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Love and communication important during teen years

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Parents and teenagers live in different worlds with different pressures and perspectives, so communication between adolescents and parents can be strained. Here are a few strategies you can use to minimize conflicts during this challenging time.

Use humor.
Humor is an effective communication tool, because it breaks down barriers and commands attention. Disguised as fun, humor can be used to teach, introduce new ideas, share beliefs, and implant knowledge.

Listen.
Perspective and practice make a big difference. The way an adult perceives a problem is often very different from the way a teen views the same issue. What seems like a life catastrophe to 16-year-old may seem insignificant to a 40-year-old.

As a result, teenagers often have things to say to adults, but get frustrated because they do not feel like they can express their concerns and feelings. Epictetus, a Greek philosopher who was born in the 1st Century, might well have been instructing 21st Century parents when he said, “We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

Keep it short.
Teens are perceptive and smart, so a few words go a long way. No one wants to feel like they are being lectured, so it is best to say it once.

Compliment.
The way we speak can often result in the outcomes we are trying to avoid. Comments and instructions couched in negative language, with excessive use of words like “don’t”, “never”, and “no” may lead to poor behavior. Instead try to focus on the positive things your teen does.

Prepare and Allow.
It is easy to view your kids as younger than they are. As teens age, they need more responsibility. Adults who continually enforce rules that do not acknowledge demonstrated capacity for independent and responsible behavior, can alienate teens.

Wait.
If it isn’t an immediate health or safety issue, it is sometimes better to wait for the right moment to discuss a problem rather than force a discussion at a poor time.

Connect.
Your kids internalize and interpret everything you do. They read your face, posture, voice, and stance. They subconsciously search for physical cues to what you really feel about them. Make sure they know they are loved, respected, and appreciated.

Even though the transition from child to adult can be challenging, love and open communication can make the journey easier for everyone.

Analysis: After Disasters Like Harvey and Irma, the Road to a Child’s Emotional Recovery May Start at School

The 74 Million – Alison Crean Davis

“Andrew, Hugo, Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, and now Irma. We have some history in this country with educational systems striving to recover after they, and their cities, have been inundated with the devastating winds and rising floodwaters of hurricanes. Post-Harvey, the education headlines are focused on getting schools open and Houston’s students in the doors. It’s a critical start and consistent with stories that arose in the weeks and months after Katrina’s devastating hit on Louisiana: Schools needed to reopen, teachers and students were displaced, school systems and policies were being reconceived. But the recovery process can’t end with logistics, because the very children returning to these schools may present with varying symptoms of emotional trauma that could unfold over several years.”(more)

OPINION: Ending “one size fits all” programs for social-emotional learning

The Hechinger Report – Jessica Berlinski

Students from underserved populations do not have the same opportunities for a strong education as their more-affluent peers. This is the harsh reality that data from Stanford’s sweeping 2009-2013 study bears out. As policymakers and educators struggle with how to shift this phenomenon, social-emotional learning has emerged as a solution to the challenge of achieving educational equity; they certainly comprise part of the solution to this multifaceted challenge.”(more)

Having A Best Friend In Your Teenage Years Could Benefit You For Life

KQED News Mind/Shift – Angus Chen

“The researchers followed 169 people for 10 years, starting when they were 15 years old. At age 15 and again at 16, the participants were asked to bring in their closest friends for one-on-one interviews with the researchers. “[They were asked] how much trust there is, how good communication is and how alienated they feel in the relationship,” says Rachel Narr, the lead author on the study and a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Virginia. Each year, the original participants were also given questionnaires to assess levels of anxiety, depression and self-worth. Narr says that when she watched videos made in the early years of the study of the teens asking their best friends for advice or support or talking through a disagreement, it was easy to tell which relationships were strong. “These teens tend to be open with one another about difficult topics, and they’re more engaged with one another and helping the other person and connecting with the other person,” she says.”(more)

Steps parents can take to raise kind kids

Moms Everyday – Liz Hayes

” Bullying is now one of the top concerns parents have about their kids’ health, according to a recent survey published in US News and World Report, just behind obesity and right before drug use. Less than ten years ago, bullying didn’t even show up in the top ten. From the school yard to the classroom and certainly online, bullying is tough to avoid. Developmental psychologist Selma Caal says children can show aggressive behavior as young as 17 months, which is often normal. But there are things parents can do to help children assert themselves without hurting others.”(more)

What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Social And Emotional Skills’?

KQED News Mind/Shift – Anya Kamenetz

“More and more, people in education agree on the importance of schools’ paying attention to stuff other than academics. But still, no one agrees on what to call that “stuff.” I originally published a story on this topic two years ago. As I reported back then, there were a bunch of overlapping terms in play, from “character” to “grit” to “noncognitive skills.” This bagginess bugged me, as a member of the education media. It bugged researchers and policymakers too. It still does.”(more)