All posts tagged Radical Parenting

Happy Parenting Takes Practice

parenting styleThis post was written by Vicki Hoefle for radicalparenting.com. Enjoy!

Taking a less is more approach to raising five kids helped us all enjoy the transition from childhood to tweenhood to young adulthood (ages 18 – 23 living on their own or at college).

I came up with some simple rules that guided us on our journey and supported each of them as unique individuals discovering their place in the world.  These rules also translated well to the tens of thousands of parents who I have worked with over the past twenty years as a parent expert and coach.

  1. Stop worrying about how your tweens express themselves in terms of their personal style (this includes their wardrobe, accessories, hair and makeup, music and friends). Learn to notice character traits and strengths that define your tween as a unique human being.  What you might find troublesome now, will develop into a sense of personal power later on.  Embrace this time of self-discovery and adventure.  This is the time that your tweens can discover what it means when someone says, “be yourself.”
  2. Likewise, ignore parents who give you the hairy eyeball when your tween experiments with clothes, hair, makeup, music, attitude and values.  Let those around you know you are raising a thinking child and giving him/her room to develop self-confidence and independence.
  3. Ignore strangers at the mall, grocery store and restaurants who give you the hairy eye-ball because your tween is lost in their own world, giving you the cold shoulder or looking apathetic when everyone around them looks thrilled to be doing whatever it is they are doing. Learn to wait quietly as your tweens navigate their own feelings and find their own way of re-engaging.   Adolescence is a tough phase and moments of withdrawal are necessary from time to time.

Read the entire guest post, here.

Radical Parenting & Your Teen

As part of the Parenting On Track™ Home Program, parents receive 6 free Web Events throughout the year. Last night we hosted a 60 minute Web Event on Adolescence with special guest, Vanessa Van Petten of Radical Parenting (she may sound familiar to many of you as I have recommended her on more than one occasion) and 2 of her interns, Sydney 15, and Emily 13. Because this web event was filled with such great information, we decided to share it with everyone. Don’t worry forum members, we’ll add in another freebie.

Listen to the replay!

Here are a few of the highlights and how investing in the Parenting On Track™ program when your kids are young, makes raising a teen a whole lot more enjoyable for everyone concerned.

Teens want parents to know the following:

  • Don’t take the complaining or disagreeing of teens personally. It’s usually just a way for them to vent and they rarely mean anything hurtful.
  • Kids do listen to their parents – it just isn’t cool to look too interested or admit it.
  • A good relationship with their parents is as important to teens as it is to their moms and dads.

Enter Parenting On Track™ – The basis for the program; relationships built on mutual respect, cooperation, open and honest communication and a solid foundation that can absorb the constant changes our kids experience. You don’t enter the teen years in good shape, if you haven’t invested heavily in the relationship when the kids are young. Another Parenting On Track™ technique that is sure to pay off in the long haul – ignoring the cheap drama of a 3 year old which makes it possible to listen to a teen without getting worried, annoyed, angry or “hooked” into the emotion of the moment. Instead, Parenting On Track™ parents are trained to appreciate where their kids are emotionally at any given moment, the confidence to allow the kids to work through those emotions whenever possible, and the ability to “not” take what is said personally.

What fractures the parent/teen relationship?

  • Treating teens like they are still babies.
  • Imposing the same rules you established in elementary school on a 15 year old.
  • Embarrassing them repeatedly and then not owning up to it or apologizing for doing it.

Enter Parenting On Track™– Vanessa said something that really struck me “Re-evaluate agreements with your kids on a regular basis”. This is where Creating a Roadmap, Implementing Privileges and Responsibilities and Utilizing the Family Meeting come in. Each of the 3 tools ensures that parents are growing with their kids and that there is a balance between growing independence and reasonable boundaries.

What’s it like growing up in the 21st Century?

  • It’s tougher than parents think.
  • Technology plays a huge role and kids have to learn to navigate an ever changing landscape.
  • Unrealistic expectations from parents, teachers, friends, and coaches add more pressure to an already tough stage of life.

Enter Parenting On Track™ – A major theme that runs through all the work we do here is this: To ensure we, as parents, allow our children an opportunity to develop the mental muscle necessary to grow up in the 21st century feeling confident and with the skills necessary to navigate their lives effectively. And to allow our children the freedom to tell us to “back off” when we begin imposing our ideas on how they should run their lives so as not to overwhelm them or send the message that we are not pleased with the decisions they are making.

And one particularly helpful hint Vanessa shared that really hit home for me. Evidently teens don’t appreciate it when parents disguise a suggestion with a question – for example – “Hey do you think it might be a good idea if you did a little extra credit to get your grades up?” Ha! Busted. Sorry kids. I didn’t know there was a name for that. Instead she says – be transparent, ask honest questions and wait until your child begins the brainstorming process. And again, Parenting On Track™ encourages families to help kids articulate problems quickly and spend their energy looking for creative solutions.

I want to thank all 3 of these extraordinary young women, particularly Sydney and Emily for sharing their thoughts, insights and wisdom. I hung up the phone feeling the world was indeed, in very capable hands with these 3 at the helm.

Enjoy the replay!