Philosopher Raymond Duncan wrote – “The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.” Then there is an old Yiddish proverb that tells us that, “Small children disturb your sleep, big children your life.”
Today we explore why the parenting of adolescents so fraught with angst for parents and what parents can do to not only survive the parenting of teenagers but actually enjoy the process. To help us we are joined by Dr. Judith Kaufman, Professor of Psychology, and Director of the School Psychology Training Program at Farleigh Dickinson University. Dr. Kaufman is a nationally and internationally known expert on adolescent behavior and has published extensively on the subject.
With Dr. Kaufman’s help, we identify how our biology and current culture shape adolescent behavior. In addition, we explain how our institutions and our modern family life might actually be contributing to the phenomenon of adolescence extending into our children’s early twenties. We remind parents, that utilizing communication practices that validate – not necessarily agree – with what our teenagers are experiencing and providing increasing levels of responsibility in decision making are the keys to reducing the stress of parenting teenagers. Parents of adolescents need to maintain their sense of humor and remember what it was like for them to negotiate this important life passage. Sharing, when we are invited, on how we handled ourselves – both the good and the bad – during this turbulent period of development can be of great comfort and support to our teenage children.
We close with our segment “There’s Got To Be a Better Way” where we relate our personal parenting stories and how what we learned can be the solution for you.