Week Six Learning Resources:
Note: These readings will help you with the final exam. You might get a head start on the final exam by reading carefully now. (I am redesigning the final exam, but it will be based, in part, on these readings.)
1. Smithsonian Magazine. Interview with Richard Lerner, psychologist, Medford, MA. This one-page interview is an eReserve for our course. Citation:: Jaffee,Eric.,(September 2007). Richard Lerner. (Smithsonian Magazine, vol.38, Issue 6, page 28-28.)
2. Lerner, Richard M. (2007).  The Good Teen. (New York: The Stonesong Press). Chapter 6: Character, pp. 137-162. This article is an eReserve for our course. It is found under Course Resources/eReserves/Week Six. 
3. Giedd, J. N. (June, 2015) The Amazing teen Brain.  Scientific American, vol 312, no.6, pp. 33-37. This article is an eReserve for our course. It is found under Course Resources/eReserves/Week Six. Please read this very interesting article, not for the neuroscience, but for the main points. You are not requested to learn the neuroscience, just think about the main findings and the implications for us as parents.
4. Instructor’s lecture notes on adolescents in the family.  They are here below:
Lecture notes:  Adolescents in the family:
As children reach pre-adolescence and adolescence, both parents need to turn from control and punishment to conversation, trust, and positive rewards of more adult privileges. Doing this you will gain the opportunity to support and guide your teens through adolescence and to be their sounding board for ideas. You will also support their trying out internal (intrinsic) control as you gradually leave off using external (extrinsic) controls that seemed appropriate for much younger children. That is to say, it is time for them to fly free. My mother always said to me (and I think it came from Kahlil Gibran, the Syrian-American philosopher and artist) that the measure of your success as a parent is the extent to which your children can fly away free and succeed.
In a positive regime household, you have turned attention away from threats and groundings and gifts contingent on future good behavior (another form of threat), to praise and offering teens additional adult privileges. You also have kept alive the communication channels in which your teen can talk to you to help decide what courses of action are ethical or moral.  
Moving from extrinsic to intrinsic control: As your children reach pre-adolescence and adolescence, both parents need to turn from control and punishment to conversation, trust, and positive rewards. It is time for them to fly free, and you have the middle school and high school years to prepare them if you have a positive system running in your household. If you instead have a grounding and threats system and strong control and discipline in your household your teen is unlikely to confide in you or ask you for advice in making a decision. If you are trying to hit a teen or shouting at her or him, him, or grounding the teen, you cannot expect your teen to bring up serious issues to discuss with you and your teen cannot expect you to be a non-judgmental listener.  Ouch! Let’s turn that last very negative sentence around: You can change your behavior to help meet your teen’s needs, and that can open up a line of communication and trust. That is what Richard Lerner interview and readings are all about.
Understanding the Giedd article “The Amazing Teen Brain” (eReserve, week 6): The limbic system (big, frightening adult emotions) matures at puberty, but the prefontal cortex (the brakes on the system, inhibition, planning, decision making) does not fully mature and connections to it are not fully myelinated (insulated) until the the teen is in her or his late 20s. This recent discovery helps explain difficulty teens have in decision-making and in reining in their emotions. It also explains why teens need to discuss decisions and issues with a patient, non-judgmental listener, hopefully a parent or both parents.
Adolescence is a time to adjust your parenting style. Just as you got very good at the system you run in your home, and to the level of control you have over your teen, your teen has changed from a child to a young, unfinished adult who deserves to learn how to be a responsible, pleasant adult who can be trusted and who will bring confusing issues to you. Now instead of giving orders, you are a consultant, a non-judgmental consultant who is available for listening and conversation.
You need to start around the beginning of middle school, which is a very difficult transition for many youngsters, to find congenial ways to work with your teen and establish a good, nonjudgmental listening ability to help your teen with decisions. By seventh grade young teens have developed adult cognitive judgment abilities, so they are ready, actually “itching” to take this new reasoning out for a spin. This is the indicator that you now have a new and different role as you gently guide them as they try out their own values you taught them in the past.
And, if I haven’t brought in this favorite quotation of mine, here it is: Confucius says the wise ruler models the behavior he expects from his subjects. That is, your teens are watching how you communicate with family members, with a spouse, with children. Serious respect and kindly communications should be the rule of the day. You must be keenly aware that you are the model for behavior now more than ever. Your anger will swiftly be matched and overwhelmed by your teen’s anger, so collect your thoughts carefully before you boil over.
Moving from control to trust:  As your children reach pre-adolescence and adolescence, both parents need to turn from control and punishment to conversation, trust, and positive rewards. 
Listen: Be a totally nonjudgmental listener. Be available for your teen to talk to you. Recognize that teens have the logical capability to consider a vast number of hypothetical possibilities and they wish to raise and talk about and mull over every single one of them (!) and they need your help and suggestions (not demands) so they can make their own decisions well.
Supporting Healthy Identity Development and Handling Consequences of Teenagers’ New Cognitive Capacities:  Two great text boxes: 
There are two excellent text boxes in an assigned reading that is on eReserves. These two text boxes are wonderful gems of information about how to deal happily with teens.
Here is the Reserved Reading:
Berk, Laura A. Development Through the Lifespan, 4th Edition. This is an eReserve for Week Six.
The first text box is titled “Handling Everyday Consequences of Teenagers’ New Cognitive Capacities,” and it is found on page 385. The reading around the box further explains the issues of  imaginary audience and  personal fable.
The second text box is in the same eReserve reading, but is found on page 405. It is titled “Supporting Healthy Identity Development.” Again, text around the box will be very helpful to read.
These two text boxes contain the most helpful information you will find in this course to assist you in understanding and working with your teens.
Respect: Treat your teen with great respect in every encounter. Confucius: The Wise Leader models the behavior he expects from his subjects. Model very respectful behavior to your spouse or partner, in case your behavior has “slipped.” (My husband and I had to shape ourselves up a little at this point!) You are showing your teen how to be an adult, so at every moment, they are watching to see what you do and say and they will copy you. Sadly, you need to be on your best behavior. It makes a huge difference! My husband and I worked hard to “clean up our act” (though it wasn’t too bad, I thought) and it made a difference. Whatever you do or say you are modeling exactly the tone of voice and the facial expressions you expect of your teen.
Honor: Helping your teen recognize that everything you do from now on reflects on the honor and the pride of this family. You are now a fully functioning young person who can bring honor (or shame) to this entire family. Talk about dinner time as “where this family resides.” Some who work nights—find another time, perhaps breakfasts or Saturday and Sunday dinner?
Pride and pleasure: Making dinner time or meal time sacrosanct. The dining room table is a place where everybody behaves politely and respectfully and everybody has a good time and everyone has interesting and fun things to contribute. All cell phones and electronics are left in another room. TV is turned off.
We had dinner together at the table every night, even when dinner might be a selection of reheated leftovers. From the time the children were born we had them at the table (maybe in a baby carrier!) and we often had guests, so dinnertime was always a very special time for us and children were valued colleagues at the table. When our kids became teens, we began to have students living with us, and every weekend we fed them (starving grad students!) and we also invited my Ph.D. advisor to dinner. The grad students who lived with us also were encouraged to invite their friends, girlfriends, etc. Students often cooked dishes for Saturday dinner and we had perhaps 10 to 12 people to dinner. So the tradition of “dinner party” events was well established from the time they were young. Our kids at every age always were at the table and part of the party. When our kids began inviting their friends to Saturday night dinners, their friends often struggled to feel comfortable at a dinner party because they had never been invited to such an event or been comfortable talking to adults. However, “regulars” –friends of our kids soon began to enjoy themselves. These were good times.
Choices not orders: Instead of “chores” I gave my kids a choice: about dinner: You can either help me cook dinner or you can do the dishes. They became excellent cooks! My husband, miraculously began doing the dishes! Instead of “Clean your room right now!” I ask if they will have time before guests come on Friday to clean his room. Don’t demand a certain time or don’t demand anything “right now!”
We were always at home: Why kids hung out at our house on weekends and not at other houses? I would vastly prefer that teens hang out at our house and not at someone else’s house, since most parents go somewhere Friday or Saturday or Sunday nights, and I do not want teens alone in a house when parents are not there. We were always home. Went upstairs to our bedroom to watch TV so we are not “around” in their faces, but our door was always wide open.
If friends were coming over, I helped my son clean up anything that needed cleaning up and I made a dessert for his friends. 
Parenting: A measure of good parenting is extent to which your teen can fly free successfully
Here is a list of things you need to help your teen become competent at before they leave home: Starts in 6th grade or as late as freshman year of high school, for these things take a long time to master! Where do these things come from? I was trained and served as a mentor for five or six years at Stanford while I was a doctoral student. These are things I noticed students had concerns or problems with, because this was their first time away from home and they had not been prepared by parents.
For parents:
1. Teaching your teen pride in himself, herself: Your message is softer than this, but gets this across to your teen: “You can move forward into a happy life and get out of life what you want, or you can make poor choices that linger with you and damage your reputation, your family’s reputation, and your future.” You also need to remind your teen that his or her choices affect the honor and pride of your whole family.
2. Teaching your teen by helping instead of pointing out flaws.
3. Being a nonjudgmental listener to help your teen with decisions.
4. Taking the time to teach your teen to be a safe driver
5. Teaching sex education, birth control, understanding sexual and workplace harassment. Remember, if you cannot discuss these things comfortably or pleasantly with your teen, your teen will look for pals to “educate” him or her.  Far better to teach your teen your values. Plan the discussion as if you are speaking to a close adult friend.
6. Modeling responsible drinking at home (mom and dad!) and discussing the issues of addiction at home. Discuss the dangers of smoking.  If you need info, please email me:  I have an article that demonstrates that addiction begins with the very first cigarette.
For teens: They can be learning to do these things if they have parental help:
1. being responsible for doing their homework without parental questioning, but also asking for help when they need help at school or at home.
2. doing their own laundry,
3. changing sheets (more than once a year!)
4. learning how to cook.
5. cleaning your room, the apartment or house,
6. leaving the sink free of dishes.
7. earning parental trust, and receiving adult privileges in exchange.
For older teens, perhaps junior and senior year of high school:
1. Obtaining and managing a bank account and a debit card,
2. Practicing interviewing for a job (We used to do role playing where I would take the part of the poor kid and my son would take the part of the horrible hiring manager. Good laughter.)
3. holding down a job,
4. conversing comfortably with adults.
5. safely and responsibly driving a car and keeping parents informed about where you are at all times.
6. Setting your own reasonable curfews and keeping them or calling home to explain circumstances and when you will be home.
7. Learning forgiveness, real, honest forgiveness. Learning not to sulk or refuse to speak to others when you are angry. Anger happens and should be over quickly.
8. Learning to harness your newly-found anger, and not taking your new anger out for a spin. Learning that anger hurts everyone around you. Anger trashes all the good things you have done.
9. Managing friendships and relationships, and learning how to end friendships and romantic relationships that are not positive
You have only the years from middle school to the end of high school to teach your child these life skills and lessons before he or she leaves home. So if you are fighting with and grounding your teen, and trying your best to stay in control, you are losing the time you have left to help your teen fly free successfully. The best approach is to start way back in middle school with a praise, not punishment regimen so there is a happy and understanding relationship and warmth in your exchanges with your pre-teen and teen. A major help to teens is to share your personal experiences growing up. Teens love to hear those stories, both good and bad! Sharing your actual journey to adulthood (warts and all!) makes you more human to them.
End of lecture notes. 


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