Adolescence have too many or too few rights? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got into a little disagreement with my Life Span Development instructor the other day. We were talking about storm vs. stress, whether it's inevitable for teenagers to basically go insane for a period of time.

I stated that I felt teenagers' "craziness" was just a reaction to lack of respect and rights as citizens and human beings. Nowadays, chances are a girl will be sexually harassed by the time she graduates. Many women will be sexually assaulted at school. In my experience, nothing is ever done by staff. Kids get jumped by other students, and there's no legal action. It's like schools are their own little countries, where the laws of the nation don't apply, and it sickens me! No wonder teenagers 'rebel'!!! They don't have the rights of adults. They shouldn't have to act like adults. Childish games are behind them. All they're left with is adult hormones and lack of morals because of a lack of a proper legal system... laws and punishments. Teenagers aren't protected from crimes. It feels so hopeless at times being a teenager in certain areas.

The teacher disagreed and said that teenagers have too many rights. She started talking about juvenile court (which, IME and IMO, is just a joke!). The class ended up ending before we could finish the discussion.

I'm not getting what she's saying. What do you think... do teenagers have too few or too many rights?
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#2 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 12:16 PM
 
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Well.... I think that as parents, maybe we've gotten too lenient with our kids, and don't set enought limits.... probably due in part to the fact that so many parents are overworked and stressed themselves.

but I totally agree that society in general treats teenagers as if they are nothing but trouble waiting to happen, show no respect or dignity towards our youth, and that we don't give them enough positive support and outlets in which to have fun in a safe environment. Hope that makes sense...:

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#3 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Perfect sense.

The point I was getting at (though I completely agree with you), is that teenagers are the victims of crime sometimes on a daily basis, yet nothing is done about it.

If an upper middle class woman was dragged into a closet and locked in there with a man attempting to touch her inappropriately, the man would be in jail immediately.

If an upper middle class man was punched, or tripped on the stairs by some psycho who used to date his new girlfriend... that psycho guy would be in jail!

Instead, the violators get suspended from school, police usually aren't called in (at least in my neck of the woods), and the victim is treated as if they brought it on.
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#4 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 12:47 PM
 
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I think rights and respect are two different things.

This issue has been touched on in other threads and I do not think CHILDREN (because thats what they are.......children......our children) need MORE rights. Until my child is 18 they are in my care and it's my job to care for them. Are there crappy parents who dont do their job right? Sure. Does that mean that we should change the rules to cater to the "bad apples"? No. Children do not need more rights.

I think, though, some of what you say may fall under respect, and I totally believe that children of all ages need more respect.
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#5 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 12:58 PM
 
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Respect is a big topic of conversation in this family. My preteen is getting pretty lax in giving me the respect I deserve as a parent..I get eye-rolled and ignored on a daily basis so I might as well be invisible. Last night I was told I am lazy. Guess who got up this morning to find he had to make his own breakfast, get his self organized for school, make his own lunch for school and find his own way there? He now has received a tutorial in Respect thy Parent 101 with a special emphasis on vocabulary..particularly the definition of "lazy". I doubt I will be called that again..a little off topic, but wanted to share.

I agree with what you said as far as the punishment not fitting the crime in the schools,etc. But I also feel teens as a whole are a great deal more disrepectful than I was when I was a teen. They disrespect their peers as well as adults more than my generation did, and there are many factors to blame for this. I agree with anothermama..while they do deserve to be protected from crime, they are still CHILDREN until they are 18, at which time they are considered adults. Until then you get what you give in fair measure, if you respect me, you will be given respect in return. If not, you'll have consequences. ..can you tell I had a bad morning?
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#6 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 01:45 PM
 
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I think the arbitrary delineation of "adult at 18" and "child under 18" is a bit ridiculous. I've known 16 year olds who were functioning in adult society in all but the rights denied them because they were minors, and 21 year olds who still behaved like children. When I turned 18, there was no magical switch flipped that turned me into an adult.

Adolescence is a time that should be "preparation and practice" for adulthood, not considered a continuance of childhood. The period between sexual maturity and the completion of one's education keeps getting longer and longer...and as it does, the attempt to extend "childhood" is just screwing youth up.

Adolescence should be "adulthood with training wheels" rather than "childhood with sex hormones", kwim? Extra support, extra encouragement, accountability to parents, but responsibility and expectation of actually learning how to take care of oneself and function in society, rather than sheltering from consequences of the law, or blocking from protection of it.

Of course, it's difficult to take such an approach when you keep your kids locked up in an institution all day long...

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#7 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 02:08 PM
 
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I agree with you totally, Ravin.

When those who have adult bodies and hormones are treated as if they are still children, it is inevitable that there will be shows of disrespect and aggression in response. If I was restricted and condescended to on a daily basis like the majority of teens are, I would be in a bad mood too.
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#8 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 02:56 PM
 
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I totally agree with Ravin (also like your sig - cage-free :LOL) and blueviolet.

Adolescence is the time to "find oneself", but instead that process is being relegated to the post-18 years when at the same time young people are being asked to decide their lives. I think that the behviors of teens today has more to do with how society as whole has changed and is not just a difference in generations. All of us have freedoms we did not have a generation or two ago (though we are missing some freedoms we did have) and that results in a difference in attitude about how we raise our children and thus a difference in their attitudes. I think we've thrown away a lot of traditions that were used to help deliniate between being a child and being an adult. I don't, however, for a moment believe that there was some Golden Age of our society.

"Youth is the time to go flashing from one end of the world to the other both in mind and body; to try the manners of different nations; to hear the chimes at midnight; to see sunrise in town and country; to be converted at a revival; to circumnavigate the metaphysics, write halting verses, run a mile to see a fire, and wait all day long in the theatre to applaud 'Hernani.'" - Robert Louis Stevenson, Crabbed Age and Youth

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#9 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 03:04 PM
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I like the adult with training wheels analogy.

I also think there's a wide variance in the maturity of different teenagers.

I also believe that our teenagers are being forced into a prolonged childhood that is fighting against their biology (raging hormones) but this is a necessity because our children *need* the continuing education in order to find their niche in a technological culture.

That being said my teenaged girls are extremely mature. My oldest (now 25) believes this is because they kept their sense of self intact while the vast majority of kids are so belittled and humiliated by their dominant peer group that it takes through the teenaged phase and into early adulthood to regain enough of a sense of self to function as a healthy whole adult.

My boys are less mature than my girls but they're still advanced.

I don't think teenagers need to be a mess I think it's a combination of what they've endured, the temperment of important people around them, the enviornment, and their own temperment.

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#10 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 03:12 PM
 
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I don't think teenagers need to be a mess I think it's a combination of what they've endured, the temperment of important people around them, the enviornment, and their own temperment.

so true....

My teen is so good! I am so proud of her. She has made high honor role in her first highschool report card, had a great season with the math team, and spends the rest of her time babysitting and spending the money she earns!


We have a special mother/daughter activity we do together. I think it helps for her to have a special time with me! We go to the Y and do the treadmill, play basketball and lift weights!!!! Of course this is a great time to talk too!!!
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#11 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 03:17 PM
 
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Originally posted by Ravin
Adolescence should be "adulthood with training wheels" rather than "childhood with sex hormones", kwim?
ITA with this. I was in a bad mood all the time as a teenager, and a big part of it was that people expected certain things of me, and treated me as though I was "trouble waiting to happen". I still remember being irritated every time some idiot would say "Oh, I tried to call your house, but it was busy. You must have been on the phone because you're a teenager and that's what they do." Happened all the time to me, only it was rarely me on the phone; I didn't have any friends.

Do I think that teenagers have too many rights? Not at all. Teenagers are denied basic human rights a lot of the time, and I have a real problem with that. No, I don't think that they should have more privileges (later curfews, drinking, driving, etc) but I think that they should be afforded the same basic rights as all adults and children in society should, without regards to age. The right to be treated like an individual, the right not to be judged on their age/attire/skin color/etc, the right to privacy, etc. Yes, as parents it's our job to protect our children but teenagers, though the media will tell you otherwise, are people and really need to be treated as such.

I think that if more young children were treated with respect that they would be more respectful teenagers; that's one of the reasons I'm doing this whole attached parenting thing, and why I lean heavily toward TCS even though my son is still a bit young for most of it. He's a very small person, and he does have certain rights. As he gets older, he'll learn that he has other rights that come with some responsibility: for example, when he's completely free of diapers he'll learn that he has the right to expect total body sovereignty, and that it comes with the responsibility to keep himself clean. It's all optional, and based on his actions: if he chooses not to keep his body clean, I will help him do that but it will interfere with his right to personal privacy.

When he turns 16, he'll have the opportunity to get a driver's license, but along with that privilege will come many many responsibilities: expenses to be paid, not using drugs or drinking, learning the law, etc. I'm hoping that long before that point, he knows 1)the difference between a privilege and a right and 2)his own capacity for responsibility. By taking him seriously, granting him privileges and respecting his rights as a child, I hope that he'll learn these things and treat other people with that same respect.

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#12 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 03:26 PM
 
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I think teens (and children in general) have far too few rights. Teens could function as adults if they were permitted to, but when they annoucne they want to drop out of high school and go on a bike tour, the answer is always no. If an adult wanted to quit work and travel for a while, we would think that was great!

I remember a teacher who would always tell her class full of 15- and 16-year-olds, "You're all adults." Some of the kids even lived alone, and didn't end up setting the place on fire.

Most of our society wants to teach independence starting at birth. Hours-old babies are expected to sleep by themselves, weeks-old babies are left in daycare centers and are encouraged to "play by themselves," we have electronic toys to teach children what parents used to teach them. But when they become teens and decide they want even more independence, we can't possibly give it to them because they might end up in jail or smoke cigarettes or have BOYS over.

The lack of rights in public schools is the main reason I want to keep my dd out. It's true what the OP said about what would be a crime in the adult world is just brushed under the rug when it happens to a teen.

I also think teens should respect parents, adults, and other people. But I don't think they should respect people who don't also treat them with respect, and I don't think adults deserve more respect than children. How about everyone just respects everyone equally?

In prison or in a mental hospital, the inmate is given a booklet which explains all his rights, and includes the names of people he can contact if his rights are violated. This is not provided to public school students. Teens don't know they have rights in their schools and in their homes. Civil rights are not taught to school-age youth, because if they knew they had rights, who knows what would happen?: I've thought of being a volunteer for the school district to teach kids their rights, but no school is ever going to want that.
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#13 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 03:45 PM
 
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DB wrote: "I also believe that our teenagers are being forced into a prolonged childhood that is fighting against their biology (raging hormones) but this is a necessity because our children *need* the continuing education in order to find their niche in a technological culture."

Prolonging childhood is not necessary in order to learn. Lots of adults continue their education just fine without prolonging their child into their twenties, thirties, forties, etc.
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#14 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 04:12 PM
 
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I had a class last semester that was all about children's rights. This is a graduate class but I think that any undergrad psyc or Ed. major should be required to take a class such as this. I think it is important for people working in these fields to examine their own thinking about the subject. The instructor is in the middle of writting a book about children's rights and has already written a couple text books with chapters on children's rights.

Her name is Jennifer Rudkin if you want to do a search. She teaches at University of Colorado at Denver.

I had to do a paper debating just this subject and my basic opinion is that children deserve to have the same basic rights as everyone else. I mean that in the UN charter way.

A really good book about children's right is called "Children are People, Too." It is from the 1970's but I really enjoyed reading it. It also has a Children's Bill of Rights in the back that I found very though provoking.

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#15 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 04:27 PM
 
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This is a really interesting discussion.

Originally quoted by Greaseball: In prison or in a mental hospital, the inmate is given a booklet which explains all his rights, and includes the names of people he can contact if his rights are violated. This is not provided to public school students. Teens don't know they have rights in their schools and in their homes. Civil rights are not taught to school-age youth, because if they knew they had rights, who knows what would happen? I've thought of being a volunteer for the school district to teach kids their rights, but no school is ever going to want that.

This may be an interesting start and actually if you find the right people it's easier to get involved within the school system than one might believe.

I don't know if it's that teens don't have enough rights, but more that their rights are ignored. As another poster commented if an adult perpetrated a certain behavior they would be in jail, whereas a teenager it likely would be brushed under the carpet. I think this comes back to the issues about respect. Teens are not given the respect that is their due and consequently their rights suffer.

There's more, but I'm struggling to form my thoughts. I will ponder more and maybe post more later.
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#16 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 04:33 PM
 
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I also think that while certain legal rights are given to children, their human rights are what are ignored. For example, I believe children have a human right never to be spanked, but since it's not a legal right, the idea is that parents have a right to spank.
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#17 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 05:13 PM
 
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One thing that I've noticed since being an adult and since viewing the time of teenagehood with all this perspective, is that what it should be is an opportunity to experiment with all manners of things safely so as to choose appropriate directions for adult life. Especially since most 18-year-olds are expected to go on to college or get a job. The problem with this is that most teenagers have no clue that they have this opportunity because adults never tell them! I think that part of why so many teenagers are floundering is because there are few parents out there who set up real guidelines for this time in life. I know that a lot of privileges are negotiated along the way, as are responsibilities, but it seems like there should be some expressed set of expectations. As parents, a lot of us choose how we're going to parent when our children are babies, but we seem to really wing it from there. I don't think a lot of parents are given resources for figuring teenagers out and it's much harder to retain the perspective of a teenager than I thought it would be. I'm sure we've all at one time or another heard a teenager (perhaps ourselves) say that their parents want them to still be a little kid or that they're being treated like a child. Respect is something all kids require and I think a lot of being successful in negotiating respect with a teenager has to do with how you view them. That adults with training wheels quote really made sense to me. It seems like we view teenagers as out-of-control children, which isn't it at all.

I'm really having trouble forming my thoughts here, but I think that giving respect and really laying it out for teenagers is the key to gaining respect back. In my experience with my younger sisters (15 & 17) who constantly turn to me to make them feel better when my parents are being "mean", they have a really hard time with perspective. They don't know and can't possibly understand what it is to be their parents. I am always having to really lay out for them what my parents are experiencing in order to explain decisions they make. I think I'd like it more if my parents were able to calmly do this themselves when my sisters weren't in the process of bugging them about something. It really seems to take a calm, explicit outside voice to drive home reasons for what my sisters see as injustices. This comes back to the idea that teenagers need some sort of guidelines explained and continually reiterated to them so that they can indeed understand their rights as well as their responsibilities. We spend so much of the childhood years telling kids what they can't do that we neglect how to let them into the adult world of rights and privileges. School does this almost nonstop. Everything is about rules and restricitions. Children have to ask to go to the restroom! And in order to ask, usually they have to raise their hands and quietly wait for someone to speak to them before they can speak themselves or move from where they are seated. This is why I mentioned before that traditions initiating children into adulthood are important and decidedly lacking in this culture. In many many other cultures initiation rites are as important as births or weddings or deaths.

That's all I've got for the moment...

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#18 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 05:56 PM
 
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Oh! And another thing! Teenagers would probably feel a lot more respected if they were listened to more! I think of Columbine and how what those kids who did that really needed was an outlet that took them seriously. So much of the years leading to 18 is, in the words of They Might Be Giants, "Do this! No! Don't do that! No! Sit, stay, roll over, NO! NO! NO!"

And being a teenager is such an intense time that I think if adults took it really seriously we would listen to what they are experiencing. I remember being a teenager and I think of all the teenagers I know and how amazing and difficult it is to navigate the complex social arrangements and what to do and what not to do and how to understand what's going on all around us. Think of the constant streaming of media that we adults must filter and then imagine yourself a teenager and that for the first time you suddenly became aware of it and had to filter it with a brand new perspective. And were you a teenager, you would see that your own voice is nearly totally missing from that stream or any stream for that matter.

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#19 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 06:03 PM
 
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I also think that was a great, creative way to handle the "lazy" thing. Reminds me of that joke about SAHMs that was posted in TAO.

But, if I were to try something like that, I'd have to be sure I never called my child lazy. Sometimes what looks like lazy to a parent is actually a lot of hard work to a child. I was called lazy as a child because I thought that lounging around reading books was more important than running around outside. Turns out I was right.

In most states, a kid can go to college at 16. But many parents would not let their kid do that, because "he's got to finish high school first." Why? I thought the whole point of hs was to get into college. If a kid can go to college at 16 and maybe graduate by 20, what's the harm in that? I think making kids "pass each level" at the right time just holds them back and keeps them in the "kid role."
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#20 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 06:07 PM
 
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Originally posted by annakiss: One thing that I've noticed since being an adult and since viewing the time of teenagehood with all this perspective, is that what it should be is an opportunity to experiment with all manners of things safely so as to choose appropriate directions for adult life. Especially since most 18-year-olds are expected to go on to college or get a job. The problem with this is that most teenagers have no clue that they have this opportunity because adults never tell them! I think that part of why so many teenagers are floundering is because there are few parents out there who set up real guidelines for this time in life. I know that a lot of privileges are negotiated along the way, as are responsibilities, but it seems like there should be some expressed set of expectations.

To piggyback off of that. I think that the teen years are the time for practicing to be adults. It's when you get to practice with that safety net. But so many parents are afraid of the choices their teen may make that they either a)bury their head in the sand and hope everything turns out okay or b) make the rules so rigid with no freedoms that teens in a natural normal developmental manner seek their independance (usually by making abysmal choices).

I think at some point in the early teens you talk with them about making choices (thus, respecting them as a person). For example, it may be in response to wanting to go out both nights of the weekend or go to a party that you know is suspect. Guide them in the decision making process. Allow them to decide and then discuss after the fact. Still stating what the rules are. For example, if there is X,Y, or Z at the party I would really like for you to come home. As they get older, this may shift to, you know how I feel about X, Y, and Z, but I trust your judgment and ability to make a good decision. (only if you really do though) I think in this way you give them respect, move them gently into the arena of freedom, privilege, and responsiblity. The more open the communication, the better this goes. A teen is more likely to give you that call saying, "mom, dad, this party isn't what I thought it was going to be, can you come get me?"

Bottom line is communicate, communicate, communicate. I think this is the foundation of respect and ability to adhere to their rights.

But I have a question....what is a teen's rights? Safety, food, shelter, love. Is respect a right, or something one earns? Just throwing that out there as devils' advocate. I was just thinking in terms of when a teen is being disrespectful.
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#21 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 06:17 PM
 
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Is respect a right, or something one earns? Just throwing that out there as devils' advocate. I was just thinking in terms of when a teen is being disrespectful.
Well, if you talk to a lot of the mainstream parents I know, you'd hear that adults inherently deserve respect without having to work for it and children have to earn it.

I think everyone deserves respect until they do something to screw it up. If a teen is disrespectful to someone (I don't want to make distinctions between disrespecting an adult and disrespecting a child; I don't believe that one deserves more than the other) then what do people propose as a solution - be disrespectful back?

Sometimes I think the consequences can be the same as for a 2-year-old. If a 2-year-old is acting out towards parents, it's probably because she wants something or she's testing a limit. There seems to be 2 choices there - don't give her the thing she wants until she can ask nicely, or just ignore her behavior. I think those might work with teens too.

I guess it depends on what people think is "disrespect." I don't know if I'd call backtalk disrespect, because it's something parents do to children all the time, and because sometimes whenever a teen disagrees with a parent or wants to voice an opinion it's seen as backtalk.
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#22 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 06:27 PM
 
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GreaseBall, I like what you have to say. I agree about the disprespect thing. I think so often parents are disrespectful to their children and hold a double standard. But I think you can still be respectful without tolerating disrespect. For ex. Your teen calls you a bi!@h. My reply would be, that is not an acceptable way for you to speak to me. When you can speak to me in a respectful manner I would be glad to listen. And walk away, lest the angry monster get ya and you fall down.

I used to work with a group of seriously emotionally disturbed children/adolescents in a group setting. People always asked how do you get them to listen to you so well? My reply was usually, because I listen to them and I respect what they have to say (off-color language and everything). If they became disrespectful, I would tell them it was not okay with me and that I was not going to listen until they could speak to me respectfully (not calling me names or threatening me). They could be angry, they could raise their voice, they could even tell me everything I did that made them angry, that was fine. Just don't resort to name calling and threats.

I think backtalk depends. Their is discourse and then theirs disrespect. If they are sharing their opinion I owe it to them to listen. If I am too upset to listen, then I owe it to them to tell them that and say that I will come to them when I can listen.
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#23 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 06:39 PM
 
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Yes, there are always ways to respectfully disagree.

But here is another example -
Parent: Clean your room!
Teen: Why?
Parent: No backtalk!!!

I think it's good to ask why! Why does the room need to be clean, when the parent is never in it? Why does it have to be now? Why do I have to clean my room when you don't have to clean yours? Or maybe, I just cleaned it, why don't you like the way I did it? I think when we make rules like "No questions allowed" we probably do it because we don't know the answer and don't want to look dumb. Or maybe we're afraid the teen will actually have a good point and we'll have to agree.

I tell my dd that when we are going for walks, she can't walk into other peoples' yards. If she asked me why, I probably wouldn't know the answer either. Really, why can't she? If I'm right there, and she doesn't wreck anything, what's the harm? But if she asked why, I'd have to explain the whole concept of private property, and maybe even throw in the bit about how children can't have private property...

There will probably come a day when my dd calls me a bitch. I don't know how I'll handle that...my mom's response was to take away one possession of mine until I stopped saying it, but that didn't work, because I had so few things that once she took them all and I was still calling her a bitch, there was nothing left for her to do.
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#24 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 06:45 PM
 
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your mom's strategy doesn't make sense to me....that is, the time doesn't fit the crime so to speak. Take my stuff away, it just reinforces my opinion of you, you really are a bi!ch.

I think it's also important to think about how you give directions. For example...clean your room...versus I need you to clean your room, it's my need...not theirs. Why? Well because I'm worried about the ants coming and taking the house out from under us. Humor, I think that's integral. But, if I ain't doing it, I can't ask my teen to do it. If my room is a pigsty, I haven't got a leg to stand on.

I think even the going into others yards can be a respect thing. How do you feel when someone takes your toy without asking? Well people feel that way when you walk all over their yard without asking, that's kind of like a grown up toy (this is obiviously how I would talk to a younger child, not a teen )

It's funny, it seems that Journey's thread has really filtered into an issue about respect.
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#25 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 06:47 PM
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I think some of the rights and responsibilities are skewed a bit in many situations.

One thing about teenagers that freak us parents is driving.

I know countless parents who completely fund their teen's driving experience and these teens seem to have an extremely high rate of accidents.

I don't care how much money I have I will always require my teenager to pay for his own insurance and car and fuel.

If the teen doesn't want to buy his own car he at least must keep the same amount of fuel as he found in my tank.

I think this is a case of learning responsibility and privledge naturally and logically.

Providing for the teenager's driving privledge is shortcircuting an otherwise great experience to have a coming of age...working hard to cross a threshold into a more adult circumstance.

I don't get the "clean your room" thing. The only time I get mad is if Jon (16 my messie) keeps using towels and not putting them in the hamper. If you leave the kid alone he will naturally gravitate toward neatness and cleanliness....if you provide that as the example of what is normal.

Gottago pick up another teenager from track.

....and then take everyone to karate.

db
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#26 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 06:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by babybugmama
And walk away, lest the angry monster get ya and you fall down.
:

Greaseball, ITA. I always hated magnets & buttons & stickers that say "I'm the mom, that's why." Though I've used the excuse myself on my sisters (replacing "the mom" with "in charge"). : Need to be aware of that for later with ds.

anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
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#27 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 06:54 PM
 
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T
Debra - ITA about driving. I hope there is something I can do to discourage my kids from driving until they are 18...or maybe 21. When I was 16 I had no interest in driving. I wonder why for other kids it's such a big deal? I got my license at 22 and that was fine with me.

It scares me a lot, being one of the leading causes of death.
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#28 of 28 Old 03-23-2004, 06:54 PM
 
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I think some of the rights and responsibilities are skewed a bit in many situations.

db - can you tell me more about what you mean here? I really like how you describe handling the driving thing. Driving is definitely a privilege and chock full of needed responsible behavior. And I think what your describing explains better what I was trying to say earlier about the teen years being an opportunity to teach about privilege, responsibility, and rights (i.e. driving is a privilege, not a right in this specific example) with the safety net of parents. For example, they don't have enough to pay for the insurance, so mom may pay but then they can't drive until they reimburse mom.

I really like the ideas I'm getting here for future reference.
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