The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens

The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens

by John Duffy, Thomas Phelan

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The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens by John Duffy

Teenagers are left feeling unheard and misunderstood, and parents are left feeling bewildered by the changes in their child at adolescence and their sudden lack of effectiveness as parents. The parent has become unavailable, the teen responds in kind, and a negative, often destructive cycle of communication begins. Well, the truth of the matter is, you can physically be right next to someone and still not really be available to them. If you need them to be something they’re not, if you are harsh, criticizing and judging, if your anxiety is center stage, then you are not truly available. The available parent of a teenager is open to discussion, offering advice and problem-solving, but not insisting on it. He allows his child to make some mistakes, setting limits, primarily where health and safety are concerned. He never lectures – he is available but not controlling. The available parent is self-aware, and keeps his own emotions in check when dealing with his teen. He is unconditionally loving and accepting, and open to new and different ways of thinking. As such, he is neither cruel nor dismissive, ever. The available parent is fun and funny, and can bring levity to the most stressful situation. All of that is to say, there are no conditions to his availability – it is absolute. The available parent fosters an extraordinary teenager. We have a tendency today to over-parent, micro-manage, and under-appreciate our adolescents. Imagine for a moment shifting the dynamic in your relationship. If you can get there as a parent, you can begin to enjoy a healthy, satisfying, exciting new kind of relationship with your teenager, a relationship with a foundation not of fear, but of radical optimism. Dr. John Duffy's The Available Parent is a revolutionary approach to taking care of teens and tweens. And we can all breathe easier as a thirteenth birthday approaches.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781573446785
Publisher: Viva Editions
Publication date: 05/01/2011
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 405 KB

About the Author

JOHN DUFFY is a clinical psychologist and certified life coach with a thriving private practice in the Chicago area. Dr. Duffy works with both teens and adults and specializes in helping parents maximize satisfaction and minimize conflict in their relationships with their teenagers. In addition to clinical work, Duffy also consults with individuals, groups and corporations in a number of areas, including Emotional Intelligence, stress management, balancing work and family, conflict resolution, goal-setting and the power of thoughts in bringing about change. Dr. Duffy's highly satisfied clients include Sears, Allstate, General Electric, Household Financial, Exxon Mobil, Accenture, Bank of America and Hewitt Associates. The Duffy family lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Foreword xvii

Prologue and Author's Note xxi

Introduction xxv

The Nature of Availability xxv

Radical Optimism xxviii

The Good-Enough Teenager xxx

What Do I Know? xxxi

Availability: Your Mandate as a Parent xxxiii

Part 1 Your Teenager's Wild World 1

Too Much Data, Too Little Filter 1

This Isn't Kansas Anymore 3

The Adolescent Mind 5

Social In-security 6

Breaking Away 7

The Nature of Teen Rebellion 10

Sex 12

Intimacy: More Than Hooking Up 17

Body Image: The Locker Room Terror 18

What about the Gay Issue? 20

Part 2 What Never Works 23

Why Lectures Never Work 23

Why Vicarious Living Never Works 30

Why Micromanaging Never Works 32

Why Snooping Never Works 37

Why Underestimating Never Works 39

Why Blinders Never Work 43

Why Judging Never Works 49

Why Smothering Never Works 52

Why Coddling Never Works 54

Why Overindulgence Never Works 55

Why Bribery Never Works 60

Why "Good Cop, Bad Cop" Never Works 62

Why Waiting Never Works 63

Part 3 What Always Works 67

Check Your Ego 67

Don't Make It about You

Emotional Role-Modeling

Tapping Your Intuition

Gaining Traction 82

Deposits in the Emotional Bank Account

Simple Acknowledgment

The Multiple Benefits of Laughter

The Ozzy Connection

Communication and Connection 92

The Power of Music

Other Ways to Connect

The Friendship Debate

Shifting the Energy


Protect Time 110

Step Away from the iPhone!

u cn txt ur kid, k?

Calm, Clear Consequences 116

Disciplinary Action

Punishment, Rewards, and Consequences

The Behavioral Contract

When to Say No: Following Your Intuition

See the Light 125

Fondness and Admiration

Finding Those Corners Where Strengths Dwell

Supporting Your Teen's Interests

Building Self-Esteem or Self-Mastery

What about the Weird Kid?

Be the Change 138

Inspiration by Example

When Not to Be Available: Parent as Consultant

Why Available Parenting Always Works 147

Final Note: My Hope for You 150

About the Author 151

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