Thursday, January 1, 2015

Getting through to Tweens

No matter what part of the world you live in, there's one thing that seems to be true: Parenting adolescents is a BIG change from parenting children. They're sullen one moment, happy the next. Massaging your shoulders one second, yelling at you with their next breath. I know in some cultures it's less pronounced -- especially in cultures where kids are not compelled by the media to grow up before their time.

But here on this side of the planet, i have to use any tactics i can to deal with these behaviors. With the advent of constant connectivity, it only gets more challenging, because now they're so busy keeping their noses in their screens they think they don't have to do anything else.

So i was pretty happy with myself for finding this way of controlling some of my daughter's less-than-ideal tantrums: Video them. And then threaten to share them on Instagram or Facebook or wherever else her remote, all-too-connected friends congregate. It worked once, and i'm hoping it works again, because as a single parent i am constantly wishing someone else was around to witness this rude, obnoxious tween behavior that always seems to be directed only at me!

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I love this approach that Marcus Parker is taking, using rap music to motivate teens and encourage positive communication among them and their and parents. Check out his site, Motivational Rap University, to see what's he's doing.