Got teen daughters? If so, then you know you don’t always see eye to eye with them. In fact, sometimes it feels more like an eye for an eye. During those times, my coping mechanism of choice is to read, read and read some more in hopes of finding solutions — or at least a bit of relief. My latest dose of support came from Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls, a new book by Lisa Damour. The book has many nuggets of wisdom, but one in particular hit me hard: the need for parents to constantly strive to validate teen girls' perspectives, even though that … [Read more...]
When our youngest son turned 13 a couple of weeks ago he was officially engulfed in teen spirit, embracing it wholly, eye rolls and all. Granted, the smell of it had moved in several months before, body spray in a hoodie, and the attitude arrived even earlier. His birthday completed the set: two teenage boys sharing a bathroom and little else, save their love of pets and parents. They are, for the most part, free to choose their own adventures. There was a time that I would chronicle all of it -- the love and the loss, the raw and the perfectly flawed. I would put their stories to the … [Read more...]
The distance between them is a mix of years and meters, measures in degrees of space and sound and time. Two boys joined at the bloodline, bound by fate and floor plans, my sons have shared a bedroom from the beginning, their bunked barracks always a common ground. That changed last week. For the first time ever, the boys are each in their own room. They believe they have gained freedom and independence, which is true. But I cannot help fear a paradise lost in nightly confidants and the whispers between them. Also, a place for potential guests should any care to visit. This change in the … [Read more...]
EDITOR’S NOTE: Being a good parent at times takes superhero skills. To help you develop your own, “The Relational Book for Parenting” authors Saliha Bava and Mark Greene offer suggestions from their book. Go here to read more in this exclusive periodic series for City Dads Group.
+ + +We all need to confront the many damaging narratives about parenting. One of the most challenging is the relentless drumbeat of others telling us to “enjoy them while they’re little.” This implies parents are destined for increasing disconnection and conflict with our … [Read more...]
Do you ever get tired of parenting in our “selfie” culture? While many recent self-esteem movements have nurtured children’s healthy development, it seems other cultural trends have fostered their self-absorption. (We could begin with the coinage of the word “selfie” and its widespread practice on social media.) So how can parents counteract our culture’s ongoing attack on empathy? There are many strategies, but two have been most powerful for our family: When the children are young, practice empathy in the home. As children age, find ways to practice empathy outside the home — … [Read more...]