep before midnight or concede they are going to be texting anyway?
Adolescence is a time when adults seem to lose authority with teenagers. It’s harder to manage and control your teen’s schedule and behavior. You know your kid is making lots of choices you don’t even know about, and probably don’t want to. With less authority, you can still be very influential as your teens learns to navigate the waters of young adulthood. You are their primary role model – for everything!
Now ask yourself honestly, are you the role model you want for your teenager?
As a role model you serve as the example for everything from behaviors, to attitudes, to politics, to financial management, and the list goes on.
How are you doing these days with that responsibility? Honestly, what kind of example are you providing? Are you modeling a healthy self image, the eating habits you want your teenager to adopt, exercise, sleep, and stress management? Are you modeling effective time management and a balance between work and recreation? How you doing with demonstrating self awareness, honesty, ownership, and good judgment? Are you teaching effective communication skills and how to be in a respectful romantic relationship? What about simply putting the cell phone down or turning the computer, game, or TV off? How about sitting down at the table for a meal? Going for a walk? Playing a game with others?
Now ask yourself if you are being a role model for tolerance, generosity, going out of your way to help, or even contributing to a cause that matters to you? Does your teen see you volunteering or stopping to pick up the trash in the road? Does he drive with you and see you being considerate of other drivers? Does she shop with you and witness you making financially responsible choices? How does you teen learn to manage intense emotions or moods based on watching and interacting with you?
The list goes on and on and my hope is that you will stop and think about exactly what kind of role model you are being and how you are influencing your teen. You may not be able to control your teenager’s behavior or decisions but you have another way of raising the kind of adult you want – teach your teen through your actions and choices.