Scoutmaster Minute – Understanding Parents – Take Forever

So, we continue with Scoutmaster Minutes that help you understand why parents and other adults act the way they do. Tonight we ask, “Why do parents take forever to do everything?” As usual, there are a couple reasons parents often take a little longer to do things.

First, time actually feels shorter to us. Stay with me, as this takes a bit of thinking. People feel time compared to how long they have been alive. For most of you, one year is only about one tenth of your life, or a little less. For most of your parents, one year is more like one fortieth of their lives. So, relatively speaking, one year goes by four times faster for us than you, compared to the rest of our lives. To put it another way, one hour for you only feels like 15 minutes to us, and one hour for us might feel like four hours to you.

Second, and more importantly, we grew up in a different world where we had to wait for hours and days to get what you guys get in seconds. If we wanted to find information, then we had to ask our parents to drive us to a library and find a book. Computers were new and primitive, and nobody had the Internet, yet. If we wanted to chat with a friend, then we had to go home, call him on the phone, and hope that he was home and not already on the phone. Call waiting and answering machines were new, and nobody had cell phones, yet.

So, the next time you wonder why Mom and Dad are taking so long, just remember, it only seems like a fraction of the time to them, and they grew up in a time that required patience rather than today’s world of instant gratification. And, to be honest, as you get older, sometimes you just move a little slower, and you learn to take a little time to stop and smell the roses.

Get Out of My Life…

GetOutOfMyLifeI just finished reading my latest youth development book, called “Get Out of My Life, but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?”  It’s subtitled “A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager” and is written by a psychologist that’s worked with adolescents for over 30 years.

First, I have to say that the book is very frank.  The author goes through several interesting points, each with facts, figures and evidence of experience to back it up.  He covers many key points, including independence, communication, control, and conflict.

With that said, I struggle to say that I like the book.  My summary would be something like, “Most teenagers are miserable monsters, and there is nothing you can do about it, so here are some coping strategies to get you though it.”  I’ve met some parents that pretty much feel that way, and they should relate quite well to this book.  I suppose I just have a better experience with most teenagers, so that seems a bit harsh to me.

In any case, whether you are a parent or other adult that works with youth, I think you’ll find this book a valuable read.
Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated

Scoutmaster Minute – Understanding Parents – Nosy

So, we continue with Scoutmaster Minutes that help you understand why parents and other adults act the way they do. Tonight we ask, “Why are parents so nosy?”

Do your parents ask you lots of questions? Do they go through your room or check your cell phone? If so, then why? Quite simply, it’s their job, and they care.

Maybe nobody told you this, yet, but until you turn 18, your parents are responsible for you. You might find this annoying or unfair, but it will make more sense when you get older. And, because your parents are responsible for everything you have and everything you do, they deserve to know as much about all of it as possible. They need to know where you’re going to ensure they think it’s ok. If they feel the need to look through your room, well it’s really their house – you’re probably not paying for that room. And, if they are concerned about what you’re doing on your cell phone, even if you did pay for it, then they have the right to check it and even take it away. While you are a minor, you have no right to privacy in these matters because your parents are responsible and have a right to know what you are doing.

Above doing their job, most parents really ask questions and check on you simply because they care about you. While you’re busy building relationships with friends, they probably still love you and your family more than anyone else on the planet. They are interested in what you are doing, and they want to have a good feeling that you’re on the right track.

So, the next time your parents ask how you’re doing or check on your things, maybe give them a break and at least tell them enough to let them know you’re doing alright.  Ultimately, if you follow the Scout Law, especially being trustworthy and obedient, then you’ll probably find your parents ease up a bit, and you might even enjoy talking with them.

Scoutmaster Minute – Understanding Parents – Plan Everything

So, we continue with Scoutmaster Minutes that help you understand why parents and other adults act the way they do. Tonight we ask, “Why do parents plan everything?”

It seems like your parents have your whole life planned out, when you’ll see your grandparents, what you’ll do this weekend. If you want to do anything, then they expect you to plan, too. On the spur of the moment, a friend asks you to get together, and it sounds great to you, but your parents hesitate because it wasn’t part of “the plan”. Of course, all parents are different. Some are more organized and others spontaneous. However, in general, most parents like to plan things out. Why? There are at least two reasons!

First, brain development makes us want to plan! The frontal lobe develops around 25 years old and specializes in planning. So, literally, when you are much younger than 25, your mind doesn’t like to plan, and when your much older than 25, your brain tells you that it’s a really, really good idea to plan.

Second, responsibilities mean that we need to plan! Between our work and your school and other activities, we have a lot of things that we need to do on time and do right. If we don’t plan, then we might drop the ball. We plan things out to get the most done with the least amount of stress.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where your parents would like you to plan things out a little more, at least you’ll know why. And, by the way, it’s not just your parents. If you ever happen to become SPL, you’ll discover that your Scoutmaster expects you to plan every meeting, preferably well ahead of time.