Tag Archives: teenagers

Teach Your Children Well

“Teach Your Children Well” (1969) written by Graham Nash, performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young I first heard this song in a bunker in Vietnam. It touched my heart before I understood the lyrics. I returned safe but with … Continue reading

My Top 5 List of What Parents Can Give Their Adolescent Children

Nearly every parent knows that growing kids need unconditional love. And of course young children are powerless and innocent about most things, so they need our support for food, shelter, security, clothes, medical care, etc. A big theme of my … Continue reading

The 12 Most Important Insights for Parenting Teens

A common question from parents: “There’s so much advice out there, a lot of it is conflicting. What should I focus on? What’s most important?” Over the years, I’ve read most of the classic books on parenting, and I’ve given … Continue reading

Bonding with Teens – The Secret Sauce Is How You Talk to Them

Teens are different from younger kids in lots of ways. They may not be adults yet, but they aren’t little kids anymore. If you talk to them as if they are, you’ll push them away. They need your guidance, but … Continue reading

“Your Teen” Online Magazine – A Great Resource for Parents

I’ve discovered Your Teen, a weekly online magazine that’s a great resource for parents of teens. The current issue has these articles… “Why a Working Gap Year Is Worth Considering for Your Teen,” by Tim Elmore. “Move-Out Skills 101: Making Lunch” … Continue reading

When a Son “Hates” His Mom

This guest article comes from Tim Wright, author of Searching for Tom Sawyer. In this personal story, he illustrates the shock and disorientation parents feel when they aren’t conscious that their child has reached puberty and has begun the second … Continue reading

How to Help Teens Grow Strong for Adult Life

On April 14, 2014, I was interviewed by Lon Woodbury on LA Talk Radio. The topic was how parents can join with other adult mentors to create a village to raise a teenager to be strong for adult life – … Continue reading

Effective Communication Skills – The Game-Changer for Parents of Teenagers

Teenagers know they’re growing up, and they don’t like being treated like little kids. They need the wisdom and guidance of parents and other adults. But they hate lectures, sarcasm, put-downs, screaming, commands, threats, ultimatums, shaming, judging, and blaming. Don’t … Continue reading

The Heart of Masculinity

For the next several months a group of writers focused on the issues of boys and men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges boys and men … Continue reading

Bye-Bye Dirty Dozen, Hello 7 Key Parent-Child Communication Skills

For me, the best book ever written about parent-child communication was Dr. Thomas Gordon’s P.E.T. – Parent Effectiveness Training, a 1975 classic that is still widely used today. It isn’t easy to raise kids. Sometimes they’re sweet and adorable. But … Continue reading

Recipe for Disappointment – Making Assumptions about Your Teen

The dad lets his son borrow the car. “Be sure to have it back by six. I’ve got an important place to be tonight.” “No problem, Dad.” Six o’clock comes and goes. With no sign of his son, he makes … Continue reading

Team Sports – Part of the Answer for Parents of Teens

You know about the tragic circumstances that teenagers can get involved in: pregnancy, STDs, alcohol and drugs, bullying, depression, food disorders, suicide, breaking the law, rebellion, gangs, poor grades, dropping out of school, running away from home. You read the … Continue reading

Signs Your Son Is Using too Much Tech (And What To Do About It)

For the next several months a group of writers focused on the issues of boys and men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges boys and men … Continue reading

Why Teens Rebel – In Case You’ve Forgotten…

When they’re little you read to them, hoping they’ll love books and reading and learning. Before you know it they’re in school, beginning a journey that will teach them about the world. And in half a dozen years, puberty begins … Continue reading

Michael Gurian: If I Were a Parent of a Boy…

For the next several months a group of writers focused on the issues of raising boys to become men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges parents … Continue reading

Adults Can Improve the Way They Mentor Youth – And Make a Difference

Adults care a great deal about the youth in their communities. They want fewer kids to be at risk. They want more kids growing up to be strong, happy, successful adults. They’re willing to be mentors to young people. And … Continue reading

Wisdom…

Forty years ago, I was in graduate school at Duke University, in over my head, learning as hard and fast as I could to catch up to my classmates. It paid off – I earned my Ph.D. four years later. … Continue reading

For Parents Only – How to Manage Your Teen’s Use of Social Media

In the 21st century, young people use social media to relate to each other. There are upsides and downsides – even dangers – to this activity. You want your child to have friends, but real relationships, not virtual ones. You … Continue reading

The Danger of Teen Substance Abuse – Permanent Brain Damage

Doctors always warn expectant mothers not to use alcohol, drugs or tobacco during pregnancy. By now, the reasons why are common knowledge. Here’s an excerpt from WebMD.com: “Taking drugs during pregnancy also increases the chance of birth defects, premature babies, … Continue reading

Parents – How and Why Teens Risk Their Futures and Their Lives

From Tina Marconi of BabySitters.net, we have this timely guest post that gives parents a heads-up about adolescent risk-taking and the horrendous consequences. Taking healthy risks is an essential aspect of childhood development, and is one of the best ways … Continue reading

Comedian Louis C.K. on Raising His Daughters

“I’m not raising kids. I’m raising the adults they’re going to turn into.” – Louis C.K. An empowering, realistic distinction! Instead of seeing their teenager as a kid who’s been in the family for more than a decade, parents need … Continue reading

Over 300 Teens Trash Retired NFL Player’s Home – And Do Untold Damage to Themselves

I read a disturbing news report posted by NPR. You should check it out. And especially check out the victim’s website… The victim was former New England Patriots pro football player, Brian Holloway (1981-1988). While he was visiting Florida, his … Continue reading

7 Practical Ideas for Nurturing the Parent-Teen Bond

Thanks to Maureen Denard at FindaNanny.net for this guest post. The adolescent years can stress a parent-child relationship. This article has several practical ideas for helping the bond to grow stronger. In a world where there never seems to be … Continue reading

The Generation Gap – A Failure of Parent-Teen Communication

A teenager made a dumb mistake and damaged a tool. His father, angry, shouted at him about carelessness and irresponsibility. No love, understanding or respect was communicated in the heated interchange. The boy felt like a failure and resented his … Continue reading

Smart-Phone Apps That Can Help Keep Your Teen Safe

Teens want smart phones. The good news is that these popular devices can help you stay in touch with them when they’re not right there in front of you. Even more. There are apps that can help you keep them … Continue reading

From Boys to Men – Tales of Two Adolescents

Recently I attended a large family reunion and talked to a lot of young people I hadn’t met before. The conversations I had with two different 22-year-old young men left me wondering. Shane seemed like a loner in this crowd. … Continue reading

Life is Hard – And Then You Strive

I’m recalling a moderately distressing experience that started with a phone call. My wife was about to return home from a shopping excursion at a mall about 30 miles away when her car wouldn’t start. She asked me to drive … Continue reading

10 Important Lessons Moms Can Teach Their Sons

A boy who grows up without the guidance of a father is at a disadvantage, even at risk. But the role of the mother, who more often than not is the primary nurturer, has an enormous influence. This guest post … Continue reading

1 Million Adolescent Suicide Attempts Per Year

Recently a huge tornado devastated a small town in Oklahoma, killing 24 people. Stories and images of the destruction were all over the Internet, the newspapers and television news. The coverage reminded me of when in early June, 1966, I … Continue reading

The Internet’s No. 1 Parenting Podcast Series

Have you been listening to the weekly Strong For Parenting podcasts? If not, then you’ve been missing something! For more than 20 years, Meredith Bell and I have been having fantastic conversations about things that are important to us. Frequently … Continue reading

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Are You a “Conscious Parent”?

In another post, I talked about a movie that portrayed a dysfunctional family that included two well-intended but – as I described them – “unconscious” parents. I put my own parents in that category. I knew that my mom and … Continue reading

Free Resources – Help Your Teen Wire a Smart Brain

Every time a teenager tries to figure out why something happened, tries to understand the relationship between thing A and thing B, tries to see the connection between cause and effect, foresees possible consequences, evaluates options, solves problems and consciously … Continue reading

Dad Gets Lucky – Gives Sons Christmas Present with Profound Permanent Consequences

It was the Christmas of 1982, and my boys were 10 and 12 years old. I didn’t think twice about what to give them. It just seemed like a great idea at the time – identical Commodore 64 personal computers. … Continue reading

Many Parents Avoid Frank Talks with Their Teens – For Good Reasons

I’ve written two books, Conversations with the Wise Uncle (for boys) and Conversations with the Wise Aunt (for girls). Both are fictional accounts about an older relative mentoring a young person during the teen years to give the child a “heads up” … Continue reading

My New YouTube Channel – For Adults Who Care About Youth

I have a new YouTube channel called Strong for Parenting. It will share short, information-dense videos for parents of teens and other youth mentors. My first video,  “Give Your Teen A Superior Mind,” packs a lot of powerful info in less than … Continue reading

My Interview with Lon Woodbury of LA Talk Radio – What Parents Can Do to Help Wire Their Teen’s Brain for Critical Thinking

Lon Woodbury (LA Talk Radio) and I had a great discussion about the teen brain (to listen or download, scroll down to January 28, 2013). I talked about the big changes going on in the pre-frontal cortex (PFC), the last area of the … Continue reading

Parent-Child Communication – Build the Bridge, or Tear it Down

Teenagers…emotional, inarticulate and needy, may try to ask for something or make a statement. Maybe they want to buy something. Maybe they want to go somewhere. Maybe they’re having a problem. But parents are human, too, and not always in … Continue reading

Composure – 10 Inspiring Quotes for Parents

My dad was a really nice guy. But I remember that when I was a teenager, he lost his temper with me three times. Yes, exactly three times. And the sad thing is that half a century later I still … Continue reading

Podcast #2 – Adolescence – The Second Dozen Years of Growing Up

When young people turn 18 and graduate from high school, parents often expect them to start doing adult things. Go to college. Join the service. Get your own place. Get a steady job. Get married. Have kids. Even the law grants them … Continue reading

Street Smart Kids – Teens Need to Hear This Stuff

When I was young, the adults around me shared very little advice, wisdom or skills. So by the time I left home, I was pretty naive. I didn’t know how naive I was! All I knew was that I was … Continue reading

Strong for Parenting Podcast site is launched!

I recently posted about the concept of “conscious parenting.” I stated that many parents experience life with their children on a day-to-day basis, without thinking about the goals, processes, strengths and skills involved in parenting an adolescent. They may be … Continue reading

Between Parent & Teenager – Classic Wisdom

Between Parent & Teenager (1967) , by Dr. Haim G. Ginott, was published before many of today’s parents of teenagers were born. Ginott, who has been dead for forty years, was a well-known child psychologist and parent educator. His insight … Continue reading

For Parents of Teens: How to Change Your Child’s Behavior

Father: “Hey, son. I thought I asked you to clean and put away the tools after you use them.” Son: “Oh. Right.” Father: “Well, the tools you used last night are still on the bench. Why didn’t you put them … Continue reading

Interview with Chris Efessiou – How to Empower the Developing Teen Brain

Here is the recording of my conversation with Chris Efessiou, author of the excellent parenting book, Chief Daddy Officer. In it I reveal some scary things most parents don’t know about their teenagers. For example,  that the developing brains of teenagers … Continue reading

Teenagers vs. Adolescents – A Heads-Up for Parents

Most parents think of their child as “officially” an adolescent when they technically become a teenager on their 13th birthday. And they think their project of raising the child to adulthood is pretty much over after high school, when most … Continue reading

West Point Ingrained My Critical Thinking Skills

When I was in high school, I got an A in every subject I ever took. I didn’t find out until later that I hadn’t learned as much as I thought. But man, I knew how to make A’s! My … Continue reading

Chief Daddy Officer – Loving Father ‘Leads’ His Daughter

This is a unique book on parenting. Chris Efessiou, a highly successful entrepreneur and executive, believes that the personal strengths and interpersonal skills essential to effective leadership also apply to being an effective parent. I’ve always believed this, and in … Continue reading

A Coach and a Miracle – Autistic Boy Becomes Sports Hero

It’s an amazing story. A high school basketball coach gives Jason McElwain, an enthusiastic autistic boy, a role as team manager. In his senior year, the coach promises him a jersey and a chance to play in the game on … Continue reading

Teen Sex – A Crisis with a Solution

For the past few years I’ve been interviewing adults about their adolescent experiences. I always ask, “What did your parents tell you about sex?” Ninety-five percent of the time the answer is, “Nothing.” I remember the one and only time … Continue reading

Straight Talk for Teens – Young People Sharing Perspectives

One of the perplexing things about teenagers is that they tend to trust the input of their peers more than the advice of their own parents – perhaps because they feel their friends understand their situation better. Understanding this dynamic … Continue reading

Playing Chess Can Boost Your Child’s Intellect – Permanently

If you’ve followed my blog, you know I often write about adolescence as the sensitive time of life during which a child’s brain can be wired for basic critical thinking skills. The window of opportunity opens at puberty and closes … Continue reading

Low Self-Esteem – One of the Perils of Being a Teenager

It’s unfortunate that so many teenagers feel miserable… Maybe they can’t afford the clothes the cool kids wear – I WON’T BE POPULAR. Maybe they lag behind in reading and basic learning skills – I’M NOT SMART. Maybe they were … Continue reading

When Your Child Is Bullied – What to Do

Bullying is a big problem for a lot of kids. It’s a problem because it happens so often, and an attack on a child, whether physical or psychological, can cause unfortunate consequences. The “if it doesn’t kill you it makes … Continue reading

The Teen Years – A Scary Time of Life

I often say that “the teen years are a perilous time of life,” meaning that bad things can and do happen. Sometimes really bad things. Like a teenager being killed. If you think this is an overstatement, consider the sad … Continue reading

Larry Winget – Your Kids Are Your Own Fault

Over the decades, a lot of bad advice for parents has been published. Strategies such as false praise, helicopter parenting and permissiveness may have played to parents’ fears of losing the love of their child, but the consequences have been … Continue reading

Will Watching Violent Video Games Affect Your Teen’s Behavior?

An issue has been preoccupying my mind – young people who watch violent video games. In the entertainment world, the video game business is much bigger than the movie industry, with more than $10 billion spent on video game devices … Continue reading

Your Child Can Develop a Brilliant Mind – Or not…

The human brain has dozens and dozens of areas that perform special tasks. While a baby is born with a complete brain, it’s like a brand new computer with no software and no data. So throughout childhood, the outer layer … Continue reading

The 3 Most Powerful Ways to Give Your Teen An Edge in Life

It’s amazing what you see when you step outside the box. I’ve been focusing on the special challenge of raising teenagers for over a year now, and I’ve been outside the box the whole time. Inside the box, you understand … Continue reading

Teen Suicide – What Can a Parent Do to Prevent It?

Johann Eyfells, portrait by Kristin Eyfells Not long ago I was sitting at a table drinking coffee and talking with Johann Eyfells, the world-famous Icelandic sculptor. At some point, I used the word “luck.” He quickly seized on the word. … Continue reading

Aha! Personal Development for Teenagers!

For over 30 years my work has been focused on adult personal development – personal strengths and people skills. My company, Performance Support Systems, has published some award-winning internationally recognized assessment and development systems, all brain and behavior-based. For nearly … Continue reading

Who I Write For – Parents Who Are Willing to Do the Work

At 6:30 AM every morning I leave my driveway and head for the gym. Most days, as I pass a certain intersection, I see a car with its headlights on, parked by the side of the road. It’s a parent … Continue reading

Reading Will Help Your Teen Develop a Fine Mind

I have a friend whose dad had a personal library of several thousand books. When my friend was about ten years old, his dad enrolled him in a speed-reading course. Soon afterward, he began reading the classics of world literature. … Continue reading

Sean Covey on Teen Peer Pressure

Teens are famous for doing wild and crazy things without thinking about the consequences. I shudder when I remember some my own antics as a teenager. Of course one of the reasons for this behavior is that they’re experimenting and … Continue reading

Teen Development – The All-Important Core Strengths

A successful, happy life. I guess everybody knows it takes more than than money and beauty. Just ask Bernie Madoff and Kim Kardashian. And guess what…It also takes a lot more than a good education and business know-how. I try … Continue reading

Sex Advice for Teen Girls – Establish Boundaries

The book, Conversations with the Wise Aunt, is in the final stages of preparation and will soon appear as a Kindle ebook. In the chapter, “A Nice Way to Say No,” Aunt Maria explains to her niece, Trisha, how boys … Continue reading

John Rosemond’s Book: Teen-Proofing

Some of the best authors on the subject of parenting have books about teens. Many of the more recent ones treat the topic of teen brain development. John Rosemond is my favorite authority on parenting who doesn’t talk about brain … Continue reading

The 5 Critical Communication Skills for Parents of Teens

There are five communication skills that are so important to parenting a teenager that the failure to use any one of them – even just once – can cause problems in a relationship. My research of the literature has taught … Continue reading

Jackson’s Story – Teen Rebellion Channeled into Positives

In this blog space, I’ve referred many times to something I call the “teen journey.” It’s the difficult, perilous 12-year developmental period called “adolescence” that has a profound, permanent impact on the rest of a person’s life. Every teen journey … Continue reading

The Brain Talk – A Young Girl Learns What’s Happening in Her Teen Brain

I’m just guessing, but it may be true that no teenager in the long history of planet Earth has ever been given “the brain talk,” even though it’s probably the most important information a teen can have. Nevertheless, imagine a … Continue reading

What Sowing Wild Oats Is All About

A friend once told me a story about his older brother. My friend was a top student and multi-sport athlete in high school, and he eventually got a football scholarship and later had a successful career as an executive. His … Continue reading

Dr. David Walsh’s “Why Do They Act That Way?” – 4 Basics for Parenting Teens

Do you have a teenager in your life? I ask this question a lot these days, because a lot of people are in this situation. And a young person’s developmental experience during the 12-15 year period called adolescence has become … Continue reading

Conversations with the Wise Aunt

Not many parents feel comfortable talking to their kids about sex and other momentous topics. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and parents know they’re not experts on every subject. Besides, times have changed, and they remember their own … Continue reading

Why Do Teens Act That Way? – Three Revealing Video Clips

I’m putting in a lot of time right now checking facts about what’s going on in the teen brain. As I’ve written elsewhere, it’s a confusing time for a teen because the part of the brain that does cause-and-effect thinking, … Continue reading