I 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
Looking for a good movie on how to handle friendships, embarrassment, and general challenges in life? We watched “An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars” together as a family and really enjoyed it. Like most American Girl movies, it’s just as good for boys as for girls. Also, as usual, the main characters are in elementary school, but they still struggle with the same basic challenges that we all do.
McKenna: Shoots For The Stars [Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital Copy] American Girl
McKenna: Shoots For The Stars [DVD] American Girl
Parents and youth – are you looking for a good movie about how to handle bullying? We watched “An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong” together as a family and really enjoyed it. Even though it’s An American Girl, the movie is good for boys, too. The only thing to consider is that the main characters are fourth graders. So, middle school youth might struggle with relating to the characters and particular situations. However, the basic challenges of bullying are still there and make it worth watching.
An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong
We discussed something interesting in youth group this morning. Based on The Listserve, our youth pastor asked, “If you had the chance to speak to one million people, what would you say?” It could be one word or a entire essay. It could be funny or serious. Students provided plenty of variety, including, “Live life to the fullest,” and, “Balance the important things in your life,” and “Take advantage of alternative energy sources.” As usual, I have my own answer. For those that don’t care, feel free to move on. For everyone else, here you go…
- You are handcrafted for an amazing purpose. That is both a great gift and a great responsibility. You should determine your purpose and fulfill it as awesomely as possible.
- You are continually filled with amazing love. That is both a great gift and a great responsibility. You should share that love with family, friends, and other people you meet.
- You may occasionally find yourself sitting around wondering what you should do. When that happens, review the previous two points.
Courageous is a touching, family-friendly, Christian movie about a group of men that decide to take fatherhood more seriously.
Courageous on Blu-ray
Courageous on DVD
The movie is especially good for those men that won’t settle with just being a good-enough dad.
If you have seen the movie, then did it make you think or inspire you to do something different?
I just read an interesting Saturday Essay article on French parenting. You can check it out here:
Why French Parents are Superior
The most important lesson seems to be defining clear boundaries.
Do you think French parents have some lessons we can learn?
Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD
I just watched a couple great videos for teens and parents:
For our young ladies:
Ten Ways to Get the Right Guy to Like You
Of course, I especially like his last point – number 1.
For our young gentlemen:
Ten Ways to Get Girls to Like You
Again, I especially like his last point – number 1.
While there, check out the other Blimey Cow videos, as most are pretty good.
One key ingredient in relationships is learning to come to an agreement in certain situations. Of course, caring about the other person and knowing how to compromise go a long way. However, sometimes a particularly deep-rooted issue feels more important or seems to keep coming up again. In this case, I found that it can help to go beyond just compromising or even “picking your battles”. It helps to resort to something I refer to as “selective apathy”. This may sound less than pleasant at first. But, if you passionately care about everything, and the other person in the relationship cares equally as much, and you happen to disagree on something, then it will be very difficult to reach any agreement. On other hand, if you are completely apathetic about everything, then it will be very difficult to find any purpose or enjoyment in life. However, if you pick some things to be passionate about, but you also select some things to be apathetic about, then you may find a good balance.
Said another way, you might find it helpful to actively pick some things *not* to care about. Of course, you want to pick the right things. You want to consider your core values and the issues that are most important to you, as you probably want to keep your passion for those issues. However, you should also consider the core values and the issues that are most important to the other people in your relationships, as those are potential issues to select to be actively and intentionally apathetic.
Are you familiar with the Five Love Languages and trying to figure out how to apply that to the turbulent teenage years of your child or other teenagers that you know? The first half of this books reviews the Five Love Languages and touches on how special considerations for teenagers. Then, the second half of the book really explains how to apply all of that to relate to teenagers.
The Five Love Languages of Teenagers New Edition: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively
What are your strengths? What kinds of things are you best suited to do in this world? Find out with this book:
Living Your Strengths: Discover Your God-Given Talents and Inspire Your Community
The book includes explanations of the many strengths and access to take an online assessment to discover your top talents.