How to Raise a Teenager…

Posted here are new articles, interviews, reviews and videos related to helping teenagers become happy, successful adults. For past features, search by Topic.

I recently posted about the concept of “conscious parenting.” I stated that many parents experience life with their children on a day-to-day basis, without thinking about the goals, processes, strengths and skills involved in parenting an adolescent. They may be good people in every way, but they believe that “growing up” is just a time of life that every kid has to live through. And if mom and dad provide love, shelter, food, support, safety and security, their kids will be fine. In other words, they raise kids with a good heart, but without thinking about how they’re parenting.

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In this space I’ve often written about how the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the part of the brain that exercises judgment, is “under construction” during adolescence. And that the only way to wire this area more extensively – to produce a lifetime of intellectual strength and benefit – is to exercise critical thinking and judgment as often as possible during adolescence. (See my free ebook: How to Give Your Teen a Superior Mind).

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Between Parent & Teenager (1967) , by Dr. Haim G. Ginott, was published before many of today’s parents of teenagers were born. Ginott, who has been dead for forty years, was a well-known child psychologist and parent educator. His insight was to encourage parents to use the same respectful approach when communicating with their children that counselors use with their patients. The result was this book, and two other classics: Between Parent & Child (1965) and Teacher & Child (1972).

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Seven years after the release of the movie, “Lonesome Jim,” I found it on Netflix. Starring Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler, it’s the story of a man in his late twenties who, after failing to create a life for himself in New York City, returns home to live with his parents while he considers his options.

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2011 photo by Angela George

You know who Tiger Woods is. It’s impossible to imagine anyone on the planet who doesn’t. At the age of 37, he’s already a legend. He stormed onto the PGA tour 16 years ago, and a few months later he shocked the golfing world by winning his first Masters by 12 strokes. Since then he has broken almost every record there is in professional golf.

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