Certainly most of us have heard the term "deadbeat-dad" used in relation to fathers who fail to be financially responsible for their children. There is also another type of "deadbeat- parent” (I prefer to use the word parent in an effort to avoid gender bias and with the understanding that this phenomenon can occur with mothers as well), and the phrase is used to depict parents who are emotionally unavailable or inattentive to their children's emotional needs after the breakdown of their marriage.
In Part I (Family Issues 10-14-2011) we discussed how many of us personalize different situations and how that affects our effectiveness in dealing with those situations.
“Hi Tammy. It’s Penina. It was so nice meeting you and spending Shabbos with you guys last week. It was such an amazing weekend. I wish we were going back on the shabbaton this coming Shabbos!”
As the new school year begins, we parents must gain insight into one of the common causes of youth at risk -- abuse and molestation. It is a highly sensitive issue generally deemed the domain of mental health professionals and community leaders, with a host of significant halachic ramifications, such as raglayim l’davor - meaning reasonable suspicion, which is the halachic threshold to permit reporting to authorities under the rules of mesira.
Scenario: your teenager starts smoking and you detect it by smelling it on his or her breath or by finding packs of cigarettes in his or her bedroom. Possible inner issues: control, self-esteem, lack of relationships.
The principles of Relationship Theory (where the greater the relationship, the greater the ability parents have to connect to their teenager) can help address some of the key issues facing teenagers today including: problems concentrating during prayers, difficulty in school, listening to secular music, smoking, rude behavior and alcohol and drug abuse.
The couple had barely completed their brief intake papers, which included a small handwriting sample, when, her eyes blazing with fury, the wife pounded on the small table between us and yelled, "He has to grow up! I need a husband who is a real partner, not a lazy good-for-nothing who won't take responsibility and is totally clueless about my needs!" Her husband sat hunched in his chair, looking like a hapless cat which had somehow survived the spin cycle in a washing machine.
One of the most important skills good listeners have is the ability to put themselves in the shoes of others or to empathize with the speaker by attempting to understand his or her thoughts and feelings. As a parent, try to mirror your teenagers’ feelings by repeating them.
Is Internet addiction the main cause of today's at-risk crisis? It's a topic most people shy away from, but it's one that needs to be addressed. Everyday more and more teens are getting hooked on the Internet and the effect of surfing may be taking its toll on our youth.
Shaindy and Tova have both just earned their degrees and are eager to enter the job market. Both young women are highly qualified, and both are well equipped with impressive resumes and a long list of prestigious references. But while Shaindy finds employment almost instantly, Tova finds herself wandering aimlessly from one interview to another, never quite landing the job that she's looking for. What's the difference between the two young ladies? Shaindy prepared herself for the interview process in advance. She knew how to present herself and what to say. Tova, unfortunately, did not.
Psychologists study ways to help people find authentic happiness. Researchers report that using one's strengths allows for greater creativity, productivity and excellence. While theses are all the ingredients for professional and career success, they have also been found to work in people's personal lives as well. Utilizing personal strengths yields greater happiness and feelings of well being.
Having parented a struggling adolescent for several years, Yael was expecting that life would be different for her now twenty-year old son. She was, and still is, an excellent student, diligently applying the tools she has been gaining in our coaching sessions. Harmony and peace has returned to her home, and the relationship (with her son) she was working on mending has become a reality. Admittedly, she attributes the restored relationship to a parenting methodology she has undertaken -- the love-tough approach.
Schools have long been grading students on responsibility. But in recent years, teachers report that marks in responsibility have been plummeting. This is an alarming phenomenon - but it is not a coincidence. Responsibility is becoming a rare virtue.
This is a handy little jingle for parents to keep in mind, but even though it's short, my rhyme is not for little children. In order to adequately prepare our children we must first be aware of the red flags ourselves. Then we need to schedule an "annual check-up" with our children and clearly and calmly bring up the subject of personal safety.
In this series we have covered many of the major ways to understand what makes a teenager tick. Now it's time to put all the pieces together and work towards restarting the relationship between you and your teenager.
What a beautiful woman. Really - in every sense of the word. She was beautiful in appearance, beautiful in conduct, beautiful in spirits and wow, what a beautiful mother, wife and daughter.
Over the past few months we have discussed many of the major ways in which we can understand what makes a teenager tick. Now let's put all the pieces together and work towards restarting the relationship between you and your teenager.
I sometimes encourage the people I work with to keep a record of their progress. But when one client told me that she had actually started a journal shortly before she began seeing me, I was very pleased. I asked her to allow me to publish the entries that pertain to ADD, so that people in the community can identify themselves and learn from the coping techniques that helped her.
Kindness is such an essential Jewish trait that we are told to suspect that a cruel person is not really Jewish. The media constantly uplifts us with inspirational stories about saintly people who radiated love to their fellowman and did their utmost to avoid hurting others. Yet we are also told, "Those who are kind to the cruel will eventually be cruel to the kind" (Koheles Raba 7:16). It is not a kindness to allow ourselves to be abused, exploited or manipulated. By not taking protective action when possible, we encourage destructive behavior. The following stories are examples of naïve and trusting people who paid a heavy price for being overly "nice."
A few years ago, a couple, Sarah and Joseph, came to see me about their son Moshe, sixteen, who was experiencing extreme difficulty in school. Moshe did not have any serious learning problems. In fact, he was exceptionally bright and capable of succeeding in school. His problem was that he was frequently missing class. Recently he had started leaving school and spending time in an unknown location. Moshe's parents were naturally concerned for his future.