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by Karen K. Lewis

"When I tossed the car keys to Will a few minutes earlier, our postures mirrored the day, more than 30 years ago, when I first drove my father's car. How nervous I had felt, how uncharacteristically patient my dad had been. He'd murmured, "Slow down," as I reached the freeway interchange, poised for the curved ramp leading westward. "Slower, slower," he said, resisting the urge to bail from the car as we hurtled at 50 mph around a curve designed for 35 mph." go to Literary Mama

If children grew into teenagers in a kind of idyllic vacuum, they would still spend these years moving inexorably away from their parents, learning who they are as individuals separate from who they are as a member of our family. It seems so unfair. As parents we spent 12 years embracing them, cultivating patience, boundaries, laughter, rules, and rhythms, and then the flow of the emotional tide turns and no matter what we do, teenagers orient themselves away from us. But it is possible to maintain the connection. readmore logo

Of Pakistani Bangles

By Kashaf Ud Duja A., Karachi.

""Mom said Mariya wanted red." Nida's voice was so close, it nearly made me jump.

"She did?" I asked breathlessly. "Have you been following me?" My home was far, and I had walked a long way, but hers was farther off, and I knew she must have walked an even longer way. But her hair whipped her face, and the wind was strong and, as we walked on, we both forgot the many steps we had covered to reach the market.

Eid. Christmas comes once a year, and takes over December, but the Eids come twice, and they take over everything. For once, there is no war. Pain and tears are, suddenly, a thing of the past. New clothes rain in, hand-made, hand-stitched, hand-designed. And, for a girl, henna-laden hands are all the rage.

And bangles.

Bangles. They come in all shapes and sizes and forms and colours and, from Karachi to Islamabad, Eid brings an onset of them that no other event ever can. I am not aware how they went from tradition to addiction, and addiction to necessity with passion but, somewhere around the decades, they did. For a girl, a new set with each suit on Eid is a must. And, if you don't have one, you're a loser. Big time. ..." continue reading on Teen Ink

Phillippe Aries defined adolescence as a life-stage not really found in humans before the 20th century. For him, the first typical adolescent of modern times was Wagner's Siegfried. This newly literary combination of provisional purity, physical strength, naturism, spontaneity, and joie de vivre was to make the adolescent the hero of our 20th century, the century of adolescence. Adolescence made its appearance in France around 1900 with the intellectual preoccupation with what was ‘youth', what were ‘youth' thinking. ... "Awareness of youth became a general phenomenon, however, after the end of the First World War, in which the troops at the front were solidly opposed to the older generations in the rear." He argued that adolescence as a new life-stage began to insert itself between chidhood on one side and mature adulthood on the other. The 20th century also saw a parallel evolution of the idea of old age, which used to start earlier.  Now adulthood begins later, and old age begins later. [View source]

Aries,Phillippe, Centuries of Childhood: a Social History of Family Life, transl. by Robert Baldick, Jonathan Cape Ltd., 1962, pg. 29-30


christopherushomeschooling A Home For Teens

by Donna Simmons

"Having started a conversation here on my blog about the importance of being at home with ones little children (...), I am now going to throw a another gauntlet down: this one has to do with teens at home.

One of the most delightful things about homeschooling ones children - or at least creating a homelife which does not have children shunted off away from the home and family for most of their lives - is getting to know one's teens. They really can be charming people! Sadly, just as so many people have no idea how wonderful it can be to be with young children, having only experienced the whining, screaming, over stimulated kind, similarly, many people only think of teens as surly, monosyllabic and somewhat scary people only interested in shopping or video games. But it doesn't have to be that way. Children - from birth until they leave home - have the capacity to be the most delightful and rewarding people one can be with. readmore logo

7 things teenage boys need

by Michael Sliney

1. Clear guidelines with reasonable consequences from a unified front; cutting slack but also holding boys accountable for their actions.

2. Reasonable explanations for the criteria, guidelines and decisions made by parents.

3. Avoiding hyper-analysis of boys' emotions and states of mind: avoiding "taking their temperature" too often.

4. Unconditional love with an emphasis on character and effort more than outcome: Encourage boys to live up to their potential while having reasonable expectations. To love them regardless of whether they make it into Harvard or become a star quarterback.

5. Authenticity, faith and fidelity should be reflected in parent's lifestyles.

6. Qualities of a dad: Manliness, temperance, making significant time for family, putting aside work, and being a reliable source of guidance.

7. Qualities of a mom: Emotional stability, selflessness, loving service and extreme patience. readmore logo


Life in US circles, as almost Gossip Girl

"The word "character" has been usurped by the Christian right to become synonymous with conservative political ideas, but it was originally used by psychologists ... to mean the habits of behavior that shape our lives and define who we are." ...

"Although it is wonderful ... to have the kinds of advantages money can buy, a comfortable life can lull us into complacent child rearing. Money does help protect us -- we can life in safe neighborhoods, get high quality medical care, go to good schools, drive in crash-resistant SUVs. But money can't protect our kids from the discomforts of maturation, and it can't buy them character."

Love, Actually: how girls reluctantly endure the hookup culture

by Caitlin Flanagan

… "Why are so many teenage girls so interested in the kind of super-reactionary love stories that would have been perfectly at home during the Eisenhower administration? The answer lies—as does the answer to so much teenage behavior—in the mores and values of the generation (no, of the decade) immediately preceding their own." go to the Atlantic

Describing the connection between our children as babies and teenagers

Early bloomers are children who got along well in their first and second years of life. There was no drug abuse during their mothers' pregnancy, their parents provided love and nurture for them during the first 12 months, and wise and loving discipline in their second year of life. By the time they reach the sixth grade, they are good kids. They turn out well, regardless of how rebellious they may seem during adolescence. Late bloomers had problems during their first and second years of life but by age 11 have had help and enough good people and experiences to have 'their act together'. They will make it all right through adolescence. Troubled teens have problems that originated in their first 2 years of life and these have continued. For example, pain that the parents can't relieve, genetic predispositions that the parents can't alleviate, early abuse and neglect, the use of drugs and/or alcohol by their parents. These teenagers usually don't get along well with parents or peers. [View source]

Parenting Teens With Love And Logic (Updated and Expanded Edition), pg.98.



"It is easy for parents to fall into thinking that we need to know everything that is going on with our children, including what is going on in their inner lives. It's only natural that we feel this way since we are so close to them when they are little, and take so much joy in and so much responsibility for their learning new things and expanding their horizons. But as they get older, it is very important that we leave them psychic room for privacy, and for sharing with us what they choose to, when they choose to, all the while generating a field of loving kindness around them in our own hearts. ... This requires presence and availability on our part." [View source]

Everyday Blessings, pp. 229-330


Understanding Hookup Culture

A preview of Stanford University Prof. Paula England's lecture on the social meaning of 'hooking up' - shorn of all the drama and headline hysterics it sounds slightly less soul damaging - at least to parents' ears.

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