Easy Tiger Parent System™

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Jennifer McLeod

How Do You Stop Or Deal With Manipulative Parents?

Born To Win!: Success Strategies for Young Businesses and New Entrepreneurs

10 May 2008

Comments to my blog 'Parents, do you deserve the teenagers you have?

Parents, Do you deserve the teenagers you have?by Jennifer McLeod on 8-May

I think this is an over-generalisation. There are distinct differences in personality and character between family members, and nurture often doesn't explain them. Parents soon know that their children come with built-in unique features that can delight and also surprise. I've been working with children and young people for over 20 years now, and have also researched young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties for a master's degree. Some of the teenagers I see are pretty wild, on the verge of exclusion from school, and their behaviour at home is also very challenging. Whenever possible I meet with the parents and siblings as well, and we all combine as a team, so I get to see the whole family dynamic at work.Even after all this time, I'm still frequently amazed by the dramatic variations between children in families - brought up by the same parents with no obvious disruptive events or major stress points to differentiate one from the other - yet one teenager is acting up, self-harming, violent, on drugs - whatever the response is - and another sibling (or siblings) are adapting well and 'normal'.These parents haven't treated their children any differently, they have given them all the same love and care, established the same boundaries - and have demonstrated a successful parenting model - and it is a huge shock to them when one of their offspring goes off the rails. In such cases, I would hesitate to say that they 'deserve the teenagers they have'. It's a complex subject and needs careful handling - apportioning blame to anyone doesn't change anything.
Christine Miller - Editor

Hi Christine

totally agree about blame!!!i work with parents and young people from an emotional and psychological perspective. My take is that parents do the best they can with the resources that they have. The young person that might have ‘gone off the rail’ or is self harming may have picked up on little nuances or psychological stuff coming from the parent(s) towards them that the parents themselves may not even realise. The young person turns this into all kinds of ‘weird and wonderful’ things in their heads both at a conscious and unconscious level. That is they internalize their perception of what their parents or other important adults around might be projecting onto them. They then run and re-run this perception until the result is low self esteem, low confidence, not feeling good about themselves or self harm etc etc. so yes, on the surface, it might appear that all the siblings were treated the same, however....

I like to think so.My kids were wonderful teenagers (one of them still is).Both very different characters, but both are happy, thoughtful, ambitious, caring, loyal friends, great fun.Not sure I can take all the credit 'tho. They are their own people.

hi John
thanks for replying to my blog. it's nice to hear something postive about young people. my youngest (12) is just starting to go through the changes so giving him his space - and still learning to how many do you have?

It's the old nurture-nature story again, isn't it? How a teenager turns out cannot be attributed to one element, i.e. the nurture bit, but is the result of a combination of factors and influences. We shouldn't take too seriously the way that some people feel any outcome can be controlled, and is the entire result of earlier events and circumstances. In our current climate whereby everything must be manipulated, managed and measured to the ninth place of decimal, we've got to accept that some things are just up to luck.
S u z a n S t M a u r. c o m Ghostwriter, Editor


i agree about different contributory factors. when i work with parents too, i work with them from a whole person perspective, because other factors have an impact on their ability to parent the way that they might want to tell me more about what you do. i am an author and in middle of 3rd book, however might need to use services like yours for other projects, including ebooks

It is the usual 50/50 split idea again. Each of us has a unique temperament but how the world receives and helps us is crucial. Parents need to believe that they are an important influence but not that their children are born formless for them to shape as they choose. I was one of 3 and we were totally different. My elder brother had what would now be called special needs and my parents were made to feel guilty and totally at fault. That's what first got me interested in psychology.An optimistic take on your quote would then encourage parents to feel empowered and hopeful for their child's future. But it could be seen as a rebuke which would scare some parents if not all was well. I often work with families where just one child is finding it tough. Usually it is a mix of what the child and the adults bring to the relationship. Just like mixing cocktails it depends on the ingredients. We read about parenting style as if it's a set formula, whereas being tuned into who your child is is just as important.
Jeni HooperHappy2Learn

Thanks for responding to blog Jeni

Formula? hhhmmmm! i tell parents that i enable them to parent in the way that is 'just right for you' because each child/parent mix will unique.What’s your specific niche with families?

Children are little people and should be treated with respect for their opinions etc and given more credit than they are given. the problem with western society is that it seems to think 'let them stay young for as long as they can' but when they become teenagers suddenly want them to behave like sensible adults when all along they have not been giving them responsibilities, credit for their opinions while children, teaching them that life is not all play and fun. no preparation is involved, it is best to start to prepare them from a young age for adulthood so that it becomes natural for them, little by little. i also don't understand how the west defines someone who is in puberty a child. if a girl or boy reaches the average age to be able to produce babies, they are hardly children anymore in a physical sense, so perhaps we need to look at this and prepare them mentally, throw out the old saying 'let them stay young for as long as they can' it doesn't help anyone, we aren't doing anyone any favors this way. those children grow to become teenagers (young adults) without the mental preparation needed for their age group, act inappropriately for their age, get fed up being treated as if they know nothing, get frustrated because of the lack of respect so then rebel.
AlliyahMarketing ExecutiveLingoworx Language Associates

hi Alliyah

thanks for responding to this blog.i agree. children are given mixed messages on their journey and get frustrated and confused in terms of what they are supposed to do.the other challenge is that if one child is treated as you described, they would stand out like a sore thumb and be picked on, unfortunately.where are you from?i am writing my 4th book about parents, which probably wont be ready until 2010 (as i am still in the middle of book 3), would you mind if i use your comments in the book? this wasn’t the original intention of blogging the statement, however i think you make a very valid point

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Jennifer McLeod

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Creator of Easy Tiger Parents System™
Creator of Born To Win! Programme for Young People™

E: parent@jennifermcleod.co.uk
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