How to Hug a Porcupine: Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-07-23
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education

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"You never listen to anything I say!"Yesterday, your child was a sweet, well-adjusted eight-year-old. Today, a moody, disrespectful twelve-year-old. What happened? And more important, how do you handle it? How you respond to these whirlwind changes will not only affect your child's behavior now but will determine how he or she turns out later. Julie A. Ross, executive director of Parenting Horizons, shows you exactly what's going on with your child and provides all the tools you need to correctly handle even the prickliest tween porcupine. Find out how other parents survived nightmarish tween behavior--and still raised great kids Break the "nagging cycle," give your kids responsibilities, and get results Talk about sex, drugs, and alcohol so your kid will listen Discover the secret that will help your child to disregard peer pressure and make smart choices--for life"This excellent book lets parents peek into the underlying, confusing thoughts and perplexing decisions that young tweens are constantly facing." --Ralph I. Lopez, M.D., Clinical Professor or Pediatrics, Cornell University, and author ofThe Teen Health Book

Author Biography

Julie A. Ross is the executive director of Parenting Horizons. She holds an MA from NYU, and has taught workshops with the Parent’s League, Parents in Action, and NYC Public Schools.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Middle-Schoolers: Hormonal, Disorganized, and Defiant: "You Never Listen to me Anymore. I Hate My Life!"p. 1
Hairy and Horrible Hormonesp. 2
Metamorphosisp. 5
The Long View of Parentingp. 6
The Relationship Approachp. 7
Listening with Heartp. 14
Love Ticketsp. 19
Can You Really Love a Porcupine?p. 21
The Overwhelmed "Slacker": "You Have no Idea How Much Stress I'm Under!"p. 23
A Vicious Cyclep. 24
Handling Your Own Feelingsp. 25
Helping the Overwhelmed Slackerp. 31
How to Break the Nagging Cycle and Turn Responsibility Over to Your Middle Schooler: "Ok, I Get it! I'm Not A Baby Anymore."p. 41
Feelings Run Deepp. 42
Natural Consequencesp. 43
The Sandwich Techniquep. 44
Exhibiting Trustp. 50
The Trust Contractp. 51
How'd They Do?p. 56
Peer Pressure and Changing Values: "But Everyone In My Grade Is Doing It!"p. 61
Aren't These Choices Confined to High School?p. 62
The Skill of "Tell Me More"p. 63
"Sandwiching" to Get Your Values Acrossp. 66
Respecting Your Preteen's Changing Biologyp. 68
What Are Family Meetings?p. 69
Dealing with Defiance: "I'm Going Into My Room, and I'm Never Coming Out!"p. 77
Forgive Yourselfp. 78
Understanding Your Middle Schooler's Behaviorp. 79
Communication Blocksp. 84
The Dance of Defiancep. 86
A Proactive Approach: Don't Dance to Begin Withp. 90
So, Now What? Applying What We've Learnedp. 90
The Computer "Addiction": "Just Let Me Finish This 'Level,' OK?"p. 97
Computer Addiction: Reality or Myth?p. 98
Staying Informedp. 99
Keeping Our Kids Safep. 102
Computer Use and Personal Safetyp. 107
Trust Your Instinctsp. 109
The Communication Componentp. 110
Information We Need to Presentp. 113
The Two Most Powerful Toolsp. 114
Encouraging Self-Esteem and Independence: "I Can't Do It. I Want You To Help Me!"p. 115
What Is Courage?p. 117
The Components of Self-Esteemp. 117
Developmental Readinessp. 122
Calling Forth Independencep. 124
What Happens When the Fear Is Reasonable?p. 130
The Push for Independence: "I'm Going Out. See Ya Later!"p. 139
Self-Esteem Versus Hubrisp. 140
Protection Versus Overprotectionp. 140
Communicating Without Discouragingp. 143
The Value of Planting Seedsp. 146
Setting Limits Without Robbing Our Children of Couragep. 148
Talking About Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol: "Why Are We Talking About This? I Mean, Really, I Just Ate!"p. 153
Our Children Already Know a Lotp. 154
Can't I Get My Spouse to Tell the Kids?p. 155
Irony, Thy Name Is Sexp. 156
Handling Your Embarrassmentp. 157
How to Beginp. 158
What Information Do We Need to Impart?p. 161
Using Family Meetings to Talk About Sexp. 165
How Isabelle Talked to Mitchell About the Condomp. 167
Educating or Condoning?p. 170
And What About Drugs and Alcohol?p. 171
Sibling Rivalry: A New Level of Competition: "I Hate Her. She's The Worst Sister In The Whole World!"p. 173
The Changing Relationshipp. 175
The Love Scoreboard: Your Role in the Chaosp. 176
Using Different Techniques for Different Argumentsp. 183
Proactive Parentingp. 185
One Final Technique: Love Ticketsp. 191
How a Relationship Approach Affects Life After Middle School: "I'm So Lucky That You're My Mom."p. 193
The Enjoyable Aspects of Middle Schoolersp. 195
Focusing on the Positivep. 196
Is It Worth It?p. 196
Relationship Equals Influencep. 199
My Hope for Youp. 200
Referencesp. 203
Indexp. 207
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