5 mistakes Parents make with Teens
5 Mistakes Parents Make With Teens and Tweens
Here are the top mistakes parents make with their teens and tweens, and how to avoid them.
Raising a Boy
For a mother the project of raising a boy is the most fulfilling project she can hope for. She can watch him, as a child, play the games she was not allowed to play; she can invest in him her ideas, aspirations, ambitions, and values — or whatever she has left of them; she can watch her son, who came from her flesh and whose life was sustained by her work and devotion, embody her in the world. So while the project of raising a boy is fraught with ambivalence and leads inevitably to bitterness, it is the only project that allows a woman to be — to be through her son, to live through her son.
Teenagers need freedom & independence
The focus here is on teenagers. From the moment of birth the child’s development is towards ever greater independence. A child gains a multitude of skills in the early years, during preparatory and primary school, and much is done for the child to prepare them for independence. But when a child enters his teens he or she must take responsibility, and further development depends on what they do, rather then what is done for them.
Recently, I witnessed a typical scene. I drew up at the traffic light alongside a car with mother and teenage son in it. She is ranting, hands gesticulating, clearly trying to drive home some important point. He is passive, staring glumly ahead. If there was a speech bubble above his head it would read, “I wish she would stop. I wish she would just stop.” I have been there. You have imparted all these wonderful values and now want evidence that your child has taken it all on board and is putting it into practice in his or her life. What is required here is patience. Patience, letting go and trusting.
The developmental task facing the teenager is to discover who they are and what they value as individuals separate from family and as members of a wider community. To do this they need to step back from their parents, whose reflection is often too close for comfort. Have you ever met a teenager who wanted to become just like his mother or father? Did you? Peer relationships become most important at this stage. It doesn’t really matter what you think of their appearance, it is all about gaining acceptance in the peer group, looking the part.
Which is not to say that the parent’s role is made redundant. Teenagers, above all, need to ‘find’ themselves, and while no one can do that for them, loving, watchful and supportive parents can provide a safe base which may ensure that they don’t lose themselves in this potentially confusing time. Drugs, sex, alcohol are just a few of several snares out there, and this is the hazardous territory they need to negotiate.
Working in schools enables me to have wonderful discussions with teenagers. Asking questions and having open discussions is far more useful than lecturing or moralising. These responses came from a group aged 14 to 16, and provide a good insight into how best to assist teenagers in these years.
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Janet Freemantle’s column
Vote for Daniel Noltemeyer
We were beyond excited last week to share the news that our founding Board Member, Daniel Noltemeyer, is a finalist for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award from the NASCAR Foundation! Over the course of next two months, individuals can vote once a day for their favorite finalist online at www.nascar.com/award . The finalist with the most votes by December 4 at 11:59pm ET will win! If Daniel garners the most votes, he will receive a 2015 Toyota Camry and Best Buddies Kentucky will receive a $100,000 grant!!!
Grand Opening Community Block Party on Sunday November 2 from 11-3 p.m.
Miami, Florida — Long-time South Florida pediatrician, Dr. Alan Swartz, is excited and proud to announce the opening of
Kids First Pediatric Urgent Care After-Hours Walk-in Clinic – a new concept in quality child healthcare. Inspired by the
need for prompt, caring and quality care for kids at night, on weekends and holidays, Kids First offers immediate medical
attention to children without the hassles, delays and higher costs of most hospital emergency rooms and urgent care
“Kids First was inspired by a huge need! It’s difficult to get prompt and professional care on nights and weekends at
doctor offices, labs, x-ray departments and pharmacies. At Kids First we aim to put you and your child at ease by
providing for all of your child’s medical needs with on-site services at night, on weekends and even during the holidays.
As a pediatrician for over 25 years in Kendall I am very excited to be providing this service to the community. Your child’s
medical urgencies don’t conform to normal business hours and neither do we” said Dr. Swartz.
• Open Monday – Friday from 5pm-10pm / Weekends & Holidays from 1pm-9pm
• Staffed by Pediatricians only
• Onsite laboratory, x-ray and pharmacy
Join Kids First and Dr. Swartz in Kendall as we celebrate the official Grand Opening of our new after-hours clinic with a
FREE COMMUNITY BLOCK PARTY! We invite families to have a fun day, meet our staff, engage with local kid friendly
organizations and enjoy a variety of kid-centered activities including:
• Bounce House
• Rock Wall
• Face Painting & Clowns
• Food Trucks
• Door Prizes
• Free Child Id Kits (while supplies last)
• Clinic Tours & More…
Kids First is located at 13550 North Kendall Drive, just east of Starbucks. For more information visit us online at
Contact: Mark Swartz
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