READ… How adolescence has proven to be “brutal” on the parents @ NYMag

I have no idea how I came across this article today :/ …synchronicity?!   

I had to print it out (I’m saving my eyesight for the beginning of the school semester), it is not a short article but I get the feeling that it’ll be an interesting read… here a few quotes from the intro

When prospective mothers and fathers imagine the joys of parenthood, they seldom imagine the adolescent years, which Nora Ephron famously opined could only be survived by acquiring a dog (“so that someone in the house is happy to see you”).


Is it possible that adolescence is most difficult—and sometimes a crisis—not for teenagers as much as for the adults who raise them? That adolescence has a bigger impact on adults than it does on kids?

In 1994, Steinberg* published Crossing Paths, one of the few extensive accounts of how parents weather the transition of their firstborns into puberty, based on a longitudinal study he conducted of more than 200 families. Forty percent of his sample suffered a decline in mental health once their first child entered adolescence. Respondents reported feelings of rejection and low self-worth; a decline in their sex lives; increases in physical symptoms of distress. It may be tempting to dismiss these findings as by-products of midlife rather than the presence of teenagers in the house. But Steinberg’s results don’t seem to suggest it. “We were much better able to predict what an adult was going through psychologically,” he writes, “by looking at his or her child’s development than by knowing the adult’s age.”

*Laurence Steinberg, a psychologist at Temple University and one of the country’s foremost authorities on puberty

Interesting, right? the article is divided into the following sections:

 A parent’s experience of his or her children’s adolescence.

“The cursing doesn’t bother me,” she says. “It’s the tone.”

Their forays into independence can tip easily into baffling excess.

Marital-satisfaction levels drop once the firstborn child enters puberty.

Here’s what may be most powerful about adolescence.

“That’s the kind of thing you live for. You want them to be better than you.”

and, it’s excerpted from All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, by Jennifer Senior, to be published on January 28 by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. 

click on the link for the complete text

This’ll make for a good topic with the hubby 🙂

xo lovely people

8 responses to “READ… How adolescence has proven to be “brutal” on the parents @ NYMag

  1. This is one of life’s true challenges and I welcome it 🙂 This article is proving to be really interesting and eye-opening…have not finished reading it yet but I will…then I’ll check back to the website to click on the hyperlinks to the studies the author quotes…wonderful collection of information…I’m glad I bumped into it!! hope you get a chance to read it, extense and even funny at moments… big hug my dear friend Teecee

  2. Awesome!
    Children learn from example.
    Spend quality time with them and they’ll pick your values.
    They are so wonderful at mimicking.
    Watch who they share their time and space with, or just be the one that they share their time and pace with.
    They’ll pick your slangs and use your tricks.
    Live by example! That’s the first step.
    Don’t give give up.

  3. Karen!! I’m good, thank you… I’m on page three of the article but will most definitely finish it this weekend… I’ve been working with teens for almost 10 years now, it has not made living with one any simpler but it has softened me up a bit… they are doing fine just as long as we, the adults, don’t start measuring them against others or even our teenage selves… we want stuff to be on our terms and according to our schedule, when they are at a stage where they’ve got a pretty hectic schedule of their own… just two of the zillion things I’ve learned from spending my mornings among them… I am sure you are going about it brilliantly Karen, you are a very special person with an amazing soul, your boys are going up in a beautiful environment that you’ve created for them I am certain they have learned from growing in your presence… xo dear friend

  4. Alexandra,
    How are you?
    Interesting subject! I believe it. With two maturing boys, a 15 year old and a soon to be 12 year old son, I do think it’s me that is having the trouble adjusting to what lies ahead. Karen

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