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PUBLICATIONS & ARTICLES

Yes, parenting does matter and the matters of parenting can seem overwhelming. By reading through some of the articles in this section you will find answers to specific problems but more importantly, you might figure out an approach that can work in many circumstances. Keep in mind that growing to adulthood is a gradual process of their learning and our letting go and that some of the greatest learnings come from not doing it right the first time.
PURCHASE DR. GAFFNEY'S COACHING GUIDE AT BARRINGTONBOOKS.COM

 RECOGNIZE WHAT TEENS HAVE TO OFFER

DID YOU KNOW?

IT TAKES TIME AND EFFORT TO STAY INVOLVED WITH YOUR KIDS AS THEY BECOME TEENAGERS BUT IN THE END, IT’S WORTH IT.

SCHOOL SOLUTIONS

RELATED TOPICS
PARENTS' SUCCESS KIT Assessments, journal, communicate, relax and know what to do - all in one place!
RELAXATION MEDITATION COMPANION A minute a day or twenty minutes a day - relaxation is attainable!
THE NEWSLETTER Release the Leader within.
PARENTING TIPS Simple ideas to help you enjoy your most important relationships.
COACHING TIPS Evaluate yourself and set your course for change!
FAMILY SOLUTIONS If you are concerned about raising a family today, check out the ideas in this section.
TWO-MINUTE MOMENTS Two minutes of relaxation.
DR. GAFFNEY'S PICKS Books on Personal Care & Development as well as Parenting that Dr. Carol Gaffney recommends.
 

PARENTING MATTERS:
RECOGNIZE WHAT TEENS HAVE TO OFFER

Copyright Dr. Carol Renaud Gaffney

December brings the winter solstice and marks numerous secular and-religious activities that join families and friends together. During this time I wish you peace and joy and time to reflect on your relationships with those with whom you share your life.

The question of the month comes from the father of a 15-year-old.

Q. My 15-year-old daughter does not like to involve her mother in any activities, like her sophomore semiformal, or really anything at all. Why is this? She is a very bright child and a high achiever; but does not have a good connection with her mom. Signed, TR.

A. I will speculate as to why your daughter does not want her mother involved, but your daughter is really the one who has the answer to this question.

Fifteen-year-olds (sons and daughters) are going through the stage in their lives when they are trying to figure out who they are and how they make their own way in the world. They are in the stage of lessening their dependence on their family, but still do not have all the skills to make it on their own. They want their activities to be their own, yet they want support from their families.

Also, teenagers may not have figured out how to have relationships with both their friends and their families - they may think they can only have one or the other.

To add to these social and emotional changes, physically they have natural drugs called hormones going through their bodies. Hormones can cause behavior and feelings to be quite unpredictable!

During this time of change and uncertainty (even though they may seem to know it all), teenagers, whether they are bright and good students or not, are often confused about when to ask for help and when to do it on their own.

When in doubt, they’ll usually do it on-their own, and- unless well supported in their family, keep the mistakes to themselves. This can begin a cycle of emotional distancing that results in bad tempers and arguing.

Parents may be having a tough time as well, especially when they have a teenager of their- own for the first time. Previously loving children may seem to have taken on new and unbearable personalities. They may seem knowledgeable and friendly one minute and yet act like 2-year olds the next.

Parents who are unsure of themselves may vacillate between being over-involved and throwing their hands up in frustration. This is a breeding ground for anxiety and hurt feelings, especially if parents are taking their children's behavior personally.

Unfortunately, there are no set rules for managing through the teenage years except to:

Stop to gather the facts. (What is really going on here?)

Think about the desired outcome. (How do I want to get along?)

Assess yourself and your child. (Who am I? Who is she?)

Respond with age-appropriate behaviors. (Parents act like adults and treat their teenagers as teenagers, not 8-year-olds.)

Problems between parents and children often occur when parents are more involved with their children's Lives than their children want them to be. Teenagers are very sensitive about their own privacy and unless you suspect that your child is involved in dangerous behavior, respecting privacy is recommended. When privacy is respected, teenagers often will invite their parents into their world.

Parents need to be cautious of living vicariously through their children. So if the semi-formal is coming up and mom is more excited about it than her daughter, you can understand why her daughter might not want mom involved.

This is when I often hear teenagers say, "I wish mom or dad would get a Life of his or her own and leave me alone!"

If mom's comments about what to wear and what to do seem critical rather than informational, a daughter may resist mom’s input. The good neighbor policy is especially helpful in raising teenagers, so before offering advice, check first to see if it's wanted.

As mentioned before, your daughter is the one who has the answer to why she doesn't like to involve mom. So, in the spirit of going with the simplest solution, ask your daughter. The first usual answer will be—you guessed it— "I don't know."

Actually, kids know the answers but are so convinced from experience that parents aren't going to listen that they just find ways of avoiding the answer!

We in turn are so convinced that they are not going to say anything that we have learned to give up.
Try this instead. After she says, "I don’t know," you can say, "You may not know for sure but you have some idea why."

And then when you gently don't give up and she finally starts saying something, however meager, just say, "Thank you for telling me."

If time allows you can say, "I'd really like to hear more." And then, listen - really listen. No defending mom, no defending yourself, no telling her she should think something else or that you are disappointed in her. Just simply thank her for saying whatever it is that is said.

Our teenagers have a lot to offer us. We can be privy to who they are by respecting their experiences and opinions in the same way we would like to have ours respected.

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TAKE AN ASSESSMENT

The more you know about your style, the easier it is to figure out what naturally stresses you and what to do to relax.

TAKE AN ASSESSMENT

TAKE A DEEP BREATH, RELAX
Stress and strain of daily living got you down? Breathe. Relax. Reclaim yourself and your energy – two minutes at a time.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH, RELAX
MORE TWO-MINUTE MOMENTS


MEDITATION & THE RELAXATION RESPONSE
Have you been wondering about meditation? Well, it’s easier than you think. You just have to get started. One breath, one focus, two moments.

MEDITATION & RELAXATION RESPONSE
MORE TWO-MINUTE MOMENTS
 PEOPLE SOLUTIONS

 THE NEWSLETTER
Dr. Gaffney's Newsletters provide insight and direction for successful communication and action to help you create your life – at work, at home and within your community.



PERSONAL
Creating your life requires self-knowledge, planning and taking action otherwise you'll be making the trip but it may be the magical mystery tour. Start here for personal understanding, the basis of success.

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PROFESSIONAL
Do you hire right the first time? Are you and the people you work with at peak performance? Do you have the skills and attitudes for extraordinary success? Start here to learn about excellence in your professional life.

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FAMILY
If you have children
and are concerned about their development and
well-being and having them become loving, independent,
productive and responsible, check out the materials
in this section.

LEARN MORE
 
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