Parenting the Pre-Teen

March 18, 2011

Setting Limits with Love

By Emily Gallup, MFT

It was a great day to be twelve years old.  My friend and I had been out for a walk when we ran into two of the most popular girls in our seventh grade class.  We were in the middle of discussing my favorite subjects, clothes and boys, when two people in matching white helmets drove by on a motorcycle.  My parents.

Not only did they have the nerve to drive by, but they actually slowed down and waved.  I quickly looked away.

“Oh my gosh,” said Kelly, “Do you know those people?”

“No,” I answered, “I thought they were waving at you.”

When I got home, I got busted.  My mom seemed to be experiencing a mixture of amusement and shock that I’d pretended not to know her.  It was the beginning of a long summer.  It was the same summer that my father told me he wished he could freeze me for a few years and then wake me up later.  I was morphing into a teen.
Continue reading » Parenting the Pre-Teen

Beyond “Just Say No”

January 28, 2011

Answering Children's Most Difficult Questions

By Emily Gallup, MFT

How old were you when you lost your virginity?

Did you ever drink alcohol when you were a teenager?

Have you ever done drugs?

Many parents face a dilemma about how honest they should be when their children ask the most difficult personal questions.  On one hand, most parents want their children to refrain from drug and alcohol use, and to wait until marriage or another steady relationship to have sex.  A dilemma arises when we, as parents, did not attain these ideals ourselves in our youth.  We become torn between a desire to afford our children with truthfulness, and a fear that our honesty may undermine our credibility and authority.  How can we ask our kids not to do things we ourselves have done?
Continue reading » Beyond “Just Say No”

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