By: Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D.
All parents of teenagers are concerned about two things: the safety of their kids and their relationship with their kids. Adolescent safety is part of a big social problem, while parent-teen relationships represent a big family problem.
What’s the big social problem? Before today is over, here are a few issues parents and teens will have to deal with: 1100 teenage girls will become pregnant without wanting to, 18 people will die in auto accidents involving 15-19-year olds, and four percent of high school seniors will continue to drink daily.
What’s the family problem? At the family dinner table tonight, thousands of moms and dads will ask their 16-year-old sons the age-old question, “How was your day?” The answer will be “Fine.” “What did you do?” “Nothin’.” Mom and dad are being Snubbed. They feel rejected, hurt, and irritated, but they don’t know what to do about it. “The Snub” makes parents feel like they’re beating their heads against a brick wall.
That’s the bad news.
What’s the good news? The good news is that both problems-the family problem and the social problem-have the same solution. A solution that is described clearly in Thomas W. Phelan’s new 3rd edition of Surviving Your Adolescents: How to Manage–And Let Go Of-Your–13-18 Year Olds . According to Dr. Phelan, when parents find the answer to the dinnertime Snub, they will also be striking a huge blow toward reducing the cumulative societal tragedies that result from teen risk-taking in the areas of driving, drugs, sex and technology.
Research has told us for years that there is a strong connection between parent/teen relationships and adolescent safety. The more open and friendly the relationship, the less likely the kids are to get hurt. A parent’s tricky job is how to stay in touch with a teenager, provide reasonable monitoring of his activities, and–at the same time–respect his ferocious desire to run his own life.
To solve this problem, Dr. Phelan offers a five-part job description to parents of teens. Parents’ ability to master the suppertime Snub starts with transforming their own attitude toward their teenagers. How? By really appreciating adolescence for what it is and by remembering what their own adolescence was like years ago. These insights will allow moms and dads to go on to comfortably establish house rules, when necessary, and will also allow them to stay in touch with the kids through strategies like listening, praise, talking about oneself and shared fun.
Imagine not only peaceful but comfortable coexistence with your teenager. Imagine feeling like you know what you’re doing as the parent of an adolescent. And imagine 25 million teens in this country who are less likely to get hurt themselves as well as less likely to hurt others.
Surviving Your Adolescents does not assume that parents of teens have infinite amounts of time, energy, skill or patience. But neither are they alone nor powerless. Dr. Phelan is happy to show parents the do’s and don’ts of living with teens today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert and lecturer on child discipline and Attention Deficit Disorder. He is best known as the author of 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 which has sold more than 1,300,000 copies! It is also available as an audiobook and DVD. He has also authored six other books (most are also available as audio books & DVDs, both in English and Spanish) and countless articles.
Dr. Phelan is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Illinois Psychological Association. He received his Doctorate from Loyola University in 1970 after completing his internship at the Loyola Child Guidance Center. He is the founder and past president of the Illinois Association for Hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder (IAHADD), a support group for parents of ADD children. He has also served on the boards of directors for both ADDA and CHADD, two national organizations for the parents of children with ADD.
He and his wife of 40 years raised two children and experienced first-hand many of the problems he now helps parents tackle. “My goal is to help parents avoid some of the turmoil we experienced, and which I hear about from other parents every day,” comments Phelan. “With some basic understanding of what makes children and teenagers tick-and a ton of patience-parenthood can provide some of life’s greatest rewards.”
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