Calm Cool and Collected… Parenting

Heard a fantastic NPR segment this morning about how parents can best manage the drama and craziness of their teenage sons and daughters. The premise of the piece was based on a new book called Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens + Teens – and from the four or so minutes I caught in the car – it’s an extremely helpful guide for navigating what are for some parents very tumultuous waters and uncovers the drivers for many infuriating aspects of teen’s behaviors. Apparently it’s not just about bad attitudes, being spoiled or disrespectful or carelessness or other commonly thought of drivers but simply an under-developed prefontal cortex.

Here are a few examples of the situations the book address and provides approaches for parents on how to handle:

  • When your teen is rude and sarcastic
  • When your smart teen does something really dumb
  • When teen problems drive a wedge between you and your spouse
  • When your teen is acting like a spoiled brat
  • When you’re worried you’re losing your teen
  • When teens are mean

The book, written by psychologist Laura Kastner and Jennifer Wyatt, is based on years of research so it’s not based on subjective opinions or lifestyle choices. What’s really helpful is that the book actually provides a blueprint on how to handle specific situations. So clearly one that you want to keep on your nightstand for several years.