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kids don't come with instructions

the network guide to 30 sites!
about parenting teens 101!
parenting? what's that?
kids don't come with instructions
teenage issues
teen's priorities, goals & plans
decisions & problem solving
teen's mental health
teen's physical health
lifestyle teen's diet
lifestyle teen's exercise
lifestyle teen's sleep
lifestyle teen's relaxation
counseling for teens
medications for teens
teen's and school
teen's and friends
teen's drinking & drugging
teen's driving the car
teens and sex
welcome to parenting teens 101!

A not for profit network of self-help websites.

Welcome! I hope I can help you find what you're looking for! Anytime you see an underlined word in a different color you're being offered an opportunity to learn more than what you came here for. It's important to understand the true meanings of your emotions and feelings as well as many other topics that are within this network. This entire network is set up to help those who want to help themselves find a sense of peace in their lives - discover who resides within and recover from whatever life has dealt you. Clicking on the underlined link words will open a new window so whatever page you began on will remain waiting for you to get back to it!


If you can't find what you're looking for here, scroll down to see an entire menu of what is offered within the emotional feelings network of sites! 



Kids don't come with instructions!
So how are parents supposed to know how to raise mentally & physically healthy children when they themselves weren't raised to be mentally & physically healthy?

visit the new site: nurture 101!!!!

There's a new site in the network! I am almost finished completing each page, but I can't wait anymore to tell you all about it! Please pay it a visit soon! It's an important topic!


nuture 101


 read my personal blog about living with emotional feelings!



go with the flow....

"Because kids don't come with a handbook"
by Sue Atkins, the Official Guide to Teenagers and Parenting
There is absolutely no doubt that raising a family can be an exhausting, challenging and on many occasions a frustrating business; but when you get it right there is no single experience in life that will prove to be as fulfilling and rewarding as bringing up happy children.

Every parent wants to do the very best they can for their children and aspires, to be the “perfect parent”; but without an instruction manual to tell us what we need to do to get there and without a big checkered flag being waved to congratulate us when we’ve actually got there, how do we really know when we’ve achieved this position of mythical stature?

Well the good news it that there’s no such thing as the “perfect parent”, so we can all stop worrying about getting there!

Our aspirations as parents should be to ensure that our children all grow up as happy kids, full of life, confidence and self assurance and that we can help them grow into perfectly rounded well balanced adults. Our focus on the parental journey should therefore be about embracing all that we can do to make this goal more achievable – if we all aspire to that, then that for me is as close as any of us can ever get to being the perfect parent!

It’s not about how often or where you take your kids out for day trips or how much you spoil them with gifts and goodies that’s important; it’s about the time you spend with them and about embracing the key skills and resources that we as parents all have readily available in our armoury to ensure that the end goal of raising happy, confident children is achieved.

As a qualified parent coach, I frequently see families who have become so consumed and frustrated with trying to achieve the unachievable in their parental lives that they just don’t know what else to try to make things better! Most often just some direction, clarity and confidence that they’re doing the right things, is all that’s needed and by refocusing on the simple things that we can all do as parents to improve the lives of our children is enough to improve the situation immeasurably.

Parenting is a very much a business of evolving and growing along with your child, developing and learning and remaining flexible through the various stages of their lives. The skills required of us when our children are toddlers are very different to the skills required when they are teenagers!

It’s important therefore to look at the various things that you can learn and implement into your lives throughout the different stages of development of your children that will give them a more fulfilling and happy upbringing.

There are many influences on our style of parenting; the way our parents brought us up, our personality, our stress levels and our lifestyle, to name only a few. But how many of us actually take “time out” to think about our style and see if it is working effectively and going in the direction we consciously want it to?

Just give yourself a minute and think about who influences you as a parent – who were your role models?

Do you want to pass that style of parenting on or do you want to develop your own style, influencing your teenager in your own way?

All parenting is about CHANGE and how you adapt to it or face up to it. Do you put your head in the sand, embrace it or celebrate it as a natural part of your child growing up?

Do you “go with the flow” or push up the river fighting the current?

Well, here are some practical and simple solutions to help you all through this important time of change.

Remember all parenting is about change and how you handle it.

How you talked to your 4 year old and disciplined her is not necessarily going to work now she is 14!

Expect the unexpected, stay flexible and find new ways to communicate with your teenager that you both can enjoy. You probably have a personal philosophy on life, but have you got
a personal philosophy on your parenting?
Think about your principles and values that you hold dear. Have you got a clear vision of where you are going as a parent and what it is you want to achieve? It's the destination of your parenting – it keeps you going when times get tough.
Write down five or six clear statements in a positive tone about where you are going as a parent. This will help you “stay with it” when you are adapting to all the changes (and hormones!) in your home.

Author's Bio
Sue Atkins is a Parent Coach and Author of "Raising Happy Children for Dummies" one in the famous black and yellow series and mother of two teenage children. She has written many books on self esteem, toddlers and teenagers and has a collection of Parenting Made Easy Toolkits available from her website for toddler to teens. To find out more about her work and to receive her free monthly newsletter packed full of practical tips and helpful advice for bringing up happy, confident, well-balanced teenagers go to => www.positive-parents.com
source site: www.selfgrowth.com


kids... even tweens... too sexy too soon!

Too Sexy Too Soon

WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine

By Marisa Cohen

While it may seem cute when a 5-year-old copies the hip-shaking dance moves she sees on TV, it's also one of the first signs of how the adult concept of "sexiness" is being sold to younger and younger kids today, say Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., and Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D.

In their new book, So Sexy So Soon, the authors explore a culture where grade-schoolers want to dress like go-go dancers, 10-year-old boys have seen Internet porn, and 13-year-olds talk casually about oral sex. Here, Kilbourne discusses how childhood is changing, and what parents can do to protect their kids:

What's different about how little girls are acting and dressing today?

We used to dress up in our mother's clothes. Now little girls are dressing up as sexy teenagers, and there are clothes being marketed to them that look like they are from Victoria's Secret. I see little girls wearing strapless black numbers to the school dance! As a result, girls are getting the message that not only is it important to be pretty but it is also important to be hot and sexy. Research clearly shows that this pressure is damaging to girls' self-esteem.

How does this affect their relationships with boys?

Girls have always gotten the message that it's important to attract boys, but we used to get it a little later, when we were 12 or 13; now they're getting it as early as 6 or 7. Girls in grade school are competing with each other to see who's the hottest, and then boys are learning that's how they should look at girls. It sets up a dynamic that does an enormous amount of harm. Little boys learn to look at girls as objects rather than as friends.

What happens as kids get older?

When a girl has learned early on that what matters most is how sexy she is, then by the time she hits the tween years, the message is already deep in her psyche and it just becomes louder and more harmful. Sex gets speeded up — 12- and 13-year-olds are doing what 16-year-olds used to do, and by the time they're 16, many are already blasť about casual sex. That's when you hear about "friends with benefits" and kids thinking about sex as being separate from a relationship. This not only puts them at physical risk for STDs, unwanted pregnancy, or even date rape, but they also lose the chance to develop the empathy and compassion that are necessary to make intimate relationships work later on.

What can moms do?

When your children are younger, you can limit their exposure to certain media. As kids get older, stay familiar with what they are listening to and watching. Ask them why they like certain songs or clothes so you can open up a dialogue about it. It's so important to start talking to your kids about sexuality and relationships as early as possible, in an age-appropriate way. If they know they can ask you anything and they will not be punished or shamed for it, that will pay off in incredible dividends when they hit their teenage years. When kids feel like they can talk to you, they will.

source site: click here


they're just not with the program sometimes

Why Teens are Lousy at Chores

Finally researchers have come up with a reason other than pure laziness for why teenagers can't shower and brush their teeth or unload the dishwasher and wipe down the counter.

Blame it on "cognitive limitations." Their brains can't multitask as well as those of the taskmasters.

Trust, however, that they'll grow out of it.

The part of the brain responsible for multitasking continues to develop until late adolescence, with cells making connections even after some children are old enough to drive, according to a new study in the May/June issue of the journal Child Development.

The frontal cortex, which starts just behind the eyes and goes back almost to the ears, figures out (or doesn't) what to do when a person is asked to juggle multiple pieces of information. Imagine, then, how "make your bed and bring the laundry down" might befuddle a 13-year-old.

In one of the study's tests, subjects between ages 9 and 20 were given multiple pieces of information, then asked to re-order the information to formulate an accurate response to a question. In another of several tests, they were asked to find hidden items using a high degree of strategic thinking.

The ability to remember multiple bits of information developed through age 13 to 15, the study found. But strategic self-organized thinking, the type that demands a high level of multi-tasking skill, continues to develop until ages 16 to 17.

The notion is not entirely new. Brain imaging has suggested as much.

"Our findings lend behavioral support to that work and indicate that the frontal lobe is continuing to develop until late adolescence in a manner that depends upon the complexity of the task that is being demanded," said lead researcher Monica Luciana, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota.

Unfortunately the study did not reveal any solution to parents at their wits' end over the problem. But Luciana did offer this advice:

"We need to keep their cognitive limitations in mind, especially when adolescents are confronted with demanding situations in the classroom, at home, or in social gatherings."

source site: click here


Parenting Adolescents When You Have Changed the Rules

By Dr. Margaret Paul
November 14, 2007

Are you struggling with knowing how to set limits for your adolescent children? Are they resistant to doing what you want them to do? In this article, discover how to change all of this!

Marilee had grown up with very strict authoritarian parents, and decided that when she had children she would not be controlling with them the way her parents had been with her. Unfortunately, the only thing she knew to do was to be a permissive parent, which meant that instead of controlling her children, her children controlled her.

In the last year, Marilee went into Inner Bonding therapy and started to learn about self-care. She joined the Inner Bonding membership community to get the help and support she needed. She realized that she had been allowing her three children, who are now teenagers, to run all over her.

"How do I deal with my teenage kids now that I have had some recovery? I am struggling with setting healthy limits, with knowing what is a healthy boundary. What do I do about setting limits around TV and computer use? How do I set up a structure for chores? What do I do to encourage them to start to take personal responsibility?"

The first thing that Marilee needs to do is accept that she has no real control over her adolescent children. At this age, and having been given little responsibility and limits, it is unrealistic to expect them to suddenly do what she wants them to do. In addition, they are not at all used to considering the effect their behavior has on her. Because she had not been taking care of herself, they had not learned to be considerate of her or helpful toward her.

However, this does not mean that their behavior will not change. It will not change in response to her demands or limit setting, but it may change in response to HER changes. Instead of trying to control them into taking personal responsibility, Marilee needs to be a role model of personal responsibility.

One aspect of her taking personal responsibility may be to speak openly with her children. She can share with them why she chose to be permissive in the past, and why this is not working for her now. She can ask for their help in what to do about the TV, the computer, and chores. Most children are far more willing to help when they are part of the process of finding solutions than when rules are imposed on them.

Children are naturally helpful and considerate of their parents and take far more responsibility for themselves when their parents are role modeling personal responsibility for themselves. As Marilee continues to practice Inner Bonding and learn about taking loving care of herself, she will naturally stop allowing her children to control her and let go of trying to control them. As she learns to stay tuned into herself and take care of her own needs and feelings, her children will begin to learn to do the same. All people, and especially children, respond to ENERGY far more than to actual words. When Marilee's energy is kind and personally powerful, her children will naturally begin to respect her. As long as she is trying to control them and/or allowing them to control her, they will have no respect for her and will be resistant to doing what she asks of them. But when they experience her as loving and secure within her self, they will be far more likely to respect her and care about her concerns.

The bottom line is this: people tend to treat you the way you treat yourself. If you ignore your own feelings and needs, they will tend to ignore you as well. If you judge yourself harshly, they will tend to be judgmental toward you as well. If you try to control them into doing what you want, they will tend to be resistant.

Doing your own Inner Bonding work and becoming a happy, secure, personally powerful and personally responsible person is the very best way of influencing your children to do the same.

source site: www.innerbonding.com


Body Image Issues

they'll want to start shaving their legs at 10!

Ten Simple Things To Do Every Single Day As A Parent Of A Teenager
by Sue Atkins, the Official Guide To Teenagers and Parenting
• You can never be too loving with your teenage children.

Get rid of that old wives’ tale that hugging them, holding them, or telling them you love them is spoiling your children. If many of the parents of the world paid more attention to their children, the world would be a better and happier place.

I can think of many children who suffered because their parents were too busy, too selfish, or too preoccupied to spend time with them. I have never met a child who was worse off because their parents loved them too much. That situation’s just not possible.

But be more sensitive to how you show your affection when your child has turned into a self conscious teenager – a friendly pat on the back, or gently ruffling their hair is often more appropriate once they have hit the hormone zone!

• Act as a Role Model

Have you ever noticed that you have many of the same attitudes, habits, and opinions that your parents had when you were growing up and even though you swore you’d do it all differently? Well, that’s because your parents were your first, important role models, and you are now the same to your children.

Imitating parents is a natural part of how children develop and grow. Perhaps you’re not aware of the subtle messages you send to your teen all the time, particularly as they pretend not to notice now they are maturing, but all your actions and emotions are communicated to your kids. That’s why anxious parents produce anxious children and positive parents bring up confident kids!

• Involve Yourself in Your Child’s Life

One of the most important things you can do to safeguard your relationship is to spend time with them. None of us ever feels we “have enough time” to do the things we have to do much less the ones we’d like to do! But strong family ties are formed between teenage children and their parents if a little regular daily effort is made to spend time talking, eating and being with them. So ask yourself how you can enhance the quality of the time you spend with your teenage children?

Even teenage children with their own friends, lifestyle and interests should be absolutely sure that they can count on your time with them. Set aside time when you can give your full attention to your teen. Could it be at family dinner time, homework help time, or once-a-week outings? And each of your children needs some time to spend with you alone, apart from brothers and sisters.

• Share yourselves.

The whole point of spending time with your children is to share your own values, beliefs and enjoy being with them. Talking with and listening to your teen is one of the most important “quality time” activities you can do and it can happen anywhere, at any time—while folding the laundry, playing a game, doing the shopping, or driving home from Grandma’s house.

• Focus on Flexibility

Your role as a parent changes as your child grows. What worked well when your child was in nursery doesn’t necessarily work when she reaches junior school and is likely to outright fail when she enters adolescence.

The drive and independence that makes your three-year-old say ‘no’ all the time is actually part of the same process that makes your 13-year-old daughter argumentative at the dinner table. It is also what makes her more inquisitive in the classroom and even later on in her career.

So embrace the wider implications of your child’s actions. Parental flexibility is all about getting inside the mind of your child at their particular age.

• Set Boundaries and Rules

The two most important things children of all ages need from you are love and structure.

Some of the parents I work with don’t want to repeat the strict upbringing that they experienced, so they go the other way and have no rules or boundaries at all. They then wonder why their children don’t listen to or respect them or why they feel so exhausted all the time.

Even teenage children enjoy routine and knowing your rules. Like everything in life, providing your child with structure is a balancing act. Structure makes children feel the security of love around them. If your child feels insecure, they may fall in with the wrong crowd, try drugs to give them confidence or look for people interested and willing to spend time with them that may not have their best interest at heart.

Remember the real reason for having rules and setting boundaries is that over time your teenager can develop the ability to set their own boundaries and manage their own behaviour. You need to realise that your child’s ability to be controlled by you leads to their ability to control themselves.

• Be Consistent

The biggest single contributor to a teenager’s disciplinary problems is inconsistent parenting. I know you’re probably thinking, ‘Well, being consistent is easy to say, but hard to do’. True enough. But the secret of consistency is keeping your expectations clear and always meeting the same behaviour with the same reaction.

If you’re having trouble disciplining your teenager, the first thing to do is take a step back and ask yourself, ‘Am I being consistent?’

Parents have many reasons for becoming inconsistent, but stress and tiredness seem to be the most common. In today’s hectic and frenetic world, everyone gets tired. When you feel like giving in or that you don’t have the energy to take on the battle or argument, you can easily get distracted or lose your focus.

So take control of your time by the three “D’s” -

1. Deciding what you want to achieve each day and by setting yourself just one or two goals that you really want (not need) to accomplish.

2. Discarding any tasks or jobs that aren’t really important in the big scheme of life and

3. Delegating tasks that other people or your kids could do.
This frees up your energy and helps you to stay focused and consistent with your kids

• Encourage Independence

From the day you play ‘peek-a-boo’ with your baby, you’re preparing her for separation from you. From her first day at school, first sleepover, and first school trip to France to the day your daughter leaves home. Good parenting is a step-by-step process, a gradual moving out into the big world, confident and independent from you.

You tread a fine line: Good parenting requires a balance between involvement and independence. Your teenage child learns self-confidence from learning to manage their own self-sufficiency.

Parents, who encourage independence in their children, help them to develop a sense of self-direction. To be successful in life, children need both self-control and self-direction. They also need self-discipline to balance their own individual needs with the needs of others.

• Be Firm and Fair in Your Discipline

At each stage of your child’s development, you must establish your rules that you expect your child to obey. But you also need to expect that your child will at some point challenge you and test your limits. This behaviour’s just what kids do.


Your job is to do what’s best for your child, whether they like it or not. You are the adult; you are the more experienced, wiser person who can see the bigger picture. So don’t let your 14-year-old refuse to change her smelly shirt after a netball match because she gets all huffy and won’t speak to you for a couple of hours.

Don’t let your teenager get away with not emptying the dishwasher because you can’t bear her sulky behaviour as she does it.

Remember you are teaching life skills and helping to develop a well rounded, helpful, self reliant adult for the future and if it helps….this phase doesn’t last for ever!

Your child’s judgement isn’t as good as yours. You are building an adult and tomorrow’s future generation so stand your ground.

• Listen First, Talk Later


Listening is the best gift you can give anyone including your kids.

Listening makes teenagers feel valued, heard, and understood. It makes them feel important.

Through listening properly to your children, you help them find their own answers. They also let off steam. You may even get to ask the odd great question and your child may start to see things from a different perspective.

So turn down the TV, stop reading the paper, and stop peeling the potatoes. Look at your teenager and give them your full attention.

Listen with genuine interest and really pay attention to what they’re telling you. Keep an open mind and don’t judge or interrupt them. You know how frustrating it is when your friend or partner interrupts you, half listens, or just says ‘aaahh haaa’ now and again. Your kids deserve better.

I think it helps to remember that you have two ears and only one mouth for a reason!

• Respect Your Child

Your relationship with your child is the foundation of their relationships with others. If you treat your child with compassion, kindness, and respect, they’ll grow up to be concerned about others, caring, considerate, and respectful towards people.

If you are uncaring, rude, and dismissive, your child is very likely to have these characteristic when they grown up.

Respect is the key to a good family and it brings everyone together. Families don’t die from their setbacks, but they can wither and die from a negative, sarcastic, taunting, or guilt-ridden culture within them.


As obvious as this sounds, speak politely to your child and respect their opinion. Pay real attention when they speak to you and treat them kindly and remember, your children may choose your old people’s home one day !!!

Ask yourself:

• What small changes can I make this week to move me closer to my teenager?
• How can I show them my love in new more grown up ways?
• How can I listen to them more effectively this week?
• What would be the benefits to me, out relationship and to the family as a whole if I committed to these small changes?
• How can I manage my time more effectively this week?
• How can I be clear about setting firm, fair, specific and negotiated boundaries this week that are flexible but consistent for everyone?
• What will be the advantages of taking this action this week?
• When I hit an obstacle what can I do to get round it, through it or over it to keep moving towards the bigger picture to my parenting?

Author's Bio
Sue Atkins is a Parent Coach and Author of "Raising Happy Children for Dummies" one in the famous black and yellow series. She has written many books on self esteem, toddlers and teenagers and has a collection of Confident Parent Toolkits available from her website. To find out more about her work and to receive her free monthly newsletter packed full of practical tips and helpful advice for bringing up happy, confident, well-balanced children from toddler to teen go to => www.positive-parents.com 

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