Parenting Your Teenager: 4 Dangerous Myths

MYTH: All teens have to rebel, and the teen years will be miserable years for a family.

REALITY: Teens do have to separate from their parents and families. That's good - otherwise kids would be living at home when they are 35.

They do, however, have to earn the privilege of being in charge.

MYTH: Once teens rebel, you have lost them forever.

REALITY: This is the fear of every parent, but it doesn't happen in most cases. As the proverb says, "Raise up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it."

Two very important factors are implied here:

1) At some point, it is likely they could "depart" from what you have taught, and

2) they will come back to it.

This notion is elaborated on in Miller Newton's book "Adolescence: Surviving the Perilous Journey." Miller calls this notion Withdrawal - Isolation - Re-emergence. His view is that all adolescents withdraw, and some will go so far as to isolate themselves. They will, however, re-emerge at some point. Part of the parents' job then is to maintain the connection so a relationship can exist when they re-emerge.

MYTH: Raising teens is easy if you do it right.

REALITY: If you listen to some so-called parenting experts, raising kids - even teens - is a walk in the park.

According to them, the only reason you are having difficulty is because you are doing it wrong (not like them, in other words).

The reality is that parenting is a labor-intensive task. In order to raise kids and teach moral character, you have to go against the prevailing culture.

MYTH: Your teen years were just like those of your teen-ager.

REALITY: Many of the character issues they are dealing with are very much like the ones you faced. But the world, atmosphere and culture in which they are dealing with these issues is incredibly different. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's all the same.

Leading parenting expert Jeff Herring is a teen and family therapist, parenting coach, speaker and syndicated parenting and relationship columnist. Jeff invites you to visit ParentingYourTeenager.com for 100's of tips and tools for parenting through the teenage years. You can also subscribe to his free weekly internet newsletter "ParentingYourTeenager."

In The News:

Parenting in isolation  GuelphMercury.com
What is ‘tag team’ parenting?  The Indian Express
Positive parenting | News  Jamaica Gleaner
No child left invisible  The Indian Express

ADHD: Some Survival Strategies for Parents

In our last issue we posted some of our suggested... Read More

What Do You Do When Your Child is Smarter than You?

We adopted our first child when he was three months... Read More

Parents: You Can Do Something About Professional Sports Ethics

Most of us can agree that there is a lack... Read More

Why Fathers Are Such a Necessary Component in the Raising of Their Children.

The first year of a child's life is the most... Read More

What About Competition? Are Your Kids Ready?

Life is full of competition -- even in childhood. Kids... Read More

Think Like Your Kids - And Understand Them More!

Seven-year old Michael was on a school trip to a... Read More

Back to School

It is hard to believe that summer is coming to... Read More

How Do Campers Protect Their Children?

Oh yes you have! Suddenly, "Where's Bobby?" You instantly realize... Read More

What a Parent Must Do to Stop Online Predators

Teens can freely access the Internet from computers at school,... Read More

A Guide To Help You Teach Your Children Positve Self-Image Through Fitness

Raising a pre-teen or teenage daughter (or son) is not... Read More

Uniforms

Direct Answers - Column for the week of May 31,... Read More

Effective Troubled Teen Programs

Not all parents subscribe to the notion of "tough love,"... Read More

Sometimes Our Childrens Questions Answer Our Own

I was changing Ford's diaper the other day when he... Read More

Why Creativity and Self-Expression are Important to Little Kids

Can you draw a straight line? Most adults don't consider... Read More

Do You Have the Loving Relationship With Your Children That You Desire?

Most people with children want to be good parents. The... Read More

Personal Responsibility: What It Means and Whose Job is It?

"How many times do I have to tell you to... Read More

Simple Living in a Materialistic World

We were sitting in the family room. My kids had... Read More

The Hardest Job I Ever Had

I used to have a really challenging job. It was... Read More

MORAL ARMORS Irrational Parenting, Part I

"If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think... Read More

What is Hyperactivity in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Most of the ADHD kids that are seen in a... Read More

Joining a Gang: How to Help Kids Prevent it, How to Tell if Theyve Joined One, How to Help Them Out

While youth gangs are nothing new -- they've been traced... Read More

Parenting - Give Your Child The Tools To Build Strong Character And Values

There are many parenting styles. Yours may be very different... Read More

Reclaiming Her Identity: A Mothers Diary

After giving up my profession to become a wife, a... Read More

Top Five Ways To Stay In Touch With Your Child

Once your little boy/girl goes off to school, you may... Read More

Its a Sick World

It's no joy to be sick. It's even less joy... Read More