Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Parenting Styles

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 by raisingteenageboys No Comments

It is usual for parents to have various values, methods, and styles of parenting.

This is normal, where in the typical relationship mum is the soft one and dad is the tough one. This can work well if you've an understanding and acceptance of this as complementary.

I know that my children worked that one out and will ask their mum more often than they did me. We talked about this and it was certainly a good exercise for us to try the other method sometimes.

It is not all black and white but it is healthy for me to pause and be sure of the best approach. As I seem to have a default “no” ready and waiting there are times when I must ask for some time to think about my answer and will usually find a “yes” lurking in there somewhere if that is appropriate.
 
Likewise, for my wife, she was asked to step into the “no” camp more than was natural for her. We needed to talk about important topics and if one of us has stronger feelings about it, the other would yield and support.
 
Being on the same page is not always this easy and requires careful negotiation.

Arguing about parenting in front of the children will not work as they'll feel less secure about the process and can become cunning in how to get what they want.

A united front is better than vague boundaries that move about depending on what the emotional climate in the house is at any particular moment. United we stand and divided we fall works far better when you are clear (and confident) about the reasons for adopting and defending your position.

Acknowledgement of Parents

Posted on: February 5th, 2014 by raisingteenageboys No Comments

We commend you as a caring adult in the life of your child or children and we honour you as a positive force in the world. For each of you reading this blog, there are many more parents stuck in a busy hand-to-mouth existence where the big picture often goes floating by.

Many understand the need for stepping up when our children become teens and unfortunately, that is as far as it goes. However, you are here and we thank you for that both for ourselves and for our children.

We attended a men's programme back in 2003 and a man spoke of his family and mentioned his partner and children, but that the children were not his.

One of the facilitators leant forward and respectfully said they're all ours mate. This struck a deep chord in us – words spoken that we just knew to be true. This was one of many powerful realisations marking a phenomenal time of ah-ha moments, insights and shifting of beliefs and behaviours in how we lived, perceived and parent in this world. We're extremely grateful for this.

This is for all our children. We each have a few souls temporarily in our care and they'll shape a future based on what is happening to them now.

Our Assumption

Posted on: January 31st, 2014 by raisingteenageboys No Comments

You are not reading this blog by accident … you are here for a reason. Maybe you know this or maybe not. Maybe you think you know what you want here…and something else will emerge.
 
A favourite joke of ours is (from Woody Allen);
 
How do you make God laugh? – Tell him your plans!
 
Our assumption is that you are interested in children and you are in alignment with our vision of your children growing into adults emotionally intelligent, socially aware, and passionate about their life. This is my ultimate hope for all our children.

Can you imagine what young adults would be like that hold an understanding of emotions, not just from a dictionary or an encyclopedia, but a felt sense because they know stories of other people in their community that have given him/her a context in which each emotion can sit, i.e. sadness, joy, disappointment or envy.

Again, imagine young adults that are socially aware, not just when it comes to which social media platform to use, but more specifically what does each social context not only require of them, but how they can excel, impress and feel good about themselves. That may simply look like being respectful and aware of elders in their community.

Finally, young adults being passionate about their life. Imagine if our young people arrived into adulthood with a clear purpose and passion. That would certainly help them make good decisions. That passion for life is not something that has been placed there, it is an energy that arises, from a young person being affirmed for the gifts that they hold and often in our experience and it may take some time, but the young person will find their passion or purpose and begin striving for it.

This is certainly our hope and vision for all young people!

Parenting Today – Part 2

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 by raisingteenageboys No Comments

We hear from scores of parents that their own childhood was one of freedom, exploring their environment often for the entire day. Mothers seemed to say in harmony, as long as you're home for dinner or, come straight home when the streetlights come on. A magnificent innocence to these wonderful stories speaks of a simple life lasting well into the teenage years.

 

Perhaps this is somewhat romanticised, but how did we get from there to here?

 

Many of these stories are far removed from those we hear today. Nowadays it is common to see parents organizing a raft of activities for their children and madly running around after them. When left to their own devices the children will sit indoors in front of their entertainment device of choice.

 

Indoors has so many more distractions for children these days and keeps them from going outdoors. Backyards and imaginations are getting smaller while TV's are getting bigger!

 

So children today are (usually) less able to entertain themselves and more easily bored.

 

How many parents feel guilty when their children proclaim 'I'm Bored'?

 

What is the quality of connection throughout the busyness of rushing around?

 

How is the quest to renovate and upgrade houses, cars, devices, and so on, helpful for our children today? Can we literally and metaphorically afford it?

 

I remember going to a rich kid's house for the weekend when I was about 14. This house today would be considered well below par – it was a large concrete bunker with an in-ground pool out the back. Many houses today seem to resemble magazine covers or mini-resorts, rather than a lived in (and loved in) homes.

 

In my own neighbourhood as a child, there was one family with an above ground pool and all the local children would flock there during summer holidays! It was a carefree and simple life where imaginative play was essential.

 

Whatever your financial situation, the pressures of the culture are pulling our money literally out of our pockets. Think about the equipment children carry around these days – laptops, phones, and so on – cost thousands of dollars and what did you carry around when a young teenager? Would the total sum of your clothing, bag, and equipment have cost more than $25?

 

I hope we can find that middle ground where children still do explore their environment with curiosity and fun and are modern children with all the necessary competencies required of them to function in a more complicated world than the one in which we grew up.

 

So what is your story? Be real about it, think about the things you loved as a teenager, AND what were the things that were challenging for you. We'll cover this more a bit later as being connected to our own stories is helpful when engaging with our teenagers AND it is good to share our stories with our children. So hopefully this will get you thinking and talking about your own life.

 

We hope you are enjoying this food for thought…

 

Parenting Today – Part 1

Posted on: January 15th, 2014 by raisingteenageboys No Comments

Many parents often refer to parenting today as an impossible task, throw their hands up in exasperation, and speak of feelings of giving up or being defeated. Often they are parents of teenage children. It is a challenging time and requires skills such as persistence and patience…and skills that have not been widely taught.

 

Parenting a teenager can at times make parenting toddlers seem a breeze.

 

The demands of the world have continued to grow despite technology's promise of making life easier. The world seems to spin faster and faster, and our ability to keep up is often challenged.

 

Perhaps if we were not moving too quickly we might have the presence of mind to be present with one of the important things in our life – our families.

 

To witness our children and their Glorious and Essential Mistakes and to love them even more through this, is the work of the elder and guide, and this is what we are aiming for here.

 

We cannot keep them from their mistakes; in fact, these mistakes reveal to us what the child needs.

 

So what happens to a parent in a fast-paced world?

 

Well-intentioned and intelligent parents as you, trying their best and doing their best, still feel as if they are failing somehow.

 

Are we setting our standards too high? Are the expectations of our society too extreme? Is the way we live life contrary to the task required of us as parents?

 

What are your thoughts?

 

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon…