Tag Archives: parenting teens

FOUR PARENTING TIPS ABOUT LOVE AND LUST

Love as portrayed in popular culture is often merely lust in disguise. How can you teach your teen the importance of knowing the difference?

The media and Hollywood add to the confusion between love and lust.

The media creates confusion  between love and lust. Parents need to start early to help teens learn to handle both in healthy ways.

When I see teens in love, I always think of Annie’s Song as sung by John Denver. To me these lines,in particular, capture the very essence of young love:

You fill up my senses like a night in a forest,
Like the mountains in springtime,
Like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert,
Like a sleepy blue ocean.
You fill up my senses, come fill me again.

Do you remember the feeling? I do. I was lucky and lived when it was a bit easier to be a teenager in love.  The new sexual freedoms, mainly brought about by better contraception and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, have been both a blessing and a curse.

The curse lies in on-going confusion about sex’s place in our lives.  If we as a society haven’t figured it out, why expect our youth to?

Confusing lust and love, particularly as promoted by the visual media has probably lead to our burgeoning divorce rate.  Sad and not a useful model for our youth, but it is what it is.  What can a parent do?  Here are my tips:

fOUR PARENTING TIPS ABOUT LOVE AND LUST

Tip one:  Know and abide by your rules of responsible sex. Live within the honor code you want your kids to live within.

Tip two:  Promote intercourse as adult behavior and subject to the following rules:

No exploitation; no hidden expectations;  planned, which means talked about openly between both parties;  never talked about publically;  protected; both parties accept responsibility for actions and outcomes.

Tip three: Helps to start early noting the pleasure found in sensual experiences – the taste of chocolate, the feel of silk, the delight of a scratched back. At the same time, one needs to talk about friendship, loyalty, shared interests, in other words the stuff of long-lasting relationships.

Tip four:  As your child grows and watches media stuff, be there to comment. The media has become another parent and not always a useful one, particularly when it comes to teaching about sex and relationships.  Wise parents will use the media as an important tool for teaching the rules of life.

I posted earlier about the lessons that could be learned from “Beauty and the Beast.”   If you haven’t read that post, now might be the time to do so.

STAY STRONG

Life is a struggle, relationships hard, raising good kids in today’s world harder than ever.  For more reading on this topic, try my book  ‘When Good Kids Have Sex‘ might also be relevant. 

Remember, if you like this post comment or  share. If you don’t like it, tell me why.  Your opinion, as well as your kindness, matters a great deal to me. 

Katherine

For more reading try Parents Are People Too: An Emotional Fitness Training Program for ParentsP or When Good Kids Get you in A Gotcha War.

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IS YOUR TEEN IN LOVE? ARE YOU TERRIFIED?

Is your teen finding love in all the wrong places? Or so you think?

Used in a blog post about young love

IMAGE BY FLICKRIVER.COM  My all time favorite Romantic Film. Young love in all its innocence and power. A cautionary tale for all parents.

Whether right or wrong, this time the ball is in your court, and the wisest among you will keep your doubts close to your heart and work to love who your teen loves, even if you feel sure they’re not right for each other.

I count myself many times blessed that my parents let me love my first love, and  let me think they loved him as I did. In actual fact they didn’t; my parents lived in fear we would marry.

My parents eloped and I wonder now if their wise handling of my boyfriend  came from that experience. Perhaps my mother’s parents tried too hard to separate them.  My father was an orphan, a lowly news-reporter; she was a member of the town’s aristocracy, her father a judge.

My parent’s marriage was the only one of her generation to endure. They were  happier than most, although it was always clear my father had the greater love.

I would not have been so happy with my first love. I know that now but there was no telling me back then.  My parents asked me to do two years of college before announcing an engagement.  My first love joined the Army and was sent to see the world.  After a year, he wrote a Dear Jane letter. I wept, but survived, older and wiser. It would be ten years until I married, but a man much more suited to me and my needs.

PARENT ADVICE WHEN A TEEN LOVES IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES

Tip one: It is truly out of you hands and I have already given the best advice I can. Learn to love the one your teen loves. Any arguments against your teen’s loved one will plant the roots of the relationship in cement.

Tip two: Try to see the needs being met. Good girls are known to have fantasies of reforming bad boys.  I felt strongly I was the only one who saw my first love’s good qualities. I understood him and no one else did.  Such feelings create  a powerful attraction and strong bond.  He greatly appreciated being loved by a good girl.

It is less clear that bad boys want to have their better beings cared about and nurtured, but that is a part of the Beauty and the Beast story.

http://theconcordian.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Beauty_and_the_Beast.jpeg

Beauty and the Beast as a film, holds many teachable moments about good girls and bad boys.  IMAGE BY The Concordian Org.

A quick leap to a feminist read about Beauty and the Beast. This one is by a blogger who calls herself the Funny Feminist or Lady T.  She makes a good point about some bad boys hoping for love to help change them.  Not all bad boys, and that is a decided fact.

Tip Three: Don’t predict the future. You cannot, even learned weather men fail at that task.

Tip four: Hope for the best. Realizing, the future is unknown allows you to chose to have a bit of hope. The hope is not unrealistic. Sir Michael Rutter, one of Britain’s leading researchers into how we become who we are, reported that a good marriage was a major factor in moving away from abuse and a bad childhood. 

Tip five: Legitimate concern exists when sex, addiction, or abuse are part of your teen’s love triangle.  However, all the advice above holds. The problem is in your teen, not the loved one.

Do your best to see the loved one’s good qualities.  If you cannot keep your mouth shut, observe Gottman’s five to one rule: only allow yourself to show five positives for every one negative.

STAY STRONG

Life is a struggle, relationships hard, raising good kids in today’s world harder than ever. The media has become another parent and not always a useful one, particularly when it comes to teaching about relationships.  Still, wise parents, as a child slips into adolescence, will use the media as talking points and teachable moments.

Remember, if you like this post comment or  share. Your kindness matters a great deal to me. 

Katherine

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For more reading on this topic, try my book ‘When Good Kids Hang Out With The Wrong Crowd‘. ‘When Good Kids Have Sex‘ might also be relevant.

THINK YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR TEEN IS LYING?

Think again.  The Neuro-linguistic programmers thought they knew.  They didn’t. Here’s a link explaining their theory.

 NLP's Eye Movement Chart

NLP’s Eye Movement Chart

Having lived with lots of lying teens, I will testify in the court of pop psychology that every bit of advice about how to tell if someone is lying only works some of the time with some people, but only some of the time and only with some people.  Even lie detectors cannot always spot a liar.

Parent advice for dealing with a lying child

My rule was not punish if all I had was a  feeling a teen might be lying.  Feelings are not proof.  Minimally, before I decided I had been told a lie, I needed more proof than just my suspicion. If those suspicions were strong enough, I might express my skepticism by saying “Truth will out.”

Truth be told, truth about each lie will not always out. But sooner or later a teen into serious lying will be outed. Waiting until then to take action is wiser than erring and accusing a teen of lying when she isn’t.

STAY STRONG

Life can be hurtful, and when we find those we love have lied, the pain is intense. Staying strong, loving, and caring is not always easy.

You will find more detailed help in my ebook about lying or in my other books. You can find all listed on my Amazon author’s page.  Scroll down the page for a listing of the ebooks.  If you buy one, please review.

MORE STAYING STRONG HELP

First, here is my thank you gift if you have just started following me.  It is a free guide to the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. These are easy to learn, easy to practice, and helpful to anyone dealing with life’s stresses and every day problems.

You might find my Emotional Fitness Training®’s Pinterestsite helpful. Both of my blog posts are pinned there, but I also share lots of other information about staying strong both as a parent and as an individual. Take a peek by clicking here.

As always, thank you for following me and for your support. Liking, commenting, and sharing are other ways you can help me and others stay strong. Moreover,  you will be practicing kindness one of the Daily 12 and strengthening your emotional fitness.

As I tell myself a thousand times a day, stay strong, give lots of love, be grateful, practice kindness, live now, give and seek forgiveness, and always hope  the blessing of the forces beyond our control are with you and those you love.

Katherine

DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA.  If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. Dysgraphia is a not well known learning disability and means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are.  If this troubles you, feel free to read elsewhere.  If you persevere, you are practicing kindness by lifting my spirits for that means you find what I say helpful and that is one of my missions. Kindness always repays those who spread it.

LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE

Mark Twain said there were “…lies, damn lies, and statistics.”  Damn lies are the ones that break a parent’s heart when issuing forth from their trusted child’s mouth.

As a foster parent caring for troubled teens I lived with liars.  Most lied to get out of trouble, some lied to save face.  A few seemed to lie for the joy of lying or to stay in practice.  My stance when a child came to live with us, was to cover the rules and consequences.  The consequence for lying was my deciding to believe a child or not.  Perversely, at least in the lying foster child’s eyes, I usually chose to think they were lying when I knew the opposite was true.  This produced outraged cries, but allowed me to win that particular war for I could say:

“You have lied and that means I pick and choose when I believe you.”

A Gotcha War victory for me.

When a trusted child suddenly turns liar, the road is harder.

Parent advice for dealing with a lying child

As many experts point out, lying is common among teens. Guess what? It is also common among grown ups.  A recent study reported that most people lie 12 times an hour or a hundred times a day.  Mostly we tell white lies; these are  kind lies, not damned lies.

According to an article Should Moral Individuals Ever Lie which discusses Jewish laws about lying, one is required to lie for the following reasons:

  • Lying to preserve peace
  • Where honesty might cause oneself or another person serious harm
  • Not to hurt another person’s feelings
  • To provide comfort

One is  permitted to lie:

  • To protect property from scoundrels
  • In order not to appear arrogant
  • For the sake of decency, i.e. not telling the truth about intimate matters

That said, I made it a point not to sooth my foster children’s feelings with white lies at the risk of hurting their feelings.  While I understand the concept of white lies, and the rules laid out by the Rabbis and shared by many sages, I think white lies harm intimate relationships.

I tend to follow the rule of Virginia Satir, a well known family therapist:  “A true friend tells you when you need to wear a deodorant.”

Asked if a someone was fat, if I liked a hair style, or a dress, my reply was always an honest one.  My rule was to say what I saw, say it as just my opinion, and to not say it meanly, but not lie.

I needed to carefully model honesty for kids who thought lying was okay, but I also felt that because I cared, I needed to be blunt about some things.

First tip: Start early to do some teaching about truth and honesty.  Pre-schoolers are notorious for speaking the truth and embarassing their parents.  See that as a teachable moment to talk about keeping quiet (lies of omission) in order to be kind.  Another teachable moment is when you are caught in a white lie.

Second tip: If you didn’t start early to talk a bit about honesty, have a few chats with a child entering the teens about the need for honesty in important relationships.

Third tip:  Establish consequences for lying and for honesty. Double the punishment for lies designed to hide wrong doing is one.  Reduce the punishment when a kid could lie to cover up a broken rule and does not.

Fourth tip: If lying is pervasive, then institute my  “I believe you when I choose to believe you” rule.

Fifth tip: See continuing use of big lies as a sign more is needed. Get professional help.

STAY STRONG

Life can be hurtful, and those we love often fail and hurt us the most. Staying strong, loving, and caring is not always easy, but parents have two jobs: To teach right from wrong and to preserve a caring relationship with their child. Lying threatens important relationships.

You will find more detailed help in my ebook about lying or in my other books. You can find all listed on my Amazon author’s page.   Scroll down the page for a listing of the ebooks.  If you buy one, please review.

MORE STAYING STRONG HELP

First, here is my thank you gift if you have just started following me.   It is a free quide to the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. These are easy to learn, easy to practice and helpful to anyone dealing with life’s stresses and every day problems.

You might find my Emotional Fitness Training®’s Pinterestsite helpful. Both of my blog posts are pinned there, but I also share lots of other information about staying strong both as a parent and as an individual. Take a peek by clicking here.

As always thank you for following me and for your support. Liking, commenting, and sharing are other ways you can help me and others stay strong. Moreover,  you will be practicing kindness one of the Daily 12 and strengthening your emotional fitness.

As I tell myself a thousand times a day, stay strong, give lots of love, be grateful, practice kindness, live now, give and seek forgiveness, and always hope  the blessing of the forces beyond our control are with you and those you love.

Katherine

DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA.  If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. Dysgraphia is a not well known learning disability and means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are.  If this troubles you, feel free to read elsewhere.  If you persevere, you are practicing kindness by lifting my spirits for that means you find what I say helpful and that is one of my missions. Kindness always repays those who spread it.