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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marti AT slowparentingteens DOT com
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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
This has been the summer of the Big Question: Mom, did you do acid?
Before I answer that question in writing, I want to pause to celebrate that my teenager asked me this question and expected a truthful answer. He wanted to know about me, my past, his dad and his past. He wanted to make us twitch a little; that also is true. But our relationship allows such shenanigans.
I want to celebrate that he was curious about something other than himself and his world. He reached out a bit and he listened to the answer (which I promise I will get to). He wanted to know about my social life, the music I listened to, and whether I ever talked to my parents about drugs. (That, by the way, is a big NO WAY IN THE WORLD.)
I also want to celebrate that I didn’t turn the conversation into, “Well, son, when I was your age…..” I watched and listened to see what he was interested in and what was either Too Much Information or just too many words. I asked if he wanted to know anything else – with the caveat that I may not answer him right away. He came back with a few more questions in the next few days. I answered most of them, and I am still pondering the question, “Why did you do that?” Our relationship allows such questions.
His questions have led us to talk about the drug scene at his college and in our town. I am far, far away from being hip to the scene, so I learned about new names for old drugs, new drugs, stronger drugs, and new ways of ingesting some of the old ones. I wasn’t overjoyed at how much he knows, but I am glad that I now know that he knows. And I am glad that we can talk about drugs in an open, honest way. We have addiction running like a river through our family, so these conversations are crucial. We have deepened our respect for each other.
Genuine respect is one of the many, many gifts of Slow Parenting Teens. My son and I have a relationship first and foremost, and it involves regular, honest conversation. I am still the adult in the relationship; this is not an equal relationship. I am still the one accommodating him more that he does me. Our conversations do make me feel good, but they are mostly about him and intended to support, guide and celebrate him.
I will continue to use slow parenting teens with him for a few more years. And I will decide when I am ready to answer all of his questions. Some answers come easy. Yes, I did acid — one time and never again. What about you? Are you and your teen willing to talk about it?