Raising Teens

A site for parents of teens striving for sanity

Month: November 2011

To Friend or Not to Friend a Parent on Facebook

My sister recently was extremely insulted when her son de-friended her on Facebook. It’s hard to argue that being our teen’s friend gives us insight into his or her world  and gives us a way to snoop on what they and their friends are up to.

In an article I read online, I enjoyed hearing teens’ thoughts on whether or not to friend your parent and thought I’d share it with you. Let me know what you think about these teens arguments for and against it.

 

To friend or not to friend parents on Facebook

New York Times | Nov 29, 2011, 04.14PM IST

Been a few days since your teenage son or daughter responded to your request to be friends on Facebook?
Whether that query gets accepted with a ”sure, duh” or becomes a point of contention depends on what kind of relationship parents and their children have ”in real life,” experts say. Are your children able to confide in you about the everyday happenings in their lives, as well as problems they may have encountered?

”If you don’t have that degree of trust off-line, you won’t get it online,” says Steve Jones, aUniversity of Illinois at Chicagocommunications professor who specializes in new media. ”The chances of your kid wanting to be your friend on Facebook and share stuff with you online is almost nil.”

Families are dealing with the social media issue in a number of ways, from insisting to be friended so they can monitor their children to spending time online together and sharing tentative Facebook friendships.

Becca Hansen’s mom seemed shocked when the 17-year-old accepted her friend request.

”I guess she expected me to deny her or something, but I friended her right away because I already tell her everything,” says Hansen, adding that her mom is also friends with her boyfriend and best girlfriend. ”She knows when I go to parties and who I hang out with. My friends think I’m kinda crazy for being so close with her.”
On the other hand, Shelby Crumley, 15, isn’t friends with her mom on Facebook, and her mother has never asked to be. Instead, Vivien Crumley, 53, takes a different approach: Every once in a while, she will look over Shelby’s shoulder while she’s on Facebook at the communal laptop in the kitchen and ask her questions.

”It doesn’t bother me as long as she’s not doing that every day,” says Shelby. ”Sometimes she will ask about what someone just said to me and what it means, or if she sees a name she doesn’t recognize she will ask me who it is.”

Click here to read more.

 

To Friend or Not to Friend a Parent on Facebook

My sister recently was extremely insulted when her son de-friended her on Facebook. It’s hard to argue that being our teen’s friend gives us insight into his or her world  and gives us a way to snoop on what they and their friends are up to.

In an article I read online, I enjoyed hearing teens’ thoughts on whether or not to friend your parent and thought I’d share it with you. Let me know what you think about these teens arguments for and against it.

 

To friend or not to friend parents on Facebook

New York Times | Nov 29, 2011, 04.14PM IST

Been a few days since your teenage son or daughter responded to your request to be friends on Facebook?
Whether that query gets accepted with a ”sure, duh” or becomes a point of contention depends on what kind of relationship parents and their children have ”in real life,” experts say. Are your children able to confide in you about the everyday happenings in their lives, as well as problems they may have encountered?

”If you don’t have that degree of trust off-line, you won’t get it online,” says Steve Jones, aUniversity of Illinois at Chicagocommunications professor who specializes in new media. ”The chances of your kid wanting to be your friend on Facebook and share stuff with you online is almost nil.”

Families are dealing with the social media issue in a number of ways, from insisting to be friended so they can monitor their children to spending time online together and sharing tentative Facebook friendships.

Becca Hansen’s mom seemed shocked when the 17-year-old accepted her friend request.

”I guess she expected me to deny her or something, but I friended her right away because I already tell her everything,” says Hansen, adding that her mom is also friends with her boyfriend and best girlfriend. ”She knows when I go to parties and who I hang out with. My friends think I’m kinda crazy for being so close with her.”
On the other hand, Shelby Crumley, 15, isn’t friends with her mom on Facebook, and her mother has never asked to be. Instead, Vivien Crumley, 53, takes a different approach: Every once in a while, she will look over Shelby’s shoulder while she’s on Facebook at the communal laptop in the kitchen and ask her questions.

”It doesn’t bother me as long as she’s not doing that every day,” says Shelby. ”Sometimes she will ask about what someone just said to me and what it means, or if she sees a name she doesn’t recognize she will ask me who it is.”

Click here to read more.

 

Surviving a fight with your teen

Yesterday, I had my first major blow out with my teenage daughter. I guess it’s pretty good that I made it to 15 1/2 before this happened. All I can say is, I don’t think I won the battle.

To be honest, I’m not sure what the fight was about. It started with some eye rolling and nit picking. Everything I said yesterday annoyed my daughter from my mention that she had eyeliner running down her face to the suggestion that she consider driving lessons. By dinner, her annoyance with me had escalated and ended with her screaming “I hate you” and locking herself in her room the rest of the night. What happened to my sweet little girl, the one who gives her friends a smile and a giggle?

Normally, I would be devastated and furious. But I have been watching recorded episodes of My So-Called Life, which has been running on the Sundance Channel. The show, a high school drama filmed in 1994, stars Claire Danes as a 15-year-old who has just these kind of clashes with her mom (and dad) as she goes through the normal teenage drama.

Also, I feel fortunate that I just read a book by Anthony Wolf called Get Out of My Life: but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? It’s a great parenting guide. Wolf suggests when you fight with your teen, end your participation in the battle by having one last line, but one line only and say no more. “Don’t get sucked into ongoing battles. It is that simple.”

Today, I will stick to my wits and avoid an ongoing battle.

Readers, have you tried this approach to dealing with teenage meltdowns? Does it work?

Surviving a fight with your teen

Yesterday, I had my first major blow out with my teenage daughter. I guess it’s pretty good that I made it to 15 1/2 before this happened. All I can say is, I don’t think I won the battle.

To be honest, I’m not sure what the fight was about. It started with some eye rolling and nit picking. Everything I said yesterday annoyed my daughter from my mention that she had eyeliner running down her face to the suggestion that she consider driving lessons. By dinner, her annoyance with me had escalated and ended with her screaming “I hate you” and locking herself in her room the rest of the night. What happened to my sweet little girl, the one who gives her friends a smile and a giggle?

Normally, I would be devastated and furious. But I have been watching recorded episodes of My So-Called Life, which has been running on the Sundance Channel. The show, a high school drama filmed in 1994, stars Claire Danes as a 15-year-old who has just these kind of clashes with her mom (and dad) as she goes through the normal teenage drama.

Also, I feel fortunate that I just read a book by Anthony Wolf called Get Out of My Life: but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? It’s a great parenting guide. Wolf suggests when you fight with your teen, end your participation in the battle by having one last line, but one line only and say no more. “Don’t get sucked into ongoing battles. It is that simple.”

Today, I will stick to my wits and avoid an ongoing battle.

Readers, have you tried this approach to dealing with teenage meltdowns? Does it work?

When your teen daughter starts to drive…

The other day, I agreed to let my daughter drive to a nearby strip center. Of course, I should have swallowed valium first. She has been driving for a few months now and I didn’t realize that she hadn’t mastered  the parking lot. As she drove along looking for a spot, she had no idea that a car was backing out of spot right into our car. Yikes! I held my breath and stomped on the imaginery passenger side brake. Fortunately, my daughter was stepping on the gas and we managed to clear the other car by seconds.

Being the mother of a teen driver is petrifying. I found a blog post by my news pal, Glenna Milberg, so easy to relate to and I’m pretty sure you will too. Here’s a snippet of the post:

Note to my daughters: Did you see it on the newscast?

The pieces of car scattered across 836? Did you see their pictures? The
driver was 17, just like you. She was out loving life with her best girls, I’m sure, just like you do.

I know what you’re thinking (insert eye-roll here). You’re thinking something
like, “(Sigh), here comes another one of my mom’s teachable moments,
another one of her talks, her life-lessons.”

Yes. And I know you are listening. I know it’s sinking in on some level, because
you’ve been getting them your whole life, since the day you started pre-school.

Back then, your little friends’ moms would typically give me “looks” when
I would ask before a play date about a pool fence, any gun in the house, a dog
that might bite.

“Who thinks about that stuff?” they would ask.

I do, because I’ve seen it, covered it, and want to learn from it, that’s why.

Click here to read more.

When your teen daughter starts to drive…

The other day, I agreed to let my daughter drive to a nearby strip center. Of course, I should have swallowed valium first. She has been driving for a few months now and I didn’t realize that she hadn’t mastered  the parking lot. As she drove along looking for a spot, she had no idea that a car was backing out of spot right into our car. Yikes! I held my breath and stomped on the imaginery passenger side brake. Fortunately, my daughter was stepping on the gas and we managed to clear the other car by seconds.

Being the mother of a teen driver is petrifying. I found a blog post by my news pal, Glenna Milberg, so easy to relate to and I’m pretty sure you will too. Here’s a snippet of the post:

Note to my daughters: Did you see it on the newscast?

The pieces of car scattered across 836? Did you see their pictures? The
driver was 17, just like you. She was out loving life with her best girls, I’m sure, just like you do.

I know what you’re thinking (insert eye-roll here). You’re thinking something
like, “(Sigh), here comes another one of my mom’s teachable moments,
another one of her talks, her life-lessons.”

Yes. And I know you are listening. I know it’s sinking in on some level, because
you’ve been getting them your whole life, since the day you started pre-school.

Back then, your little friends’ moms would typically give me “looks” when
I would ask before a play date about a pool fence, any gun in the house, a dog
that might bite.

“Who thinks about that stuff?” they would ask.

I do, because I’ve seen it, covered it, and want to learn from it, that’s why.

Click here to read more.

The top 10 “why’s” when raising a teen.

I sometimes think we should give out to every parent who has toddler or young child, the top 10 “why’s” they will soon be encountering when their child becomes a teenager.  I think its important they prepare themselves for what will soon be coming their way. In addition, I think they should be prepared for the frustrations they will or maybe enduring in future years.

So, I decided to write down some of my Top 10 “why’s” when raising a teen. Now, I know there are much more than 10 so, in the interest of time and space, I decided on only 10.

1. Why do you look at me like I have two heads?

2. Why don’t you listen to me when I am talking to you?

3. Why don’t you like to spend time with me anymore?

4. Why is texting and talking to your friends more important to you than breathing?

5. Why do you never put your clothes away or keep your room clean?

6. Why is it you are only nice to me when you want something?

7. Why do you think you’re entitled to everything?

8. Why do you have to be so mean and condescending in your responses?

9. Why do you think you know it all?

10. Why can’t I trust you?

As I stated before, these are my top 10 “why’s”, so I am very curious if any of your top 10 “why’s” were in mine? If not, please share some of yours.  I would love to read them and I am sure other parents would, too. I think it’s important to pay it forward and I think this is a good start.

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