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Playful Parenting with Teenagers--Success Stories
Many people wonder if Playful Parenting applies to preteens and teenagers, as well as to younger children. Yes! But the ways they choose to connect with us can look different, and the challenges for us as parents can be different also. One trick is to be available at those times when they are ready to talk--since they often aren't eager to talk on OUR timetable. Along these lines, a step-dad writes: "I had a great connection with my twelve year old step-son, and all I needed to do was stay up past midnight (not an easy thing for me!). We went to see a late movie after his mom went to bed, and even though we both hated the movie, we had a great time trashing it after. I think maybe there is something about late nights that makes kids more talkative--he usually doesn't have a lot to say to me but driving back and forth to the movie at a time when we were both usually sleeping must have made a difference, since he opened up a lot. I also get "coolness" points for talking his mom into letting him stay up late."

A mother writes: "It has taken me a long time, but I finally learned to keep my mouth shut when my daughter (15) starts talking about things like sex and drugs and all that. I used to leap in and grill her about all the details--who is doing what and where did she learn these things and doesn't she know that...and so on and so on. Of course she clammed up immediately and all my probing and prodding wouldn't get her to talk any more. Now I somehow manage to keep my lip zipped and just listen. In my head I am screaming "Oh my God!" but I just smile and say "uh huh" and instead of clamming up she keeps going. The funny thing is that even though I am hearing more I am worrying less, because once I really hear what she has to say--though I am shocked at what teenagers are doing these days--I see what good judgment she has."
 

Larry Cohen
phone: 617-713-0568

email: larjack@playfulparenting.com

 
Larry Cohen
1680A Beacon Street | Brookline, MA 02445 | Tel/Fax: 617-713-0568

email: larjack@playfulparenting.com