Welcome to Annie Fox’s Parent Forum — online education and support for parents raising tweens and teens. At times, your job is the toughest in the world. That’s true, in part, because your daughters and sons may be pushing back hard, trying to convince you that they’ve got it all figured out. They don’t. Not yet. Your 21st century teens still need you. To lead them effectively, you need 21st century parenting skills.
So read my blog, and Q & A from other parents, check out my Parenting Tips and my essays. Have a listen to my new podcast series “Family Confidential: Secrets of Successful Parenting” where I interview authors of exciting new parenting books. Or send me a question. You’ll get straightforward advice that you can use immediately to create healthier relationships in your family. That’s going to translate into more trust, respect, honesty, and open communication at home. Sounds like something we’d all like more of, right?
December 4, 2013Lots going on this time of year. (Props for taking time to read a parenting blog.) We feel pressure to make the holidays "perfect." Pressure to spend. Pressure to save. Pressure to get the kids to behave. We all have moments when we trade "nice" for B#$@%. We're human and we get stressed. But when we show more Beast than Loving Parent, we are damaging our children. That's a problem that keeps making problems. The good news? We are key to the solution.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel Simmons the Wise for my podcast series. We talked about her book The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence. We also discussed how often parents engage in meta-conversations with their children (i.e., parent says one thing and an unspoken message churns just below the surface).
With all that doublespeak how can a t(w)een learn to be authentic and express the truth of her heart? Not very easily. And it isn’t just parents and daughters. As Rachel put it, no matter who you’re talking to or what relationship you’ve got, “there’s always a meta-conversation going on.”
Parent: Oh, you’re still playing that game.
Meta-message: I just know you won’t get your homework
done tonight and then what? You think I like being on your case? Well, I don’t! But if I don’t keep after you how are you ever going to get into a decent college?
Mini meta-message: You’re lazy and I’m disappointed in you.
Parent: Don’t you think your other jeans would look better with that top?
Meta-message: Those jeans are too tight and too low cut. They make you look fat and slutty. What will Grandma say when she sees you wearing that? More »