Hidden Keys to Helping Your Teenager

Most parents of teens will tell you their adolescent child is doing well if they have managed to avoid the “Three D’s”: drinking, drugs, and delinquency.  When you think about it, this is a backwards way of viewing the wellness of teens.  I recently ran across an interview with a well-known expert on child development that got me thinking about this.  Richard Lerner, a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescence has recently written a book that challenges the negative mindset about teens called “The Good Teen.” The mindset about teens of “at least they aren’t doing ____” sets us up to
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Categories: Parenting.

Successful Summer Traveling – The Road Trip

A road trip with school-age children requires planning and flexibility.  It requires realistic expectations.  It also requires good self-care for the parents, or you’ll feel like you need your own vacation after the family vacation.  To illustrate these points, let me tell you a story about my good friend Chadd. When Chadd was about fourteen, his family embarked on a trip to Florida from Indiana.  His mother, stepfather, and three younger siblings were ready to make the trip in their nice roomy conversion van.  The kids woke up early, waiting for the dad to return home from working the night
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Categories: Family.

The Challenge of Raising Girls

Last month I covered some of the challenges that are unique to raising boys.  This time, we’ll look at issues and difficulties that occur in the raising of girls.  From birth, differences can be observed in males and females.  I dismissed these differences as rigidly socialized stereotypes until we had a girl and a boy.  For instance, we limited violent media but even as a toddler our son turned twigs and pretzel sticks into guns and swords.  From the time our daughter could grasp, she would reach for dolls.  I’ve heard that studies of babies show marked differences between girls
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Categories: Parenting.

The Challenge of Raising Boys

How would you describe boys, in general?  I asked several people and they described boys as hyperactive, “heathens”, accident prone, ill-behaved, and boisterous.  The typical boy craves adventure and action, longs to feel powerful, and these cravings and urges often get them in trouble.  Growing up isn’t easy for boys (or girls).  While all children face many of the same challenges to successful development, there are several problems that are gender-specific. This month’s column will highlight some issues for boys in particular, and give some helpful advice to parents of boys.  In my counseling practice, I often recommend two books
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Categories: Parenting.