June 01, 2009

losing control & liking it

So, I wanted to share a few of the key tidbits that I learned from the "Losing Control & Liking It" book I just read about teenagers. If you have a teen, perhaps some of this will help you out.

:: You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. One truth is that it is not a parent’s job to make sure a child “turns out right”; a child must choose to turn out right.

:: A dad’s primary job is to validate. Let them know they are good enough and that they matter.

:: A mom’s primary job is to nurture. Enable a child to develop fully by pouring life into them, by modeling joy and passion, by filling them up with aliveness.

:: Teen brains are not finished developing yet - stops growing in early 20s. We can't expect fully developed decisions from them.

:: God let Adam & Eve make a stupid choice by eating the apple. He knew they would do so, he did not stop them from doing so. He let their free will make their own choice, and since it was a stupid choice, there were consequences to suffer. We have to try to be the same with our children.

:: The Three Rules of Life:
1. We all live and die by our own choices
2. You can choose smart or choose stupid
3. There is always someone/something whose job is to make your life miserable when you choose stupid

:: What I can control -- myself only

:: What I cannot control -- everyone and everything else

:: Four Styles of the Control Grid:
1. HOLDers (what’s mine is mine)
Responsible, honest, truthful, willing to accept consequences, taking ownership of self
2. TOSSers (what’s mine is yours)
Irresponsible, liar, denier, blamer, avoider, untrustworthy, shirking consequences
3. GRABers (what’s yours is mine)
Overresponsible, fixer, rescuer, enabler, martyr, accepting consequences for things that aren’t
yours, over controlling, thinking problems are your fault
4. FOLDers (what’s yours is yours)
Minding own business, honest, trustworthy, letting consequences fall where they belong, not
taking ownership of other’s stuff

You want to aim to be a HOLDer when dealing with your own stuff, and aim to be a FOLDer when dealing with other people's stuff.

:: Rules:
1. The reason for rules is to keep safety in and chaos out.
2. Have as few rules as possible.
3. Make the rules specific and quantitative
4. Make sure you can enforce the rule.
5. Is the rule worth fighting about?
6. Be sure your motive for the rule is a good one.
7. Realize that rules should change as teens get older.
8. Be consistent.

:: Anger
1. Anger is a combination of hurt and worry.
2. When angry, follow two principles: don’t hurt yourself and don’t hurt others.

:: College
1. Today’s attitude seems to be that parents are obligated to pay for a child’s college education. This is not true. There are scholarships & school loans. Children tend to take their studies more seriously when they are footing the bill.
2. If you WANT to help with expenses, don’t use the money to manipulate or control. Set up guidelines and an ending date. Anything over that should be the responsibility of the student. They would need to keep a certain GPA or the money would be frozen.

:: As parents, we can only guide, influence, advise…the only one that has control over a teen’s choices is the teen herself.

Only your teen can choose for themself.

To me, the whole "smart choice" / "stupid choice" is a powerful concept. Every thing we do in a day is a choice, big or small. And to realize that Aspen is the only one who can make those choices for herself is big...since both Chris and I are huge perfectionists and control freaks, it will be difficult for us to let go and learn to work with that concept.

I'd love to hear any thoughts you might have...


Jackie said...

Sounds like an awesome book! Good concepts for everyone to apply to themselves, not just teens. And I already know that it's hard to let go an not try to micromanage and control your child's life. I'm already trying to let the girls be their own people as much as possible & to learn by doing. Jeesh, it is TOUGH!

The Stucks said...

It's hard to accept that I am not the reason for every behavior I see in my children (what I really mean is any behavior I'd rather not see). I blame myself and even though they are little, they still make choices. My girls are taught every day that each choice has a consequence...you decide what kind of consequence you want, good or bad. So hard to let them go!!!

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