On the subject of parenting, I read this article in the September O Magazine with suggestions from a teenager about how to talk to teens. It's useful info but with some cavets:
- "When I talk, please turn off the tv, phone, computer - it's frustrating to have to compete for your attention."
- "Bring up dicey subjects in a natural way; don't interrupt breakfast to ask if I'm taking drugs."
- "Because I said so' isn't helpful; if I don't know why I shouldn't do it. I'll probably do it again."
- "Yes, teenagers are reckless but that doesn't mean I am. You've known me forever - trust that you still do."
On the second point, bringing up delicate subjects, I would add to not do it as they are walking out the door either. I find that if you are doing something together - taking a walk, cleaning out the car - it makes it easier to talk. (Of course, if you are talking delicate subjects, be prepared with the answer to "Did you do X when you were a teenager?")
On the third point, well, most parents don't start off with "because I said so". That usually comes at the end of a long discussion and you get so annoyed you pull rank. (Enough with the discussing, just please don't do it.) Sometimes it helps to say why they should do something, followed by possible bad outcomes that you may or may not save them from.
Yes, teenagers can be reckless and you may think you have the one exception at home...and then you don't. It's is their job to push boundaries and explore and be able to run home and be safe. I think with teenagers it's the old Reagan "trust but verify". If something strikes you as wrong, it probably is. Again, what are the outcomes to this behavior and what will be your reaction to that behavior? If they know that upfront, it might change what they do.
One last thing was from the Seattle Public Library newsletter where they note that the Friends of the Library gave $8,000 work of books free to Seattle public school teachers in the last two SPL book sales. The Friends applied for a grant for $2K that later got increased to $6k. This was for teachers at schools serving a majority of F/RL students. Teachers picked books at the book sales up to 100 on the Saturday or 200 on the Sunday. Sixty SPS teachers participated.
The Friends of the Library plan to continue the Books for Teachers. Thank you Friends for being a friend to our SPS teachers.