Understanding Teenagers: "Get Out of My Life ..." by Anthony E. Wolf.
Updated: Mar 7
If you're a parent of a teenager, and you haven't had your teenager, at least once say, "Get out of my life" or at least "Get out of my room.", then you've either been lucky or your teen hasn't quite started going through their individuation process yet (a normal part of human development, for that age). I like to think of it as the "push-pull" period, where one minute they're pulling you in because they want your help (and they want it now) and the next minute, they're trying to push you out of the way (figuratively speaking, of course) so they can grab their phone and respond to a text.
This book helps parents of teens understand all of that and much more. The big message regarding this is try not to take things personally with your teenager during this time period. Easier said than done, though. Here's your opportunity to practice your resilience.
The author really helped me have more perspective. He covered helpful topics such as: What is adolescence?, What they do and why?, Being the parent of a teenager, Communication and trust, Controlling your teenager (A must read - it's really about setting boundaries. Everyone knows you can't "control teenagers", unless you want to end up losing every power struggle. You need to work on mutual respect and cooperation), Conflict, Divorce, School, The electronic world, Sex, Drugs and Drinking, Suicide.
Some of us may admit we're holding our breath most of the time, just trying to survive our children's adolescent period. The book ends with hope (after the heaviness of the topics list I shared, I felt we needed something lighter to end this with). Our teenager will outgrow the adolescent period at some point and hopefully, if our investment in the relationship pays off during that period, we can have a good relationship with our young adult child.
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