Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leaving Adolescence Behind

While Robert Epstein made some sweeping generalization on today's radio talk show (let's just take the one that nearly ALL teen depression is cultural rather than biological), the Matron was very much taken with 99% of what he had to say.

So much so that she forced her husband to listen to the hour. So much so that the parents of the teen? Veering in a new parenting direction -- actually, bearing down with more strength in a direction they instinctively have been discovering.

She knows that she has many readers with teenage boys. Listen to this. You can fold laundry or dust or paint your toenails if, like the Matron, you are a born multi-tasker. But Epstein's wisdom (or challenge if you don't buy in) is worth way more of your time than reading the regular Matronly wit.

7 comments:

Laura said...

I'm in the middle of the show--very interesting so far--thanks for recommending it. I'm curious what your parenting direction is if you care to share.

K. said...

Thanks, that was awesome.

Suburban Correspondent said...

I don't know - I used to believe as he does, that all this adolescence crap is purely the result of our culture. But then my Anna turned 13. The one that didn't see TV, was homeschooled, saw few movies - in other words, was as sheltered from our culture as could be. And she is your typical uber-adolescent.

So now, I'm confused.

Minnesota Matron said...

Suburban -- don't do this to me! Laura-- this show inspired me to think creatively about how to connect STryker to the adult men in his life. As a result? At least two new things -- poker night (okay, not meaningful but fluidity between generations) and more regular potluck parties that include adults the kids like. I'm still brainstorming on the rest. Suburban - couldn't it be that your daughter is the anomaly? And that Epstein's theories speak more to boys? At least, mine.

Laura said...

MM, thanks for the insight. You might also be interested in reading A Tribe Apart. It's an older book that's an ethnographic study of teens. It's a little depressing, but the message is clear: adults need to be involved in teen's lives and take them seriously.

~annie said...

I believe there are two sides to adolescence. There is the actual physical manifestation, such as Suburban Correspondent is observing and I have also witnessed with my daughter. That is very real and can be powerful and extremely confusing.
Unfortunately, our culture and education system are not exactly set up in a way that respects teens and offers them real opportunities to be taken seriously.
Instead, we expect and even accept all the "craziness," so why shouldn't our kids live up to that instead?

Minnesota Matron said...

Laura -- thanks for the book recommendation. This is such an important topic and time in their (our!) lives. And, Annie, I think you're right. There are some legitimate physical challenges and dramas. We don't address those but do expect 'bad' behavior, generally. Very unfair to teens.