Health and Wellness

Hope, Healing and WellBeing

Mary Treacy O'Keefe

Hope, Healing and WellBeing – A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens with Joani Geltman, MSW

Joani Geltman, an expert in the field of Child Development and parenting, has been working with parents, children, universities, schools, and private and public companies for over 30 years. Joani has developed a course especially designed for parents on understanding their child’s cognitive and emotional and social development. This popular course has been offered at many private and public schools and for community groups. In this show, we discuss her new book, A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens: Talking to Your Kids About Sexting, Drinking, Drugs, and Other Things That Freak You Out.

Joani begins by discussing some of the biggest challenges facing parents of teenagers. First, if they try to parent teens as when their children were young, it won’t work. Parents can’t just make rules and expect teens to accept them. Instead parents need to adapt and bring their teens into the conversation.

Second, kids are looking at the world through new brains. They are often focused on sex, drugs, and technology, which is something parents had no experience with themselves. Kids now use technology with little supervision and too much time on their hands. Third, Teens don’t have much impulse control with risky behavior.

Technology causes a disconnect between teens and others and also with themselves. They are not developing coping mechanisms because they don’t sit with their feelings and are constantly connected with their friends, not always in a healthy way. We’re not teaching kids how to manage depression, anxiety and boredom. Parents can help their children by providing structure, For example, parents can put controls on cell phones.

The teenage years are a stage of life when the most brain connections are made so they are looking at the world in a new way. The teenage brain functions differently so teens often don’t think things through and consequences aren’t considered.
Joanie also shares ideas for parents who learn their children either have been bullies or are bullying other children.
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