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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.

‘Robin Hood effects’ on motivation in math

Science Daily – Staff Writer

” Students from families with little interest in math benefit more from a school intervention program that aims at increasing math motivation than do students whose parents regard math as important. A study indicates the intervention program has a “Robin Hood effect” which reduces the “motivational gap” between students from different family backgrounds because new information about the importance of math is made accessible to underprivileged students.”(more)

Moms Of Teens Can Benefit From Social Support, Just Like New Moms

KQED News Mind/Shift – Juli Fraga

“Raising children is a task that requires extensive “on-the-job” training, which is why many women rely on new moms groups for parenting support and guidance. Often, however, as the kids get older, the mothers’ friendships fall by the wayside. Now, new research indicates that social support isn’t just valuable for mothers of young children, it’s beneficial for moms of teens, too. The study, published this spring in the journal Family Process, suggests that these support networks may help mothers develop closer relationships with their teens.”(more)

Good Government Is Not Good Enough When Managing Choice in the Real World

Education Next – Michael DeArmond

“The portents of market failure—things like inadequate information and a lack of competition—are everywhere in public education. So, when it comes to school choice, government has an important role to play: reducing information asymmetries, bolstering accountability, and ensuring fairness. But the market for schooling also needs bottom-up, community action if it’s going to work for families in the real world. That point was evident at the recent Portfolio Network meeting hosted by CRPE in Camden, New Jersey.”(more)

When parents focus on smartphones, kids’ misbehaving can rise

Medical X-Press – Maureen Salamon

“Could your smartphone prompt a toddler tantrum? Perhaps, a new study suggests. Young children whose parents interrupt family time by pulling out their smartphones or tablets appear more prone to misbehaviors, such as whining, sulking and tantrums, the research revealed. Study author Brandon McDaniel coined the term “technoference” about five years ago when researching technology’s intrusion into face-to-face interactions and relationships. His new findings on kids and parents reinforce established research focusing on technology’s effects on child development.”(more)

This Is How Much Praise Kids Really Need

Time – Amanda MacMillan

“To help children thrive emotionally and socially, aim to praise them for their good behavior five times a day, a new study suggests. The research, presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference, found that parents who did exactly that saw a boost in their kids’ wellbeing and a drop in hyperactivity and inattention.”(more)