As parents, we worry about many things as our children head into adolescence. Are our children spending too much time on screens? Are they doing well enough at school and getting their homework done? Do they have friends and social support? Are they safe? Are they using drugs and taking unnecessary risks?
What if there was a better, biologically based way of understanding what we need to focus on, as parents of adolescents?
Barbara Natterson-Horowitz is an evolutionary biologist and a cardiologist, and has made a study, over the last 5 years, of animal adolescence. Out of this study, she draws some powerful lessons for understanding the human experience. Continue reading →
“Hi, I’ve been using the Hand in Hand tools for a few years but my husband has never really been on board. I’ve modelled using the Tools – and over the years he used to help me with Special Time when they were little, and he’s watched me hold them through their tantrums, instead of scolding them and sending them off. We are now separated, and while we are on the same page in many ways around parenting, my husband has been pushing our son, who is 12, to sleep in his own room.
Yes! I still co-sleep with all three of my kids 13, 12, and almost 11. LOL! But my husband is worried that my son is too old to still “sleep in mama’s bed”, and is afraid it’ll make him “soft”, etc. I have to say, I DO want my son to grow up to be a tough guy like dad. I still believe in masculinity, but I also believe in emotional intelligence. So, part of me sees his point, but the other part of me doesn’t mind them being in there with me and I know they have always felt better sleeping with me. Do I talk to dad, who likely won’t hear what I have to say? Do I let son sleep in my room and not tell dad (something I’d rather not do)? But it’s because I don’t mind them being in there with me and I know they have always felt better sleeping with me. Do I stick to dad’s wishes, knowing that son will be okay…and there are other ways to connect and make him feel safe? ”
Such good questions! I think there are several issues here, two of which are co-sleeping with older children, and managing your relationship with your ex-husband. Continue reading →
“How do I get a child to do as asked, and not when they feel like it, but when you ask them to? I’m totally sick of ranting, having to follow my child round the house to make sure he’s doing what i asked. He won’t come to dinner when asked, won’t go to bed when asked, won’t do anything when asked. Will do things I’ve asked him not to do. Not all the time, but mostly and when he sees fit. He’s too tired to get up and do things he even wants to do. I want him to be able to put himself to bed early, not after he’s done whatever he sees fit.”
Nagging wears us out. And it wears our kids out. Or more accurately, it wears our relationship with our kids out. Nagging our older children is one of those things which can seem so tempting and justified. After all, they are bigger now. They ought to be able to do it. And now they are older, you sure are sick if doing it all, which you’ve probably been doing, un-thanked, for years now…We’ve all been there.
Unfortunately, nagging often doesn’t move anything much forward. In fact, it can move things backward. When your relationship with your child is characterised by trying to get them to do things but there’s no progress then its probably a sign that things need to change. Continue reading →
We parents want to stay close to our young people!
We parents want to stay close to our young people as they get older. And they want us to stay close to them too, even though it doesn’t always feel like they do! But how do we do that? Continue reading →
I’ve just spent the weekend with my daughter, who is 12 and my nephew, who is 9. It surprised me to see the changes that have happened for her since they last hung out together. Temperamentally well suited, they have both got lively imaginations, and in the past have played happily together for hours, engaged in imaginative role play (mostly, when he is around, with Lego).
My colleague, Julie Johnson and I both have pre-teen children. We recently recorded a Teleseminar for Hand in Hand Parenting called “Navigating the Preteen Years Without Tearing Your Hair Out”. You can find details of how to listen for free at the end of this article.
Over the next few months, Julie and I are planning more work with parents of Pre-Teens. Today I’d like to share her recent post about some research into just what Pre-Teens and Teens want from us, each other, and the world. Continue reading →