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What Grace in parenting teens might look like

Ran across this excellent piece about the storms of parenting adolescents. 

I had to hold back tears when I read this, because it dredged up deep memories of watching friends and parents I know do this for their teens. Grace always hits me in the feels like that. 

I usually got to see both sides — the fear and fighting from the scared teen, and the pain and fear it caused their parents. 
Yet they both held on. And they made it. 

The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You

How the Internet Has Brought Us Too Close Together (and the Wisdom of Trolls)

If we are to encourage a healthier Internet culture of discourse, I submit that we may need to make a half-turn towards the trolls, away from the non-differentiated culture of the reactive masses in the social Internet the corporations and the massification of the Internet have formed for us. We need contexts that are less ‘safe’ and which demand more from us. We need to push towards the creation of more differentiated environments of discourse. We need to recognize that healthy conversation may require a greater degree of exclusivity and even exclusion, something which existed more organically in the earlier Internet. Most people are not equipped for such conversation, not without considerably more formation. Vigorous and fruitful exchange of diverse ideas is only possible where a certain culture exists and this culture requires particular types of persons and contexts to sustain it, people who regard themselves as self-defined collaborative architects of a conversation and contexts that are more capable of sustaining confrontational and more differentiated interactions.

via How the Internet Has Brought Us Too Close Together (and the Wisdom of Trolls).

Link: Helicopter parenting is increasingly correlated with college-age depression and anxiety.

The data emerging about the mental health of our kids only confirms the harm done by asking so little of them when it comes to life skills yet so much of them when it comes to adhering to the academic plans we’ve made for them.

Really. This has got to stop.  And not just “everybody else is doing it wrong” but a genuine assessment of our own attitudes and behaviors toward the kids in our lives.

Read on:

via Helicopter parenting is increasingly correlated with college-age depression and anxiety..

As Teens Push Away, What Can Parents Do To Support Them? | MindShift | KQED News

I think any of us who’ve worked extensively knows that loving a teenager is very much like “hugging a cactus.”  Or trying to make friends with an aloof feline – sometimes it feels like all they want is food; otherwise, “go away.”

But the teen years, hard as they are on parents and mentors, offer deeply rewarding moments as well: the opportunity to watch, before your eyes, a young adult emerging into life and discovery and calling.

Good article, quick read.

When teens push themselves away, says Hill, “it does not mean that they don’t want and crave their parents’ acceptance of their identities and interests. One of my colleagues said parenting teens is like hugging a cactus. Even as the ‘warm fuzzies’ are not often reciprocated, teens still need them, still need to know they are loved unconditionally. Don’t miss the opportunity to say or show love, warmth and affection toward even your most prickly teen.”

via As Teens Push Away, What Can Parents Do To Support Them? | MindShift | KQED News.

Good read: The Small, Happy Life – NYTimes.com

A a delightful read on vocation and calling that focuses on the small bits of life. Satisfaction emerges from small acts of love and meaning.

“Perhaps,” she concludes, “the mission is not a mission at all. … Everywhere there are tiny, seemingly inconsequential circumstances that, if explored, provide meaning” and chances to be generous and kind. Spiritual and emotional growth happens in microscopic increments.

via The Small, Happy Life – NYTimes.com.