Ep 214: Your Adolescence is Giving Me A Mid-Life Crisis!

We all know that adolescence is a time of change and often a tough time for the teen. But what about the parent? Today’s parents are often older than years ago, and today’s parents are sometimes going through their own self-examination, their own doubts, their own exploration. What happens when you bring those two together? Sometimes a lot of yelling frankly. In this episode I talk about the changes going on in the adolescent and in the older parent and how parents can avoid the yelling and the accusations that only undermine what the teen is going through and how parents can step back and examine themselves. A little understanding can go a long way.

How Adolescents Affect their Parents

Dopamine and Adolescence

Adele Faber on Parenting

I took some of my favorite quotes from my interview with Adele Faber and put them on SoundCloud. She’s really amazing. Such great advice. A neighbor recently asked me for a recommendation on a parenting book and I had to say to her, “If you only read one book on parenting…” it really does have to be How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. My copy is heavily underlined and I find myself thinking about Adele’s words over and over again.

That’s why I went back over our interview and pulled out the audio quotes you’ll hear below. If you’re a parent or you work with kids, this is THE book to get. Just listen:

Interview with Adele Faber on Parenting by thepsychfiles

Links for Adele Faber

Episode 136: Adele Faber Interview on Parenting (Part 2)

In part 2 of my interview with Adele Faber, co-author along with Elaine Mazlish of “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” we talk about what do do when you’ve got nothing left emotionally to give to your children, how to handle foul language, how to problem solve with your children, and being authentic with your children about own feelings. Finally, Adele gives her opinion on whether or not we need to be tougher with our children, especially when they are acting out.

What is our major goal as parents? ….. “To produce children who are, among other things, brilliant, polite, charming, neat and well-adjusted, of course.”
Dr. Ginott looked solemn. It was obvious that this last comment had not amused him. He leaned forward and said, “This is how I see it. It seems to me that our large goal is to find the ways to help our children become humane and strong.
“For what does it profit us if we have a neat, polite, charming youngster who could watch people suffer and not be moved to action?
“What have we accomplished if we have reared a child who is brilliant – at the top of his class – but who uses his intellect to manipulate others?
“And do we really want children so well-adjusted that they adjust to an unjust situation? Too many Germans adjusted only too well to the orders of the Nazis to exterminate millions of their fellow men.
“Understand me: I’m not opposed to a child being polite or neat or learned. The crucial question for me is What methods have been used to accomplish these ends? If the methods used are insults, attacks, and threats, then we can be very sure that we have also taught this child to insult, attack, to threaten, and to comply when threatened.
“If, on the other hand, we use methods that are humane, then we’ve taught something much more important than a series of isolated virtues. We’ve shown the child how to be a person – a mensch, a human being who can conduct his life with strength and dignity.”
pages 14-15 of Liberated Children, Liberated Parents

Episode 135: Adele Faber Interview on Parenting (Part 1)

Are you familiar with Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish‘s classic book “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk“? You should be. It’s not just for parents. The ideas in this book and in their other books should be required reading for all of us, but especially for parents, therapists and anyone interested in what we can do to better communicate with each other. I think you will be as charmed as I was listening to Adele and I encourage you to listen to part 2 of this interview.

We want to put an end to talk that wounds the spirit, we want to create an emotional climate that encourages children to cooperate because they care about themselves, and because they care about us.

Episode 103: Raising Children – Interview with Author Jamie Raser

Having trouble raising your children? Join the crowd. There are lots of parenting books, but here’s one you should know about: "Raising Children You Can Live With" by Jamie Raser. He has an approach to parenting that is not about "picking your battles", but about staying out of battles altogether and talking with your child in a way that doesn’t lead to shouting, screaming and anger. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Listen to Jamie Raser talk about his ideas in this episode of The Psych Files.

Parenting is not a series of "techniques" or "manipulations" designed to gain control over another human being. When parents are in control of themselves and [the way they interact with their children], children will learn to control themselves. – Jamie Raser, Raising Children You Can Live With

Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select–doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years. John Watson, Behaviorism (1930). Thanks to the Wisconsin Association for Behavior Analysis for the complete quote (see the final sentence – italics mine).

Resources on Parenting

  • You can contact Jamie using his email address: jraser AT dpisd DOT org.
  • Research showing that spanking children does not work:
  • Gershoff, I. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviors and experiences: A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 539-579.
  • Kazdin, A. E., & Benjet, C. (2003). Spanking children: Evidence and Issues. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12, 99-103.

Although physical punishment may produce immediate compliance – children typically stop the behavior spanking is meant to end – there are a number of serious long-term side effects. For example, spanking is associated with lower quality parent-child relationships, poorer mental health for both child and parent, higher levels of delinquency, and more antisocial behavior. In addition, children who experience higher levels of spanking are less able to develop their own inner sense of right and wrong…Spanking also teaches children that violence is an acceptable solution to prolems by serving as a model of violent, aggressive behavior. – Robert Feldman, Development Across the Life Span