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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:38 am 
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Semen Strong
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I think your experiment was so cool! What a great way to practice for self-sufficiency.

I think its really interesting that he puts so much effort into the academic but not the organizational. I wonder if there is a way to give the organizational piece that he did poorly on a context that resonates with him more than "because the teacher said so." I know that there is such a focus on kids being smart and excelling academically, and so it makes sense that that is the area where they perform best and put in their efforts. But the organizational piece is really important in the work world, where very little of what you do is competitive or academic but mostly around how you carry out tasks that are boring and mundane pieces of organization....

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:02 am 
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Shae sounds like me and my mini me youngest in terms of academic vs organizational. The reality is that most of the kids wouldn't get anywhere near the academic points without being more organized. I always had a freakish memory so it didn't matter if I knew where something physically was or not because my brain held the material for me...papers and folders be damned. My youngest who is in middle school now is exactly the same down to completely illegible handwriting no matter what she does, never wanting to "show her work" cause she can look at the equation and "see" the answer. Yet she has straight A's in all her accelerated course work. It is frustrating when you see your own faults in your kids. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:33 pm 
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Thanks guys. We've done a lot of explaining and discussing how important organization is and it just hasn't sunk in yet. He was really disappointed to see how much those notebook grades dropped his average, so maybe, just maybe, this will be the time it clicks.

He has made tons of progress with time management and this little "test" relieved a lot of stress from all of us I think.

We're lookin at high schools & programs now and it's freaking me out a little bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Such a good idea! I think its great to practice self-sufficiency before your kid needs it, and there is no better way to learn than on the court, ideally when the stakes aren't terribly high. It sounds like Shae is a pretty incredible kid! 150! Plus class president and having his first job - you're doing a really great job with a really great kid.

I was like GWG, I coasted through law school on a great memory, but the organizational stuff came back to bite me when I was in practice and had way too many deals going on. And it is really hard to learn good habits when the stakes are high. I worry about demonstrating good self-discipline for Leela and encouraging her to develop good organizational habits as well as academic achievements :)

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:45 pm 
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I agree about practicing self sufficiency etc. It amazes me sometimes how often kids/teens/tweens are given no responsibility or decision making practice and then expected to make the big choices well. I try to do little experiments like Kelly described with all my kids at different ages and with different levels of consequence. Sometimes they do fabulously and sometimes they learn a valuable lesson before the stakes get too high. Good job Mom! And good job Shae for making progress!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:35 am 
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GRRR...
Mornings. Why? Why do we do this every morning? I changed the schedule when she said she was having to troubles getting up. I had her make a checklist so I would be able to let her just do it all. But is is always something. Maybe it is time for a much earlier bedtime. (And she isn't even up that late)

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:11 am 
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why does every interaction have to be some sort of religious slur?
my daughter has turned into one of those really active, snarky, judgmental atheists who needs to tell everyone about how stupid their beliefs are. i am embarrassed.
i'm considering banning her [satanic, baby-eating] japanimation characters for a while, but i am so tired of being The Enforcer. All i do is ban shiitake.

oh le sigh. and we went away for the weekend with her cousin. and there were boys. the boy craziness has begun. i just want to be like everyone else and just sit in front of the TV with a dopey look on my face when someone tells me that my daughter is doing x, y, z and "is that OK for you?" I mean, it works for Mr T.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Eh, I went through a phase of this, mostly as a reaction to being low-level bullied for not being raised religious in a mostly Catholic community. You get told you're going to hell enough and you tend to lash out at people.

I got over it. Now I sometimes even think about checking out Unitarian services or something because I really like the volunteerism/human rights work and sense of community in churches.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:10 pm 
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thank you for making me feel better.
what gets me is that we have so far raised her with religious neutrality- i'm a quaker, the family is catholic and buddhist, because the family situation is basically like that scene in Reservoir Dogs (the potential for hairtrigger condemnation is pretty large) the subject of religion in the family is firmly banned. We are officially quite respectful of each others' beliefs (or lack thereof) so some of the things she says really get my gourd.

Yes, i know, i should be thanking the gourd that she told ME she would shoot Jesus in the face (?!) rather than my lutheran mother. I know this because apparently i still have many, many sins to pay for.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Have you told her this? I mean, sat down with her and explicity laid out why you try to stay respectful? Maybe I'm projecting based on my own experiences, but she may be getting some flak in her community or school. She's at about the age where everyone's doing confirmation classes, right? I found this was a really awkward time to be nonreligious. It certainly wasn't something I would have felt comfortable talking to my family about, though, instead I acted out by embracing more prideful atheist writings. It's also a time where teens are solidifying their identities, and part of that is religious.

Being raised outside of that and only seeing the "negative" side of Christianity/Christian culture, it took me many years to appreciate the sense of community and service aspects of organized religions. Maybe you could talk to her about that, about some of the positive things different faiths have to offer?


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:22 pm 
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I don't know. I'm a pretty staunch atheist, but I don't think it ever occurred to me to think about shooting Jesus in the face.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:49 pm 
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I went through a pretty aggro atheist phase for a while. I just got sick of people telling me what I should/had to believe--there was a lot of school frustration, but my mom did make me go to mass until I turned 18, which didn't help. I ended up writing a dissertation about Polish-Jewish relations, so you can imagine that I got over it just fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:03 am 
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annak wrote:
Have you told her this?

i have but only in immediate response ("What would my [very religious] mother say if she could hear you?" "Do you know how offensive that sounds to me?"), which is usually when i'm pissed and she's all self-congratulatory, so i can be sure she's not taking things in.
The whole shooting-jesus-in-the-face is because of my tendency to repeat my gramma's pronouncements ("Jesus on a Bicycle!" or in this case "Even if Jesus appears and dances on the kitchen table, you still have to do your homework.") and that's her i-hate-homework kind of response.

this summer vacation, one of my goals is to try to be a better parent. i feel like during the year i don't even have time to think intelligently about how to respond, she's ALMOST GROWN UP, etc etc. [panic panic]

as for the religious thing- the catholic kids are doing catechism at this age, or something, but it's not so common in her school. this school doesn't allow any religious crepe to creep in, unlike the last one, so i can be pretty sure there is no insidious nastiness (at the last one there was a catholic influence, at one point i needed to ask that she not be required to go to some lecture by a priest). there is one teacher who is a vocal evangelical, though, and i know the children seem to enjoy tormenting her (cruelly, i might add, which i think is age typical). however, if the woman told me i'd be going to hell, i'd probably not be super respectful either. so perhaps that's where this came from.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:40 am 
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Have you read How to Talk so Kids can Listen and Listen so Kids can Talk or any other nonviolent communication materials? Its really helpful to learn to just reflect back at a lower level of intensity instead of reacting. Hard but helpful when you can do it :)

I think teen hyperbole comes because they don't feel listened to. I know I'd say stuff like that bc I felt so invisible. And for me, I only ever seemed to get negative attention, so saying something negative at least meant attention, which I couldn't get by doing anything good because nothing was ever good enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:13 am 
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yes, actually i just read one of those recently. i seem to be having some problems recalling all these great ideas in the heat of the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:06 pm 
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Love and Logic has some dialogues on point that you might want to read right before you anticipate having to engage with her on it (if, of course, you agree with their fairly hands off philosophy). Of course, these are always easier to read about than to implement! But I think their general suggestion is to turn it around, like:

FC: I hate this homework!
T: That looks really tough. How are you going to tackle it?

Or whatever. But, like you said, the problem is remembering their scripts. And reading those books I always know that my sister and I would have been EXPERTS at getting my parents to go off script. Teens are the world's expert button pushers.


^-- ETA: what I said here was re schoolwork. It sounds like Jesus was kind of a nonsequitor, and that the easiest thing would be to leave him out of the homework conversation entirely.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:58 am 
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most of the texts seem to come back to some sort of empathy + questioning (exactly like your example).

she does seem to be on suspiciously good behavior right now. last week was rough because it was the first week of summer- even at age 13 the transitions are still difficult.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:49 am 
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I don't think its just about empathy. For me, its designed to give you space to not be triggered by the charge from your emotional reaction and having your kid feel heard and then creating the space for them to come to their own solutions. Here is a bit of a summary of the How to Talk book http://www.parentbooksummaries.com/wp-c ... Listen.pdf

I have a friend using it with her 14 year old and she thinks it made a huge difference. Her kid was acting out, not doing homework, not being in communication and testing limits, and scaled back on that, and best she doesn't feel like she and her kid are at loggerheads all the time.

The problem is that your first response is generally a reaction that comes from your past, and it is often charged and it locks your kid into a problematic dynamic that is pretty oppositional.

I've been doing it with Brett. I also keep a Google doc of the stuff that is mino. If something is a safety issue, I address it right then, but I just write down the small stufff. I used to address it right away (you left the heat on, you didn't lock the front door, the toilet seat is up and Leela drowned the Christmas cards), but now I look at them at the end of the day and decide how to proceed without the charge, when Leela isn't there and I can be heard.

The NVC texts I've read are great, but HTTSKCLALSKCT is really basic and quick to read, so it helps when you don't have a ton of time.

We are in a gentle discipline playgroup, which is so useful, bc we practice responses and brainstorm. Plus the woman who leads it is just really sane and kind, so I've learned a ton :)

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Last edited by Tofulish on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:56 am 
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torque wrote:
she does seem to be on suspiciously good behavior right now. last week was rough because it was the first week of summer- even at age 13 the transitions are still difficult.



That good spell that follows a horrible one is always so relieving. With Shae, it seems to be that he lets his stress build up and then explodes at some point. Then I get him to talk through it all and he feels a ton better for awhile.

I swear every kid and every situation is a different puzzle that you just have to keep trying things till you figure it out. Here's hoping the good spell lasts a good long time!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:59 am 
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Oh and an update: I just spot checked Shae's grades to see where he stands with no pressure from us: All A's! He managed to bring up those progress report grades within a week, and got another teacher to drop a grade? I think I've let him watch Clueless too often.

Also, I saw him clean out his binder and folders last week (on his own freewill). He was marveling at how much of the stuff was just doodles and trash and how easy it is to find what he needs now. Pretty sure I heard angels singing at that point.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:04 am 
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thanks for taking the time to articulate and post that, tofulish. i will have a look at it later, i was trying to dig through and find notes from old reading i've done yesterday and haven't been able to locate my notes (deskvalanche earlier) so this is really helpful.
Tofulish wrote:
I also keep a Google doc of the stuff that is mino.

i know what you mean overall but what's mino?

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:05 am 
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Kelly wrote:
He was marveling at how much of the stuff was just doodles and trash and how easy it is to find what he needs now. Pretty sure I heard angels singing at that point.

funny how that goes, eh? we are at that same point. good on the grade stuff!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Derrrrrrp. Minor :)

And HURRAH for Shae and FC. It sounds like quite the roller coaster and like you both are raising some pretty incredible young people.

Kelly, every time you post a picture of Silas' smile on FB, I want to hug him. Man that is a CUTE kid.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Thanks Tofulish! He is an insanely happy, silly kid. So much fun.

That reminds me, Shae was watching an old Spy Kids movie the other day and Silas walked in and swore instantly that the "cute Internet baby girl" was on tv. He got so excited and I knew right away who he meant. I wish I could remember which sequel it was because she really did look like Leela!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:39 pm 
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It's the new one, All the Time in the World. And I thought the exact same thing when I saw it. And now I feel like a vegan baby stalker.


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