According to leading Australian parent educators Ken and Elizabeth Mellor, parents need to stay very involved, not 'step back', as their children become teenagers--because teenagers in the early to middle teen years actually want to be controlled, despite what they might say!
As well as parental involvement, teenagers need attention to safety, clear expectations and limits, and for their parents to understand what is happening. These are the cornerstones of the approach the Mellors recommend.
This updated edition of their successful guide includes new inon significant issues for parents: cyber bullying, pornograteen suicide, social media and mentoring.
The core of their book is an analysis of the six distinct stages of the teenage years. Parents find that knowing which stage their child is in, and what their child needs at that particular stage, helps them greatly. The six stages are:
- 1. The baby (thirteen-year-olds);
- 2. The dissenter (fourteen-year-olds).
- 3. The fledgling (fifteen-year-olds);
- 4. The sweet and sour (sixteen-year-olds);
- 5. The romantic (seventeen-year-olds);
- 6. The world leader (eighteen- to twenty-one-year-olds).
Among the book's other key features are:Each stage requires specific responses from parents that rarely work for the other stages; Teenagers need lots of time and attention in the early to middle years, particularly if they 'slip back' to more infantile behaviour; Parents need to be aware of the more grown-up aspects of their teenagers' development so they can encourage this, even in the face of their childrens' emotional immaturity; Parents and teachers need to read any signs of trouble in a teenager correctly--and the Mellors include a chart, the Rainbow Alert Scale, to help with this important task.