Teaching and parenting today’s teens and tweens can be complicated. Fortunately, there are lots of people writing about the issues we all face. These are the articles we found most useful in 2018.
In 2018 readers were focused on the ongoing issues of friendship problems and social media, which is really no surprise. They are the areas that cause us most grief and often it is difficult to find concrete advice.
We also had a growing interest in the way the brain develops. I think that is great news for our kids. The more understanding we have of what is going on in their brains, the better chance we have of coaching kids through their inevitable struggles.
Most of all, we loved articles that told us what we want to know in a direct, intelligent way.
So let’s have a look at our faves from 2018:
1. What You Need To Know About Girls and Their Frenemies
This post has been around a while but still came in at #1 this year. It is about relational aggression, or what we commonly call ‘mean girl behaviour’. The article explains why it happens and what we can do about it.
2. Middle School Misfortunes Then and Now, One Teacher’s Take
I loved this post. It compares middle school now to middle school before mobile phones. It is an eye-opener and a bit of a heart crusher. It’s hard not to feel sorry for our kids after reading this piece.
3. Phew! It’s Normal. An Age by Age Guide for What to Expect From Kids & Teens – And What They Need From Us
This article by Karen Young was one of the most informative of the year. It looks at the way the brain develops and the impact that development has on our kids’ experience of the world. If you want to understand the adolescent brain and anxiety, you really should be following Hey Sigmund!
4. Seven ways parents can teach girls to build one another up, instead of tearing one another down
It’s often noted that women are their own worst enemy, they often tear each other down instead of lifting each other up. It comes from a notion of scarcity. That is, there are only so many positions for successful women so we have to fight for them. This article opposes that notion and gives seven ways we can teach our girls to support one another. Great stuff!
5. Five Truths About Friendship That Will Save Your Kids A Lot Of Grief
I think this article really hit home because it is brutally honest. We romanticise friendship in our culture and it does our kids no favours. This article outlines five truths about friendship every child should be taught.
6. An Empowering Way to Respond to Hurtful People
We can’t save our children from the hurts they will experience at the hands of others, but we can reframe them. This article reveals a great way of empowering kids when they have received an emotional blow.
7. How To Help Introverts To Be Happy And Thrive At School
If you are an introvert, this article is likely to have caught your eye. It looks at the experience of school from an introvert’s perspective. It also challenges some of the expectations we have of introverts that are unnecessary and surely outdated.
8. The Silent Tragedy Affecting Today’s Kids
This article has been around for a while but clearly still had a big impact in 2018. Over 20 million people have read Victoria Prooday’s frank assessment of our children’s entitled attitudes and inability to relate to others and form meaningful relationships. The great thing about this article is that she doesn’t just criticise, she provides suggestions on how we can address these problems. It’s a good read!
9. How Not To Be A Dickhead Parent
This viral post from Melbourne-based writer Kate Forster was published on a number of sites this year. As you can tell from the title, it takes a frank approach. Read the list of 29 do’s and don’t of how to be a parent. It’s amusing and there is a lot of truth to what she says.
10. Why Technology In Children’s Bedroom Is Bad News
The final article in our list gave the reasons and research behind the idea that kids shouldn’t have their phones and laptops in their bedrooms. It also dwells on the hypocrisy of parents having rules for kids to save them from technology but then not following those rules ourselves.
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Linda Stade has worked in various teaching and management roles in education for twenty-five years. She has worked in government and private schools, country and city, single-sex and co-ed. Currently, she is the Research Officer at Santa Maria College, Western Australia.