Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flying Blind

We had an experience last night that made me realize something. As a parent of teenagers I'm pretty much flying blind.

When my kids were in their younger years I didn't feel this way. I had taken classes in college to help me. I honestly wasn't worried when I had young children. I was an aunt to twenty three nieces and nephews and was very close to earning a degree in Family and Child development before I had my first child. I was pretty secure in my knowledge of children and what to expect and how to parent. And although I wasn't completely prepared for everything that has been thrown at me I was pretty secure in the knowledge that I did have to draw from.

Not so much anymore.

I was just getting into the classes about the teenage years when I got married and school ended. I'm thinking that I many need to find a way to go back to school and get some higher edu-ma-cation so I have some clue as to what I am doing with these kids who, I am assuming, have been abducted by aliens.

Looking online at the U of U's classes here are some that I would like to take.

Parent Child Relationship: Course description - This course offers an in-depth examination of parent-child relationships over the family life cycle. We will discuss how children’s needs change with development and how these changes introduce new challenges for parents at each step along the way. You will learn about how having children affects individuals and couples and about how different life circumstances influence parenting.

Strengthening Families - Although this one scares me a little bit because the professor teaching it was teaching there 20 years ago and he was tough then...I wonder what he's like now. I didn't post the Course description because it is very lengthy and drawn out, kind of like I remember his classes being.

Adolescent Development: Course description - The first part of this course will deal with topics that are important for understanding adolescent development (e.g., puberty, cognitive development,identity formation, moral development, etc.). These topics, and many others, will
often be discussed in relation to parenting and family life.
The second part of the course will place a strong emphasis on parent adolescent communication and adolescents’ quality of experience and engagement in school. How can parents and teenagers improve their relationships? Where do teenagers find high levels of interest and motivation? How can teachers and parents help set teenagers on a path of lifelong learning?

I wonder if I they would just let me sit in on the classes? Or maybe I should just look at the books that required for those courses and start reading and glean from that. I need to start somewhere because I really do not like the well of nothing that I was drawing from yesterday evening. It was unsettling and frankly, more than a little frightening.

Or maybe I should just consult the blogosphere. Any good advice, book suggestions or possibly the name of a great exorcist? Any help would be appreciated.


Kristina P. said...

I think Amanda specializes in exorcisms.

Teachinfourth said...

I think you can audit classes - not sure if you have to be a student currently enrolled in other classes or not.

I just took a photography class (for fun) and really loved it. There's something liberating about taking a class just because…

Good luck.

Just SO said...

Jason, Audit....that's the word I was looking for! I remember hearing that term when I was in college. I'll have to look into that.

And Kristina, do you have Amanda's number? I'll have to head over to her blog and email her.

Cynthia said...

My oldest are just hitting the pre-teen years and yet are become more dramatic and moody. Lord help me! Those classes sound good.

Maybe see if there is a "Parenting with Love and Logic" book specific to teens?

Recursively said...

OOh! Oh! I know this one! Come on my blog and ask my betrothed what he would do! Brilliant with kids, that man... Teens specifically, but maybe I am partial. Don't tell him I told you to do it. But there is a book I know he really appreciates called "When to Worry" by Lisa Somethingsky.

Funky Kim said...

Good luck with this.

Amander said...

Ha. I don't know if Kristina is referring to me, but I think she might be, as I deal with angry adolescents all day (and I love it).

My advice, talk, talk, and talk some more with your kids. Not about anything important, but just in general. And if they won't talk with you, at least be around them and make an effort to do as much as possible with them.

But also, reading some books on adolescents and their development might help. I'm sure the library has some, and depending on the specific issue, I could make some recommendations.

Good luck - teens are tough (but also pretty amazing human beings)!

springrose said...

I have no teenagers yet, and my HUbby reminds me practically daily that I wasn't a normal teen ager. Rather I wasn't allowed to be one. But I do have a daughter turning 10 soon who thinks she is 13. So any good book recomendations you get pass them on. I could definately use them!!!

Missy said...

I am voting for the exorcist. I need one for the toddlers. I am doing ok, so far, with the teens, but the toddlers are kicking my butt!

Judi said...

So when you find your well of knowledge on this subject,please do tell as I also have on of those teenage things in my house!