[amazon asin=1583334157&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Richard Eyre, coauthor of The Entitlement Trap.
Topic: Creating a new family system of choosing, earning, and ownership.
Issues: Teaching children to work for what they want; spur enthusiasm about responsibility in unmotivated children; cultivate values of discipline, integrity, and self-reliance; foster smart, economically savvy children.
[amazon asin=1590304071&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Brad Sachs, author of When No One Understands.
Topic: Letters to a teenager on life, loss, and the hard road to adulthood.
Issues: Why more and more teens are being diagnosed with depression and the suicide rate is rising; the difference between normal teenage sullenness and true depression; the importance of communicating with teenagers and some ways of doing so when face-to-face conversations aren’t possible.
[amazon asin=0787995177&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 3: Allan Beane, author of Protect Your Child from Bullying.
Topic: Advice to help recognize, prevent, and stop bullying before your child gets hurt.
Issues: Tell-tale signs that your child is being victimized; understanding the characteristics that make a child an easy target; how to give your child a solid foundation for dealing with bullying situations; why not to teach a child to physically retaliate against a bully.
We know our kids need to grow up and get more independent. If they didn’t, they’d never be able to move out of the house, get jobs, and take care of us in our old age. So why are we actively encouraging our kids to be more dependent on us?
Brain fitness to prevent Alzheimer’s + When you and adult child don’t get along + Relationships after kids have moved out
[amazon asin=B006MVPX7G&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Gary Small, author of
Topic: Keep your brain healthy for the rest of your life.
Issues: How to improve virtually every type of memory task—from where you left the keys to never forgetting a name; brain teasers to cross-train the brain to sharpen your mind and promote brain efficiency; the importance of healthy nutrition.
[amazon asin=0061148431&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Joshua Coleman, author of When Parents Hurt.
Topic: Compassionate strategies when you and your grown child don’t get along.
Issues: What happens when people lose the opportunity to be the parents they desperately wanted to be; mourning the loss of a harmonious relationship with a child; maintaining self-esteem through difficult times; strategies for rebuilding relationships or learning to accept what can’t be changed.
[amazon asin=B003E1EFQM&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 3: Karen Stabiner, author of The Empty Nest.
Topic: The truth about relationships, love, and freedom after the kids fly the coop.
Issues: How life changes when the kids leave home; changing relationships with young adult children; changing relationships between parents once the kids are gone; differences between the ways mothers and fathers cope with the empty nest.
Dear Mr. Dad: Our 12-year-old refuses to do any chores. Anytime we ask him to help around the house, he always finds an excuse not to. Sometimes he even says he doesn’t feel like cleaning up after himself. My husband says we should ground him. What’s your take on this?
A: I’ll confess right here that the phrase “I don’t feel like it” coming from a child absolutely infuriates me. My initial reaction has always been something like, “Okay, no problem. But I don’t feel like doing your laundry or driving you to your friend’s birthday party this weekend or preparing your meals or buying you that new game you want. ”
The harsh reality for your son (and every other child out there) is that very few people are passionate about housework: we do it because we like living in a clean, comfortable environment. Like it or not, your son is part of a family and family members all chip in to do what needs to be done to keep the household moving smoothly. The adults have their responsibilities and the kids have theirs (what, exactly, that means will depend on age and ability).
In addition to making good sense, chores, say the experts, are excellent for children because they help them develop some valuable skills and habits, including responsibility, helpfulness, appreciation for hard work, and the satisfaction that comes from making a positive impact on the lives of others.
At the very least, your 12-year-old should be expected to make his bed, keep his room tidy, and clean up after himself. If you have pets, he should take part in caring for them. And there’s no reason he can’t help you bring groceries in from the car, set the table for meals, and load/unload the dishwasher.
I’m sure your son isn’t refusing to help out just because he’s lazy or mean. Is it possible that he doesn’t actually know what his duties are? Are his chores fair and age-appropriate? Have you given him so many responsibilities that he no longer has time for a social life?
The first thing to do is have a talk with your son. Explain to him that everyone in your family pitches in and plays a role in creating a home that runs smoothly. That’s non-negotiable.
Next, have him help you put together a list of all the chores that need to be done on a daily/weekly/monthly basis and roughly how long each one should take. Then let him swap some of the chores he hates for ones that take the same amount of time but that he’ll hate a little less. He won’t admit it anytime soon, but he’ll really appreciate the confidence you’re showing in him by giving him some say in all this. Plus, having made the choices himself, it’ll be harder to gripe about them later on.
One more thing: avoid the urge to micro-manage his tasks or criticize his technique. For example, his dusting may not pass the white-glove inspection, but as long as he puts a genuine effort into it, don’t point out everything he missed. At least not in the moment. On the contrary, if he lives up to his responsibilities, praise him and thank him for his help. We all—adults and kids alike—want to feel needed and appreciated.
Finally, if he still refuses to do his fair share, go on strike. When he runs out of clean underwear or has to figure out how to take public transportation to meet up with his friends, he’ll have a sudden—and profound—change of heart.
[amazon asin=B009CRKVKQ&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Rushworth Kidder, author of Good Kids, Tough Choices.
Topic: How parents can help their children do the right thing.
Issues: Raising kids in today’s moral environment; teaching responsibility; resolving ethical dilemmas (including right vs. right choices, which are a lot harder to deal with than traditional right vs. wrong).
[amazon asin=B005KK7LQ6&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Dathan Paterno, author of Desperately Seeking Parents.
Topic: Why your child needs a parent in charge and how to become one.
Issues: Reestablishing a hierarchy in your family; in control vs. controlling; where does paternal authority come from? How creating a family constitution can help restore order in your family; how not to be a wimpy parent.
[amazon asin=B004JZWKHS&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Gail Parent, coauthor of How to Raise Your Adult Children.
Topic: Big kids have big problems.
Issues: When to give your adult child money; boundaries; house rules; how to maintain your own life even with an adult child living in your home; when to speak up about your adult child’s parenting.
[amazon asin=0230620582&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Brad Sachs, author of Emptying the Nest.
Topic: Launching your adult towards success and self-reliance
Issues: The convergence of forces that have made it tough for many young people to become financially and psychologically independent; what behavior parents should strive for—and avoid; improving lines of communication; why helping adult children actually encourages them to see themselves as helpless.