Tag Archives: relationship

10 Ways to Keep Up with Your Teen
Teen

Sometimes it’s all you can do to keep up with life. To keep up with your teen can seem daunting.

Your relationship with your teen can make or break your teen’s experience and relationships with peers, friends, school, and family. Research shows that connection with family is the #1 preventive factor in substance abuse, addiction, pregnancy, and school failure throughout the teen years.

Connection means that when faced with a dilemma or decision, your teen will first think what would my parents say? instead of what would my friends say? Connection does not guarantee smart decision-making—your teen is in the developmental risk taking years—but it puts you first and foremost in your teen’s mind. If your teen fears punishment, thinks you will not understand, knows she can’t talk to you, she will turn to her friends for the support and understanding she needs.

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The Story of a Family
Family of two

by Julietta Cerin

This is the best complete description of Connective Parenting I know—all the better because it’s written by a mom who has struggled through the ups and downs and learned its immense value in her relationship with her child—in her family of two. I am grateful to Julietta for her hard work and for writing about it in this moving story. ~ Bonnie

This is a story about a tiny family of two. The mother is devoted to her little boy, considers his care her number one priority. The child, too, adores his mum. And yet the mother presents at parenting courses tearing her hair out at her son’s ‘defiant’, ‘uncooperative’, ‘aggressive’ and ‘destructive’ behaviour. She is bewildered that her son, as she sees it, deliberately breaks the rules in order to make her angry – and he does it so well. She feels that both her own anger and her child’s behaviour are out of control.

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The Reasons I am a Connective Parent

I choose to be a connective parent because flexibility and self-direction are the two top competencies needed to succeed in the 21st Century.

I choose to empathize with my child because understanding another’s point of view is paramount in establishing good relationships.

I don’t engage in power struggles with my child because a win/lose model never wins.

I don’t use time out because I don’t think it’s right to isolate a child who is having a problem.

I don’t spank or hit because I don’t want to teach my child that using physical force is a way to get what you want.

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Understanding Shared Power

When I tell parents to share power with their child, they get nervous. “Wait, I’m the parent? Aren’t I the one in charge?” Absolutely. Sharing power means that you both stand in your personal power. It does not mean that your child has the same power that you do. You are the parent, the authority, the one in charge, and the more you are confident in that power, the safer and more cared for your child feels. It’s when you lose it, when your temper flares and you feel out of control that your child feels unsafe and confused and will react accordingly. When power is lost, your child fears what is happening and may grab what power he can.

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Doubt: It’s Pros and Cons

Doubt is something that drives us nuts as parents but can both serve us and undermine us. If you didn’t doubt what you were doing as a parent, you wouldn’t be a conscious parent. We all know parents who know what is right and what is wrong and nothing moves them from that mark. Many of us had a parent like that. It’s no fun. Doubt keeps you alive and wondering. Doubt keep you growing and learning as a parent. You would be a robot without it. That said, doubt can also cause immobilizing fear when it is so loud that we question everything we do. When you have been brought up to believe that everyone else is right and you are wrong, doubt looms largely over ever action and decision. It can leave you disarmed in relationship with your child, who has an easy target and can wear you down quickly with arguments and demands. But doubt can be your friend and if you see it this way, you may not get so stuck with it. What you want to go for is what feels right inside you, not what “everyone” is telling you is right. Practice listening to your gut feelings and try going with them. When something sounds or looks right because so many others say so, be willing to question your assumptions and your friends and relatives if it feels wrong. The best parenting comes from focusing on the quality of the relationship you have with your child. Relationship is different with every person you are in relationship with. It will be a strong relationship that your child learns the most from and is influenced by. So that relationship needs to be built on what feels right.

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The Irony of Parenting

My adult daughter was just home for three weeks in August before starting grad school in NYC. It was heaven for me. I relished every minute and spent too much time dreading the end of her stay. I’ve often thought, isn’t it crazy that we spend so many years in the trenches of parenting—and let me tell you she was not an easy child, those trenches were deep. She gave me a run for my money for soooo many years! But the learning I gained from parenting her—finding out what she needed and balancing it with what I needed, listening to her instead of reacting to her, allowing and trusting her to find her own way—has led to a very close, lovely adult relationship. It usually takes until kids are in their 20s before that kind of a relationship develops. Remember their brains aren’t fully developed until approx. 25! Anyway, if you really stick with your parenting, learning and growing with your child all along the way, finding out what their agenda is all about instead of only enforcing your agenda, you will raise children you love to live with (hmmm, sounds familiar – oh, yeah, that’s the subtitle of my second book!). And when you do, the irony is, they leave. They go off and find their own life, satisfy their needs in other ways than running to you for help and money. They actually grow into capable young adults who want to succeed on their own. It will slowly dawn on you that they have more knowledge now than you do. So here they are independent, strong, capable—all the things you wanted for them. The only problem is they don’t need you anymore. My children are now 32 and 28. I have often felt like a beloved old horse put out to pasture!

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