This week we had a "situation" with my middle schooler's teacher. Not naming names. But all year, my child has had little complaints about this particular educator. And, normally, said child does not complain. I mentally started to compile all the things she's been saying all year and realized, somehow this teacher has lost her way with these kids...and upon reflection, I can see why, based on my child's observations. Luckily, my girl is moving on to high school next year, so we'll chalk it up as a life lesson, and well, the rest of the teachers were really wonderful. Look, I'm no expert here, and I am, admittedly, mainly learning as I go along. My thoughts led to this post......
How Not To Deal with Teens:
1. Don't under-estimate them...yes they will complain mightily, but they are programmed to rise to a challenge. Tell them they "can't" and you'll never know if they could.....
2. Don't think they don't know you're not paying attention to them. Teens are wily-smart. They know. They're watching you, waiting. And they'll take any opportunity for advantage.
3.Don't think if you're "nice" just this once.... (ie. slacking off on discipline), you can save it up for later and try to cash it in. Slack off disciplining a teen and you will not receive gratitude; you WILL garner disrespect. It never works to say/think: "You
Xc%$# little brat! How could you do this now..... After I let you off the hook last week...."
4. Don't be lazy. They will know you are just skating by, because teens invented the art of "just skating by...."
5. Don't try to be one of them. You are an adult, and teens don't really want you to be cool. The nerdy but genuine grown-up will reach them better than the one who tries in vain to be hip.
6. Don't hate them. They're teens. They are awkward, insecure, moody, and often insufferable, but remember: they are still children. They do still need us. Try to look past the eyeliner and the ripped jeans. There's a precious child in there somewhere, trust me.
7. Don't think they have it so easy. Teens are tempted everyday by all things illicit, and every day they resist can be a challenge. Give 'em props for that. Reward them for making good choices.
8. Don't give up on them. They are listening, watching, even when you think they aren't. They will sense when you've given up. Keep trying to reach them...chances are when you least expect it, you will be rewarded.
Here is a great post from Sarah at CloverLane (I just love her) about teens. Sarah, I hope I did not sound too much like your post in my post! I love your post about teens, it's all so true!