Loving Firmness teaches a no-nonsense, tough-love approach to raising teenagers, balanced with deep affection, humor, and a soft touch they will respect and follow. Written with wit and a profound understanding of the teenage brain, this how-to manual, by a mom who's "been there," will help ensure your children grow up to be responsible and successful adults.
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Heaven Help Us Raise Good Kids
CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGES OF TODAY’S WORLD
Adapted from Loving Firmness: Successfully Raising Teenagers without Losing Your Mind
by Corrie Lynne Player
⋆Does your 15 year old defy you? Have you ever been told, “It’s my life and I can make my own decisions” by a 15 or 17 year old?
⋆Do you worry that your teenager will experiment with illegal drugs and/or sex?
⋆Does the sex-drenched media have you wondering how in the world to protect your pre-teen child?
⋆Did you know that drug addition, including alcohol abuse, is a self-inflicted disease? With some exceptions, almost every addict or alcoholic voluntarily injected or imbibed the substance for the first time. See Chapter 13, “Talking Straight About Morality.”
Not in My Family
Many caring, devoted parents struggle with kids who have succumbed to today’s drug culture. None of us can afford to say, “It can’t happen to me.” It can, and it probably will in some form or other. These wonderful young people in our homes are precious. Forces beyond our comprehension seek to tear them away from all that is good and right.
I believe your best defense is a good offense—meaning that you must be aware, every minute, of what is going on with your children. Lines of communication must be open and maintained. And don’t be fooled. If you live in tune with spiritual promptings, you will be able to take action early and quickly. You can’t afford to “hope everything will be okay.”
Adolescents who get away with minor instances of sipping beer or sneaking cigarettes are more inclined to keep experimenting until they find themselves enmeshed in addictive behavior that needs serious intervention.
Friends and relatives who have endured critical moral problems with their kids usually didn’t suspect anything until their worlds came crashing down. Or if they were a bit uneasy, they dismissed their concerns with, “Not my kid! We all attend church together.”
Remember, nobody is immune to temptation—ministers and the most devout in every religion have wayward kids. Over the years in my experiences with my nine and numerous foster kids, I’ve developed a “sixth sense” about when a teen is heading for trouble.
I watch for certain danger signals:
1. Behavior changes radically. An active, social kid becomes withdrawn and pensive—or a quiet, bookish kid gets jazzed and hyper.
2. Mood swings disrupt the family more than usual and cause consistent tension and stress between members.
3. Grades take a plunge; a good student brings home C’s and D’s. A mediocre student fails.
4. Basic hygiene gets sloppy; your son or daughter loses/gains weight (inappropriately) and/or keeps odd hours.
5. Physical evidence of “huffing” (inhaling solvents, aerosol deodorants, marking pen, typewriter correction fluids, or furniture polish fumes) appears in the garbage or garage. Solvent-soaked rags or paper bags, empty butane lighters, and empty aerosol cans are some of the evidence. Huffing is a growing problem with “nice” kids because they don’t think sniffing legal substances is wrong.
With the exception of oily rags or bags, any of these signals can be consistent with the changes that come with adolescence, but their persistence means trouble. When you see these signs, confront your child and express your concerns. Sometimes the thought that you’re attentive is enough to stop the downward slide. Frequently, kids who are drifting into dangerous pursuits leave hints around—they want to be caught. This often unconscious need is another reason not to ignore your suspicions.
I want to emphasize that my ideas and tips relate to beginning problems, not long-term, entrenched behavior. Criminal, psychotic, and addictive behavior are beyond the scope of my book. If you have a serious problem, you need direct intervention and the services of medical and psychological personnel.
You should still buy and read my book, however, to learn how you can manage the guilt, anger, and depression you will feel as you struggle to help your child through terrible problems.
Teenagers are a paradox--part infant, part child, and part adult (they're also part alient). You'll often watch all three aspects of the adolescent personality flicker through your kids in the space of two minutes.
Why sacrifice the best years of your life and 90 percent of every dollar you will ever earn? Human children hang around longer than any other living creatures. Even elephants manage to leave home by the time they're twelve or thirteen.
Teenagers bring the empty headedness, destructiveness, and downright dumbness of every other childhood stage to new heights....
Finally, remember that no parent can force good behavior. We can only set the example and then keep our arms outstretched to helpour kids make the connection between morally focused living and real happiness