Teen Being From Both Sides of the Door

One day our pre-teens and teenagers close the door.  As parents, we undergo internal negotiations regarding whether to open the door; if they’re ok on the other side; or to simply, to give them space and leave the door closed.  Most of the time our emerging adults are ok, they’re defining and exploring boundaries, but sometimes they’re not ok.  How can we reach them?  What do we share with them when privilege allows us to?  This issue of  “Bookisshh” takes a look at two works, which offer decent suggestions and narrative example of what we can employ as we mosey them along into the wonderful world of adulthood.

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When you bring consciousness to anything, things begin to shift

-Eve Ensler

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Part case study and part integration of the work of Anna Freud regarding normal teenage development, “Untangled” seeks to define the seven strands of development through which all teenage girls must pass in order to maintain and secure healthy adult relationships.

The seven strands  of development get knotted up in a revolving cast of case studies that serve either to exemplify what a strand deficit may look like as it presents and/or how therapists, teens and parents work it through.  

Useful to this reader is the mini-lesson on brain development and the description of brain systems and functions as they relate to the changing state of adolescents and teens.  Further useful, are the keen examples of how parents can help their teens and tweens by not laying down the law and going to the earth’s end to ensure it, but rather model and include their teen in various reasoning strategies as they relate to the outcomes that put teens at risk.  By doing so, parents change the game from “Don’t get caught–” to “Be a skillful player and live well to tell the tale..”  A big takeaway demonstrated is: parents can facilitate good decision making by NOT by telling teens and tweens what good decisions are but instead modeling and including them in the process during which they think deeply, broadly and globally.

“Untangled” is loaded with conversation starters for those of us who suffer from a loss of words during this time, this work is helpful if you can detangle the amount of case study and small town minutia which seeks to demonstrate trust but puts the reader on the outside.

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In this case, you can judge a book by its cover. “What I Told My Daughter” is a compilation of short narratives by women leaders and what they told their daughters in response to their professional experiences OR as it may have affected their upbringing.

Within this work are stories of gender equality, feminism, color blindness, the changing nature of family as more women lead them, and the importance of knowing one’s inner compass while choosing opportunities and stations in life.

Some of the stories are ones to breeze through and others demonstrate so well how our daughters choose according to what they know or what we tell them is ok to try to know. There were a few gems in here, but maybe wait until it shows up at Costco, I’m guessing around Mother’s Day.

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