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ParentingPanicButton » parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips » Concerns, Tough Questions and Solutions for Parenting Teens-Part 2

Concerns, Tough Questions and Solutions for Parenting Teens-Part 2

Me and and many of my colleagues carry a deep concern and are asking tough questions about why self harm and eating disorders are on the increase for our teens and young adults.   Are we falling short as parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sports coaches and role models in encouraging living values and virtues in our children of compassion, empathy, self-reliance, honesty, perseverance, gratitude, and appreciation?

Are our children and teens so saturated with acquired things and constant entertainment, that they have no time to relax?  Are we teaching stress and achievement neurosis and ego driven competition as a life curriculum?  Are we ourselves modeling materialism, multitasking, and technological idolatry?  Are we using the current “economic hard times” as an excuse for pushing our kids harder and harder?  Are we teaching them what to think , or how to think?  Are our children inspired by their teachers to go to “Google” or “Wikipedia” for an “answer” rather than practice research, inquiry and idealistic curiosity?

Are we growing young people who would rather cheat on an exam than to disappoint their parents with a lower grade?  Is the multitasking we model eliminating the idea of “leisure” time and “time in-between”?  Have our cell-phones become leashes by which we are kept track of and easily accessible, and is texting contributing to the decay and loss of substantial conversation? Has media obsession replaced all remnants of the “hobby”?

I do believe that these are the questions we must ask.  Self-harm, excessive and obsessive tattooing and piercing, eating disorders, and suicide are auspicious symptoms of a larger problem that we cannot ignore.  While the counselors, teachings, therapists, researchers and clinicians work earnestly and zealously on remedies to the mental and emotion and emotional challenges our children and teens face, we as parents can help by reintegrating healthy attachment of our children to our guidance.

We can read, study and continue to educate ourselves about parenting in parenting classes and support groups.  We can re-evaluate our own lives and priorities and make time for family dinners, trips, table games, excursions,  and other non-technological activities.  We can limit or restrict our use of alcohol or any other substances to times when we are not supervising or modeling for our children.  We can know our children and listen to them.  We can know our children’s friends and their parents.   We can realize that virtual supervision is not really supervision at all.

Our job is to pay attention, act and react appropriately and move forward with love and steadfast care.

Rick Concoff c 2013

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