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
molly AT slowparentingteens DOT com
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Manitou Springs, CO 80829
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
Slow Parenting Teens never promised that your teenager wouldn’t have hard times. We can’t inoculate them (or you, for that matter) against the troubles that just come. We do help parents and teens build strong relationships with good communication, so that when the troubles just come, you and your teens end up talking. Sooner rather than later.
How do we keep that promise?
The teenagers do it for us. Teens who have experienced slow parenting are generally excited to share their lives with their parents. Extroverts seek out opportunities to process their lives, and their parents better put aside some time when those teens need to talk. Since these strong communicators need to talk often, their parents may even have to set time limits or schedule a time for a good emptying out. (More on emptying out in our blog from a few weeks ago.)
Quieter, more introverted teens seek out safe places to talk, too. If their parents have used Slow Parenting Teens to create a safe place, the quiet teen will announce when he wants to talk. Those parents had better drop everything and be ready to listen. The quiet kid doesn’t ask often for listening time, so when she asks, cherish it.
The sometimes-loud-and-sometimes-quiet kids, the creatives, the math kids, theater kids, science fair kids, the snow boarder, horseback rider, the struggling student, the teen with a diagnosis, the gamer or the athlete – all these kids will talk to their parents sooner rather than later if they have a strong, positive and fun relationship with their parents. They talk about what is going well, and when things are not going well, they talk about that, too.
Each of our kids has had troubles – mental health, education, legal, health, and social – the whole gamut. Some of it we hear about right away, some of it takes a little longer. When our teens are ready to talk, they know they can come to their slow parents. We won’t judge them, we will accept them, and we will support them as they figure out their next steps.
We hear similar stories from other slow parents. Teens want to talk to their parents, and they know they need some help from time to time. The teens of slow parents seek out their parents and keep our promise of more communication. Instead of hiding the ding in the car, the flunking grade, the class they skipped, the shoplifted item, these teens want to clear the air so they can get some support with the consequences. Instead of pretending that waking up wheezing will just go away or the throbbing knee will fix itself, they ask for advice. When they find that their behavior scares them or that they think they are in mental health trouble, they want to have a conversation with their parents to figure what to do.
Every teen is different and so is every parent, but building a solid relationship is central to them all. If you want to hear about the troubles that just come (sooner rather than later and from your teen rather than another adult), then build your relationship now.