Parenting A Teenager Quotes

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If you surround yourself with the good and righteous, they can only raise you up. If you surround yourself with the others, they will drag you down into the doldrums of mediocrity, and they will keep you there, but only as long as you permit it.
Mark Glamack
Bribes are the glue that's kept teenagers and parents connected for generations
Gayle Forman (If I Stay (If I Stay, #1))
Too many adults wish to 'protect' teenagers when they should be stimulating them to read of life as it is lived.
Margaret A. Edwards
The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.
Quentin Crisp
I cannot help but wonder if any parents ever actually schedule in adolescent drama on their day planners. Looks like a slow week, Sarah. I guess I can pencil in your eating disorder.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
All teenagers knew this was true. The process of growing up was nothing more than figuring out what doors hadn't yet been slammed in your face. For years, parents tell you that you can be anything, have anything, do anything. That was why she'd been so eager to grow up-until she got to adolescence and hit a big fat wall ofreality. As it turned out, she couldn't have anything she wanted. You didn't get to be pretty or smart or popular just because you wanted it. You didn't control your own destiny, you were too busy trying to fit in.
Jodi Picoult (The Tenth Circle)
In his youth Albert Einstein spent a year loafing aimlessly. You don't get anywhere by not 'wasting' time- something, unfortunately, that the parents of teenagers tend frequently to forget.
Carlo Rovelli (Seven Brief Lessons on Physics)
I just want ambitious teenagers to know it is totally fine to be quite, observant kids. Besides being a delight to your parents, you will find you have plenty of time later to catch up.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
Parents have this twisted belief that anyone under the age of about twenty simply can’t know what love is, like the age to love is assessed in the same way the law assesses the legal age to drink. They think that the ‘emotional growth’ of a teenager’s mind is too underdeveloped to understand love, to know if it’s ‘real’ or not. That's completely asinine. The truth is that adults love in different ways, not the only way.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
If you want to have a more pleasant,cooperative teenager, be a more understanding, emphatic, consistent, loving parent.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
Babies are soft. Anyone looking at them can see the tender, fragile skin and know it for the rose-leaf softness that invites a finger's touch. But when you live with them and love them, you feel the softness going inward, the round-cheeked flesh wobbly as custard, the boneless splay of the tiny hands. Their joints are melted rubber, and even when you kiss them hard, in the passion of loving their existence, your lips sink down and seem never to find bone. Holding them against you, they melt and mold, as though they might at any moment flow back into your body. But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child. That thing that says "I am," and forms the core of personality. In the second year, the bone hardens and the child stands upright, skull wide and solid, a helmet protecting the softness within. And "I am" grows, too. Looking at them, you can almost see it, sturdy as heartwood, glowing through the translucent flesh. The bones of the face emerge at six, and the soul within is fixed at seven. The process of encapsulation goes on, to reach its peak in the glossy shell of adolescence, when all softness then is hidden under the nacreous layers of the multiple new personalities that teenagers try on to guard themselves. In the next years, the hardening spreads from the center, as one finds and fixes the facets of the soul, until "I am" is set, delicate and detailed as an insect in amber.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
It's especially hard to admit that you made a mistake to your parents, because, of course, you know so much more than they do.
Sean Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens: The Ultimate Teenage Success Guide)
Nico realized how ridiculous it sounded. He’d never told anyone about Jules-Albert – not even Hazel. But he kept talking. ‘Hades had this idea that I should, you know, try to act like a modern teenager. Make friends. Get to know the twenty-first century. He vaguely understood that mortal parents drive their kids around a lot. He couldn’t do that. So his solution was a zombie.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
...all teenagers do this. All teenagers separate from their parents. To grow up is to grow apart.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
Parents, she thought, learned to survive touching their children less and less. As a baby Pearl had clung to her; she’d worn Pearl in a sling because whenever she’d set her down, Pearl would cry. There’d scarcely been a moment in the day when they had not been pressed together. As she got older, Pearl would still cling to her mother’s leg, then her waist, then her hand, as if there was something in her mother she needed to absorb through the skin. Even when she had her own bed, she would often crawl into Mia’s in the middle of the night and burrow under the old patchwork quilt, and in the morning they would wake up tangled, Mia’s arm pinned beneath Pearl’s head, or Pearl’s legs thrown across Mia’s belly. Now, as a teenager, Pearl’s caresses had become rare—a peck on the cheek, a one-armed, half-hearted hug—and all the more precious because of that. It was the way of things, Mia thought to herself, but how hard it was. The occasional embrace, a head leaned for just a moment on your shoulder, when what you really wanted more than anything was to press them to you and hold them so tight you fused together and could never be taken apart. It was like training yourself to live on the smell of an apple alone, when what you really wanted was to devour it, to sink your teeth into it and consume it, seeds, core, and all.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
Not a word. Being a hypocrite is the only way people who were once teenagers can be parents without going out of their damn minds.
DiscontentedWinter (Balloon Animals Are Awesome)
Daily I walk around my small, picturesque town with a thought bubble over my head: Person Going Through A Divorce. When I look at other people, I automatically form thought bubbles over their heads. Happy Couple With Stroller. Innocent Teenage Girl With Her Whole Life Ahead Of Her. Content Grandmother And Grandfather Visiting Town Where Their Grandchildren Live With Intact Parents. Secure Housewife With Big Diamond. Undamaged Group Of Young Men On Skateboards. Good Man With Baby In BabyBjörn Who Loves His Wife. Dogs Who Never Have To Worry. Young Kids Kissing Publicly. Then every so often I see one like me, one of the shambling gaunt women without makeup, looking older than she is: Divorcing Woman Wondering How The Fuck This Happened.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
It is a healthy approach not to expect persons to turn out precisely how you would have wished.
Criss Jami (Healology)
And because I had been a hustler, I knew better than all whites knew, and better than nearly all of the black 'leaders' knew, that actually the most dangerous black man in America was the ghetto hustler. Why do I say this? The hustler, out there in the ghetto jungles, has less respect for the white power structure than any other Negro in North America. The ghetto hustler is internally restrained by nothing. He has no religion, no concept of morality, no civic responsibility, no fear--nothing. To survive, he is out there constantly preying upon others, probing for any human weakness like a ferret. The ghetto hustler is forever frustrated, restless, and anxious for some 'action'. Whatever he undertakes, he commits himself to it fully, absolutely. What makes the ghetto hustler yet more dangerous is his 'glamour' image to the school-dropout youth in the ghetto.These ghetto teen-agers see the hell caught by their parents struggling to get somewhere, or see that they have given up struggling in the prejudiced, intolerant white man’s world. The ghetto teen-agers make up their own minds they would rather be like the hustlers whom they see dressed ‘sharp’ and flashing money and displaying no respect for anybody or anything. So the ghetto youth become attracted to the hustler worlds of dope, thievery, prostitution, and general crime and immorality.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
Please don’t hate you??!! I hate that I love you. Loving you made me waste a year of my life. Loving you made me be passionate about nothing but you. Loving you made me take risks I never would have otherwise. Loving you made me give it up to you. Loving you made me neglect my parents and Amy. Loving you made me not care that my grandma just died. Loving you made me turn out bitter and hopeless like her. Loving you made me hate myself for being dumped by you. Loving you made me deluded, irrational, inconsiderate, and a liar. And because I love you, you’re always going to haunt me.
Daria Snadowsky (Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Anatomy, #1))
When you blame others, what you are really saying is what is inside of you can’t be fixed, so you have no control of your own happiness. Therefore, you have made the conscience choice to give focus and fuel to a bad situation that will take you nowhere and give you nothing, but ignorance and pain.
Shannon L. Alder
Why do women waste their time trying to convince their insecure family members and girlfriends that they are beautiful? Self esteem is not a beauty cream that you can rub all over them and see instant results. Instead, convince them they are not stupid. Every intelligent woman knows outward beauty is a nip, tuck, chemical peel or diet away. If you don't like it, fix it.
Shannon L. Alder
But I'm learning it's human nature to want the things you can't have. What changes is how you go about pursuing the things you want. When you're a little kid and you're told no, you scream and throw a temper tantrum. When you're a teenager and your parents tell you no, you're old enough to internalize your temper tantrum. But you're smarter and you're sneakier this time around. So you nod and act like you care when they say no, when they tell you who you can be friends with, when they say the know what's best. But then you go behind their backs to do it anyway. Because at some point, you need to start calling the shots. At some point, you need to start believing you know whats best. Or, I thought with a smile, you just stop asking for their permission in the first place.
Katie Kacvinsky (Awaken (Awaken, #1))
Because the enormous narcissism of their parents deprived Will and Tom of suitable role models, both brothers learned to identify with absence. Consequently, even if something beneficial fortuitously entered their lives they immediately treated it as temporary. By the time they were teenagers they were already accustomed to a discontinuous lifestyle marked by constant threats of abandonment and the lack of any emotional stability. Unfortunately, "accustomed to" here is really synonymous with "damaged by.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
So it is written - but so, too, it is crossed out. You can write it over again. You can make notes in the margins. You can cut out the whole page. You can, and you must, edit and rewrite and reshape and pull out the wrong parts like bones and find just the thing and you can forever, forever, write more and more and more, thicker and longer and clearer. Living is a paragraph, constantly rewritten. It is Grown-Up Magic. Children are heartless; their parents hold them still, squirming and shouting, until a heart can get going in their little lawless wilderness. Teenagers crash their hearts into every hard and thrilling thing to see what will give and what will hold. And Grown-Ups, when they are very good, when they are very lucky, and very brave, and their wishes are sharp as scissors, when they are in the fullness of their strength, use their hearts to start their story over again.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland, #3))
Most parents try really hard to give their kids the best possible life. They give them the best food and clothes they can afford, take their own kind of take on training kids to be honest and polite. But what they don't realize is no matter how much they try, their kids will get out there. Out to this complicated little world. If they are lucky they will survive, through backstabbers, broken hearts, failures and all the kinds of invisible insane pressures out there. But most kids get lost in them. They will get caught up in all kinds of bubbles. Trouble bubbles. Bubbles that continuously tell them that they are not good enough. Bubbles that get them carried away with what they think is love, give them broken hearts. Bubbles that will blur the rest of the world to them, make them feel like that is it, that they've reached the end. Sometimes, even the really smart kids, make stupid decisions. They lose control. Parents need to realize that the world is getting complicated every second of every day. With new problems, new diseases, new habits. They have to realize the vast probability of their kids being victims of this age, this complicated era. Your kids could be exposed to problems that no kind of therapy can help. Your kids could be brainwashed by themselves to believe in insane theories that drive them crazy. Most kids will go through this stage. The lucky ones will understand. They will grow out of them. The unlucky ones will live in these problems. Grow in them and never move forward. They will cut themselves, overdose on drugs, take up excessive drinking and smoking, for the slightest problems in their lives. You can't blame these kids for not being thankful or satisfied with what they have. Their mentality eludes them from the reality.
Thisuri Wanniarachchi (COLOMBO STREETS)
We had no one else to learn this from- none of our parents were shining examples of relationship success- so we learned this from each other: when someone you love needs you to, you can get a hold of your five-alarm temper, get a hold of the shapeless things that scare you senseless, act like an adult instead of the Cro-Magnon teenager you are, you can do a million things you never saw coming.
Tana French (Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3))
Raising teenage sons and daughters is a long and tiresome journey. With God's help the final outcome will be worthwhile.
Ana Monnar
When we became teenagers boredom grew like a moth in a cocoon fighting to escape, and the peace created by our parents became a prison. We sought excitement and adventure. We sought anything but the sinless, pure, and average of the faux idyllic.
Scott Thompson (Young Men Shall See)
... you cow,' Estelle added. 'I heard that.' 'Give the woman the geriatric audiology medal,' Estelle said. 'I heard that, too', her mother said, from the other side of the door.
Fiona Wood (Six Impossible Things)
Positive Words Are Blessings - Kailin Gow, Amazon Lee Adventures
Kailin Gow
No one tells you before you procreate that the hardest thing about being a good parent is that you never feel like one. If you’re absent you’re committing one big mistake, but if you’re present the whole time you commit a million tiny ones, and teenagers keep a count. Oh, how they keep a count.
Fredrik Backman (The Winners (Beartown, #3))
Leah looked at her parents, lost in their own fantasies, and decided that the three of them were a pretty pathetic family - but she wasn't sure who was more pathetic: the dateless girl spending the night of the big dance by herself in her bedroom, or the parents who foolishly believed a boy would arrive on their doorstep with flowers, a limo, and a promise to rescue their daughter from her solitude.
J.M. Reep (Leah)
Only a teenage boy would agree to this: deceiving both our parents while repairing dangerous vehicles using money meant for my college education. He didn't see anything wrong with that picture. Jacob was a gift from the gods.
Stephenie Meyer (New Moon (The Twilight Saga, #2))
You swear you’ll never become your parents. You listen to edgy music, you dress young and hip, you have sex standing up and on kitchen tables, you say “fuck” and “shit” a lot, and then one day, without warning, their words emerge from your mouth like long-dormant sleeper agents suddenly activated. You’re still young enough to hear these words through the ears of the teenager sitting beside you, and you realize how pitiful and ultimately futile your efforts will be, a few measly sandbags against the tidal wave of genetic destiny.
Jonathan Tropper (How to Talk to a Widower)
...but maybe it's just the genetic code of a teenager. If your parents forbid something, you have to want it.
Brynna Gabrielson (Starkissed)
Make your church a context where parents know that the right response to their teenagers is never to reject them as human beings, never to throw them out.
David P. Gushee (Changing Our Mind)
Teaching a boy to be a man is the primary job of a father.
Clayton Lessor MA, LPC
When dreaded outcomes are actually imminent we don't worry about themwe take action. Seeing lava from the local volcano make its way down the street toward our house does not cause worry it causes running. Also we don't usually choose imminent events as subjects for our worrying and thus emerges an ironic truth: Often the very fact that you are worrying about something means that it isn't likely to happen.
Gavin de Becker (Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane))
Children are no longer being parented, but are raised. Thats why they don't have morals, ethics,humanity and manners, because their parents neglected them. We now live in a society that doesnt care about right or wrong.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
The biggest test for parents is not how they parent, but how the respond to disorder and unpredictability.
Sarah Newton
Checking in on what our kids are doing online isn't helicoptering, it's parenting.
Galit Breen (Kindness Wins)
As parents we're meant to help each other out and build each other up.
Galit Breen (Kindness Wins)
When a boy feels as if no one cares about him, or as if he will never amount to anything, he truly believes it doesn’t matter what he does.
Clayton Lessor MA, LPC
There’s a wound most troubled boys share, which, at its core, comes from the feeling that they don’t have their father’s unconditional love.
Clayton Lessor MA, LPC
Let your child see you doing a good deed instead of you telling him or her to do it, and the little child shall one day grow up to become a real kind human being.
Abhijit Naskar (Human Making is Our Mission: A Treatise on Parenting (Humanism Series))
It’s a strange thing, being the parent of a teenager. One thing to raise a little boy, another entirely when a person on the brink of adulthood looks to you for wisdom. I feel like I have little to give. I know there are fathers who see the world a certain way, with clarity and confidence, who know just what to say to their sons and daughters. But I’m not one of them. The older I get, the less I understand. I love my son. He means everything to me. And yet, I can’t escape the feeling that I’m failing him. Sending him off to the wolves with nothing but the crumbs of my uncertain perspective.
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
From the time he was young, he dressed the way you told him to dress; he acted the way you told him to act; he said the things you told him to say. He's been listening to somebody else tell him what to do... He hasn't changed. He is still listening to somebody else tell him what to do. The problem is, it isn't you any,ore; it's his peers.
Barbara Coloroso (Kids Are Worth It!: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline)
I stumbled upon Friedrich Nietzsche when I was 17, following the usual trail of existential candies—Camus, Sartre, Beckett—that unsuspecting teenagers find in the woods. The effect was more like a drug than a philosophy. I was whirled upward—or was it downward?—into a one-man universe, a secret cult demanding that you put a gun to the head of your dearest habits and beliefs. That intoxicating whiff of half-conscious madness; that casually hair-raising evisceration of everything moral, responsible and parentally approved—these waves overwhelmed my adolescent dinghy. And even more than by his ideas—many of which I didn't understand at all, but some of which I perhaps grasped better then than I do now—I was seduced by his prose. At the end of his sentences you could hear an electric crack, like the whip of a steel blade being tested in the air. He might have been the Devil, but he had better lines than God.
Gary Kamiya
It's 5:22pm you're in the grocery checkout line. Your three-year-old is writhing on the floor, screaming, because you have refused to buy her a Teletubby pinwheel. Your six-year-old is whining, repeatedly, in a voice that could saw through cement, "But mommy, puleeze, puleeze" because you have not bought him the latest "Lunchables," which features, as the four food groups, Cheetos, a Snickers, Cheez Whiz, and Twizzlers. Your teenager, who has not spoken a single word in the past foor days, except, "You've ruined my life," followed by "Everyone else has one," is out in the car, sulking, with the new rap-metal band Piss on the Parentals blasting through the headphones of a Discman. To distract yourself, and to avoid the glares of other shoppers who have already deemed you the worst mother in America, you leaf through People magazine. Inside, Uma thurman gushes "Motherhood is Sexy." Moving on to Good Housekeeping, Vanna White says of her child, "When I hear his cry at six-thirty in the morning, I have a smile on my face, and I'm not an early riser." Another unexpected source of earth-mother wisdom, the newly maternal Pamela Lee, also confides to People, "I just love getting up with him in the middle of the night to feed him or soothe him." Brought back to reality by stereophonic whining, you indeed feel as sexy as Rush Limbaugh in a thong.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
As a kid you idolize your parents. You think they're perfect, because they're the yardstick by which you measure the rest of the world, and yourself. Then as a teenager they just piss you off, because you realize that not only are they not perfect, but they may be even a little more screwed up than you. But there's that moment when you realize they're not superheroes, or villains. They're painfully, unforgivably human. The question is, can you forgive them for being human anyway?
Neal Shusterman (Dry)
The typical atheist rebels against God as a teenager rebels against his parents. When his own desires or standards are not fulfilled in the way that he sees fit, he, in revolt, storms out of the house in denial of the Word of God and in scrutiny of a great deal of those who stand by the Word of God. The epithet 'Heavenly Father' is a grand reflection, a relation to that of human nature.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
A boy in my house was strange enough. But a guy who was that comfortable in someone else's house, around a parent? A boy who knew how to chop vegetables? A boy who voluntarily helped with everything? Was he one of those adults masqerading as a teenager! Was he a narc or something? Maybe there was a big drug problem at my school and twenty-five-year-old Robbie had been sent in to fix it. Except that he'd been around since kindergarten, so unless the cops planned way ahead, that was out of the question.
Kieran Scott (Geek Magnet)
Secretly, I still get proud of the ways Rosie and I loved each other. We had no one else to learn from - none of our parents were shining examples of relationship success - so we learned this from each other: when someone you love needs you to, you can get a hold of your five-alarm temper, get a hold of the shapeless things that scare you senseless, act like an adult instead of the Cro-Magnon teenager you are, you can do a million things you never saw coming.
Tana French (Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3))
The absolute best way to raise kind kids, is to be kind parents.
Galit Breen (Kindness Wins)
I've decided it's not about me at all. It's a protective mechanism for them, a way of buffering themselves against my future death, like when teenagers distance themselves from their parents in preparation for leaving home.
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
there was a song i heard when i was in los angeles by a local group. the song was called "los angeles" and the words and images were so harsh and bitter that the song would reverberate in my mind for days. the images, i later found out, were personal and no one i knew shared them. the images i had were of people being driven mad by living in the city. images of parents who were so hungry and unfulfilled that they ate their own children. images of people, teenagers my own age, looking up from the asphalt and being blinded by the sun. these images stayed with me even after i left the city. images so violent and malicious that they seemed to be my only point of reference for a long time afterwards. after i left.
Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero)
I was just four when a hired teenage field hand attempted to molest me. Miraculously, I got away, and I told my dad. My father made three important choices that day: He listened to me, he believed me, and he took action. I was one of the fortunate ones--I had a childhood.
Carolyn Byers Ruch
Baby boomers and their music rebelled against parents because they were parents—nurturing, attentive, and overly present (as those teenagers often saw it) authority figures. Today’s teenagers and their music rebel against parents because they are not parents—not nurturing, not attentive, and often not even there.
Ben Shapiro (Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future)
There's a girl calm people don't know about. It's a girl teen standstill. A motionless peace. It doesn't come from anywhere but inside us, and it only lasts for a few years. It's born from being a not woman yet. It's free flowing and invisible. It's the eye of the violent storm you call my teenage daughter. In this place we are undisturbed by all the moronic things you think about us. Our voices like rain falling. We are serene. Smooth. With more perfect hair and skin than you will ever again know. Daughters of Eve.
Lidia Yuknavitch (Dora: A Headcase)
No. Absolutely not. I forbid it. You'll have nightmares." "She was my friend! You must allow me. Why are you so horrid?" As soon as the angry words were out of my mouth, I knew I had gone too far. "Matilda!" Mother rose from her chair. "You are forbidden to pseak to me in that tone! Apologize at once.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Fever 1793)
Whatever emotional state you’re in while you’re parenting conveys more to your child than the content of what you're doing with them, no matter how perfect your intervention looks "on paper." In other words, to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, "your emotional state is the message.
Michael Y. Simon (The Approximate Parent: Discovering the Strategies that Work for Your Teenager)
My work with teenagers has convinced me that one of the main reasons teenagers are not excited by the gospel is that they do not think they need it. Many parents have successfully raised self-righteous little Pharisees. When they look at themselves, they do not see a sinner in desperate need, so they are not grateful for a Savior. Sadly, the same is true of many of their parents.
Timothy D. Lane (How People Change: How Christ Changes Us by His Grace, Leader's Guide)
I don’t think I like that boy.” He growled, glaring for effect, just in case I hadn’t figured out his oh-so-subtle interpersonal cues. “He’s a sweet kid,” I insisted, folding the gray blazer over my arm. “He’s a teenage boy,” Cal said, his dark eyes narrowed. “They’re all sexual deviants under the surface. I should know. I was a teenage boy once.” “Thousands of years ago,” I countered. “Times may change, but testosterone does not.
Molly Harper (The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires (Half-Moon Hollow, #1))
Nicole’s door opened, and she stomped down the hall. “I have something to say,” she said, giving him the Slitty Eyes of Death. “You’re totally unfair, and if I run away, you shouldn’t be surprised.” “Don’t make me put a computer chip in your ear,” Liam answered. “It’s not funny! I hate you.” “Well, I love you, even if you did ruin my life by turning into a teenager,” he said, rubbing his eyes. “Did you study for your test?” “Yes.” “Good.” He looked at his daughter—so much like Emma, way too pretty. Why weren’t there convent schools anymore? Or chastity belts? “Want some supper? I saved your plate.” She rolled her eyes with all the melodrama a teenager could muster. “Fine. I may as well become a fat pig since I can’t ever go on a date.” “That’s my girl,” he said and, grinning, got up to heat up her dinner.
Kristan Higgins (Until There Was You)
And what do you do in the face of this powerlessness? As a parent?" "You get to be obsessed and angry," Tom said. "And they get to be the age they are, and act like teenagers if they want to. There is a zero-percent chance you will change them. So we breathe in, and out, talk to friends, as needed. We show up, wear clean underwear, say hello to strangers. We plant bulbs, and pick up litter, knowing there will be more in twenty minutes. We pray that we might cooperate with any flicker of light we can find in the world.
Anne Lamott (Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son)
It’s selfish and horrible, but in this terrible moment, all I want is to be a plain old American teenager. Who can simply mourn without fear. Who doesn’t share last names with a suicide bomber. Who goes to dances and can talk to her parents about anything and can walk around without always being anxious. And who isn’t a presumed terrorist first and an American second.
Samira Ahmed (Love, Hate & Other Filters)
While you may be able to keep your son Jimmy from owning [a gun], if you try to talk him out of wanting one, you are up against a pretty strong argument: You mean I shouldn't want a device that grants me power and identity, makes me feel dangerous and safe at the same time, instantly makes me the dominant male, and connects me to my evolutionary essence? Come on, Mom, get real!
Gavin de Becker (Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane))
Judith Rey watches the young woman. Once upon a time, I had a baby daughter. I dressed her in frilly frocks, enrolled her for ballet classes, and sent her to horse-riding camp five summers in a row. But look at her. She turned into Lester anyway. She kisses Luisa’s forehead. Luisa frowns, suspiciously, like a teenager. “What?
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
For some parents, as with Jason’s father, the least popular feature of their children is defiance. Yet it is one of the most important for safety. If defiance is always met with discipline and never with discussion, that can handicap a child. The moment the two-year-old defiantly asserts his will for the first time may be cause for celebration, not castigation, for he is building the courage to resist. If your teenage daughter never tests her defiance on you, she may well be unable to use it on a predator.
Gavin de Becker (Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane))
Dad, I’m not at all sure I can follow you any longer in your simple Christian faith’ stated the clergyman’s son when he returned from the university for holidays with a fledgling scholar’s assured arrogance. The father’s black eyes skewered his son, who was 'lost,' as C.S. Lewis put it ‘in the invincible ignorance of his intellect.’ ‘Son,’ the father said, ‘That is your freedom, your terrible freedom.
Ruth Bell Graham
My research continues to amaze and baffle me. As human beings, we are geniuses. What we didn’t get from the home, we find ways of getting elsewhere. It’s evident, then, when one looks at the stats we don’t have a teenage pregnancy problem and we don’t have a street gang problem. I will even suggest that we don’t have a drug and alcohol problem, nor do we have a crime problem rather, these are only the symptoms that we are experiencing, and the real problem is broken homes that result in broken lives.
Drexel Deal (The Fight of My Life is Wrapped Up in My Father (The Fight of My Life is Wrapped in My Father Book 1))
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
When a child reaches adolescence, there is very apt to be a conflict between parents and child, since the latter considers himself to be by now quite capable of managing his own affairs, while the former are filled with parental solicitude, which is often a disguise for love of power. Parents consider, usually, that the various moral problems which arise in adolescence are peculiarly their province. The opinions they express, however, are so dogmatic that the young seldom confide in them, and usually go their own way in secret.
Bertrand Russell (Marriage and Morals)
Parents need to realize that the world is getting complicated every second. With new problems, new diseases, new habits. They have to realize the vast probability of their kids being victims of this age, this complicated era. Your kids could be exposed to problems that no kind of therapy can help. Your kids could be brainwashed by themselves to believe in insane theories that drive them crazy. Most kids will go through this stage. The lucky ones will understand. They will grow out of them. The most unlucky ones will live in these problems. Grow in them and never move forward. They will cut themselves, overdose on drugs, take up excessive drinking and smoking, for the slightest problems in their lives. You can't blame these kids for not being thankful or satisfied with what they have. Their mentality eludes them from the reality.
Thisuri Wanniarachchi (COLOMBO STREETS)
Never having experienced inequality, therefore, the majority of straight white men will be absolutely oblivious to their own advantages – not because they must necessarily be insensitive, sexist, racist, homophobic or unaware of the principles of equality; but because they have been told, over and over again, that there is no inequality left for them – or anyone else – to experience – and everything they have experienced up to that point will only have proved them right. Let the impact of that sink in for a moment. By teaching children and teenagers that equality already exists, we are actively blinding the group that most benefits from inequality – straight white men – to the prospect that it doesn’t. Privilege to them feels indistinguishable from equality, because they’ve been raised to believe that this is how the world behaves for everyone. And because the majority of our popular culture is straight-white-male-dominated, stories that should be windows into empathy for other, less privileged experiences have instead become mirrors, reflecting back at them the one thing they already know: that their lives both are important and free from discrimination. And this hurts men. It hurts them by making them unconsciously perpetrate biases they’ve been actively taught to despise. It hurts them by making them complicit in the distress of others. It hurts them by shoehorning them into a restrictive definition masculinity from which any and all deviation is harshly punished. It hurts them by saying they will always be inferior parents and caregivers, that they must always be active and aggressive even when they long for passivity and quietude, that they must enjoy certain things like sports and beer and cars or else be deemed morally suspect. It hurts them through a process of indoctrination so subtle and pervasive that they never even knew it was happening , and when you’ve been raised to hate inequality, discovering that you’ve actually been its primary beneficiary is horrifying – like learning that the family fortune comes from blood money. Blog post 4/12/2012: Why Teaching Equality Hurts Men
Foz Meadows
Whenever I’m home for a few days, I start to feel this despair at being back in the place where I had spent so many afternoons dreaming of getting away, so many late nights fantasizing about who I would be once I was allowed to be someone apart from my family, once I was free to commit mistakes on my own. How strange it is to return to a place where my childish notions of freedom are everywhere to be found—in my journals and my doodles and the corners of the room where I sat fuming for hours, counting down the days until I could leave this place and start my real life. But now that trying to become someone on my own is no longer something to dream about but just my ever-present reality, now that my former conviction that I had been burdened with the responsibility of taking care of this household has been revealed to be untrue, that all along, my responsibilities had been negligible, illusory even, that all along, our parents had been the ones watching over us—me and my brother—and now that I am on my own, the days of resenting my parents for loving me too much and my brother for needing me too intensely have been replaced with the days of feeling bewildered by the prospect of finding some other identity besides “daughter” or “sister.” It turns out this, too, is terrifying, all of it is terrifying. Being someone is terrifying. I long to come home, but now, I will always come home to my family as a visitor, and that weighs on me, reverts me back into the teenager I was, but instead of insisting that I want everyone to leave me alone, what I want now is for someone to beg me to stay. Me again. Mememememememe.
Jenny Zhang (Sour Heart)
Estelle smiled feebly. If you’ve lived with teenagers, you know they only exist for themselves, and their parents have their hands full dealing with the various horrors of life. Both the teenagers’ and their own. There was no place for Estelle there, she was mostly something of a nuisance. They were pleased that she answered the phone when they called on her birthday, but the rest of the time they assumed time stood still for her. She was a nice ornament that they only took out at Christmas and Midsummer.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
What would you say to a loved one if you had only a few seconds to impart a last message? What language does love speak? Some of you speak love with wine and roses. For other, "I love you," is best said by breakfast in bed, carefully set aside sport sections, or night out at the movies, complete with buttered popcorn. Children spell love T-I-M-E. So, I think, do older folks. Teenagers spell it T-R-U-S-T. Sometimes parents spell love N-O. But no matter what the letters, the emotion beneath the wording must be tangible, demonstrable, and sincere.
Angela Elwell Hunt (The Note)
My dad gave me a present once,” Nico said. “It was a zombie.” Reyna stared at him. “What?” “His name is Jules-Albert. He’s French.” “A...French zombie?” “Hades isn’t the greatest dad, but occasionally he has these want-to-know-my-son moments. I guess he thought the zombie was a peace offering. He said Jules-Albert could be my chauffeur.” The corner of Reyna’s mouth twitched. “A French zombie chauffeur.” Nico realized how ridiculous it sounded. He never told anyone about Jules-Albert—not even Hazel. But he kept talking. "Hades had this idea that I should, you know, try to act like a modern teenager. Make friends. Get to know the twenty-first century. He vaguely understood that mortal parents drive their kids around a lot. He couldn't do that. So his solution was a zombie." "To take you around to the mall," Reyna said. "Or the drive-through at In-N-Out Burger." "I suppose." Nico's nerves began to settle. "Because nothing helps you make friends faster than a rotting corpse with a French accent.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
Kit, you know the key to relating to your parents now? It’s mercy. Children, when they become teenagers and then young adults, grow unforgiving. Anything but perfection is pathos. Children are judgmental on an Old Testament level. All errors are unforgivable, as if a contract of perfection has been broken. But what if one’s parents are granted the same mercy, the same empathy as other humans? Children need more Jesus in them.
Dave Eggers (A Hologram for the King)
Poor Metias. He’s not supposed to be a father. He’s supposed to be out on his own, independent and free to concentrate on his job as a young captain. But somebody has to take care of me, and I make his life so much harder than it needs to be. I wonder what things must have been like for him back when our parents were still alive, when I was a toddler and Metias was a teenager and he could focus on growing up instead of helping someone else grow up. Still, Metias hasn’t complained once. Not a single time. And even though I wish our parents were here, sometimes I’m really happy that this is our little family unit, just me and my brother, each watching out for no one but the other. We do the best we can.
Marie Lu (Life Before Legend (Legend, #0.5))
There are things you do when you are a teenager, or a dancer, or just a girl, I guess. You cut your food up in special ways, or you cut yourself, or paper dolls. You pretend that there is an invisible audience watching you all the time, and you do things to impress them or pretend that they didn’t see what you just did because their live video feed was interrupted somehow. You steal things or tell lies or speak to strangers in a Russian accent. You have sex with someone you love, or with someone who gets you really drunk. You lie to your parents, your boyfriend, yourself, your therapist. You cheat on your homework or do other people’s homework for money. You get up, you take class, you rehearse, you perform, you go to bed. How do you decide which of these things are truly crazy and which are just being alive?
Meg Howrey (The Cranes Dance)
Teen "addiction" to social media is a new extension of typical human engagement. Their use of social media as their primary site of sociality is most often a byproduct of cultural dynamics that have nothing to do with technology, including parental restrictions and highly scheduled lives. Teens turn to, and are obsessed with whichever environment allows them to connect to friends. most teens aren't addicted to social media; if anything, they're addicted to each other.
Danah Boyd (It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens)
The first colonial teenagers rejected their parents’ values, as teenagers have done ever since Cain and Abel decided to get away from all that hippy nature stuff. They were sober, industrious and, if truth be told, not much fun. They laboured uncomplainingly in the sun, exercised in the fresh air, swam in the sea and were, on average, six inches taller than the malnourished British stock from which they had sprung. Within a single generation, the Artful Dodger had transformed into Chesty Bond.
David Hunt (Girt (The Unauthorised History of Australia #1))
James, you’d like Lou Reed,” Michael insisted. “He was bisexual.” Their laughter turned to coughs. They were all staring at me when I turned around. I told myself to relax. “Oh, yeah?” I said. “He doesn’t sound bisexual.” Michael just shook his head, but Ronan and Glenn smiled. “They did electroshock therapy on him when he was a teenager,” Michael said. “Electro-what?” said Glenn. “They electrocuted people?” “Kind of. They zapped their brains to alter their personalities. That’s how they tried to make gay people straight back then.” They all looked at me for a response. I shrugged. “So, he was bisexual? It worked halfway?
Kenneth Logan (True Letters from a Fictional Life)
Parents who treat the teenager in the same manner in which they treated the child will not experience the same results they received earlier. When the teenager does not respond as the child responded, the parents are now pushed to try something different. Without proper training, parents almost always revert to efforts at coercion, which often lead to arguments, loss of temper, and perhaps, verbal abuse. Such behavior is emotionally devastating to the teenager whose primary love language is words of affirmation. The parents’ efforts to verbally argue the teenager into submission are in reality pushing the teenager toward rebellion.
Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively)
It's one of these juvenile therapy scams,” he went on, sprinkling a pinch of the Golden Virginia tobacco along the rolling paper. “They advertise help for your troubled teen by staring at the stars and singing ‘Kumbaya’. Instead, it’s a bunch of bearded nutjobs left in charge of some of the craziest kids I’ve ever seen in my life—bulimics, nymphos, cutters trying to saw their wrists with the plastic spoons from lunch. You wouldn’t believe the shit that went on.” He shook his head. “Most of the kids had been so mentally screwed by their parents they needed more than twelve weeks of wilderness. They needed reincarnation. To die and just come back as a grasshopper, as a fucking weed. That’d be preferable to the agony they were in just by being alive.
Marisha Pessl (Night Film)
Boys who grow up seeing themselves everywhere as powerful and central just by virtue of being boys, often white, are critically impaired in many ways. It’s a rude shock to many when things don’t turn out the way they were told they should. It seems reasonable to suggest media misrepresentations like these contribute, in boys, to a heightened inability to empathize with others, a greater propensity to peg ambition to intrinsic qualities instead of effort and a failure to understand why rules apply or why accountability is a thing. It should mean something to parents that the teenagers with the highest likelihood of sexually assaulting a peer and feel no responsibility for their actions are young white boys from higher-income families. The real boy crisis we should be talking about is entitlement and outdated notions of masculinity, both of which are persistently responsible for leaving boys confused and unprepared for contemporary adulthood.
Soraya Chemaly
There was a song I heard when I was in Los Angeles by a local group. The song was called ‘Los Angeles’ and the words and images were so harsh and bitter that the song would reverberate in my mind for days. The images, I later found out, were personal and no one I knew shared them. The images I had were of people being driven mad by living in the city. Images of parents who were so hungry and unfulfilled that they ate their own children. Images of people, teenagers my own age, looking up from the asphalt and being blinded by the sun. These images stayed with me even after I left the city. Images so violent and malicious that they seemed to be my only point of reference for a long time afterwards. After I left.
Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero)
sodoyouthinkyoucouldtrustmetogotothedancetonight?" she blurted before losing her nerve. Viktor and Viveka exchanged a quick glance. Are they considering it? They are! They trust - "No," they said together. Frankie resisted the urge to spark. Or scream. Or threaten to go on a charging strike. She had prepared herself for this. It had always been a possibility. That's why she'd read 'Acting For Young Actors: The Ultimate Teenage Guide' by Mary Lou Belli and Dihah Lenney. So she could act like she understood their rejection. Act like she accepted it. And act like she would return to her room with grace. "Well, thanks for hearing me out," she said, kissing them on the cheeks and skipping off to bed. "Good night." "Good night?" Viktor responded. "That's it? No argument?" "No argument," Frankie said with a sweet smile. "You have to see this punishment through or you're not teaching me anything. I get it." "O-kay." Viktor returned to his medical journal, shaking his head as if he couldn't quite believe what he was hearing. "We love you." Viveka blew another kiss. "I love you, too." Frankie blew two back. Time for Plan B.
Lisi Harrison (Monster High (Monster High, #1))
After dinner, I went upstairs and found Ren standing on the veranda again, looking at the sunset. I approached him shyly and stood behind him. “Hello, Ren.” He turned and openly studied my appearance. His gaze drifted ever so slowly down my body. The longer he looked, the wider his smile got. Eventually, his eyes worked their way back up to my bright red face. He sighed and bowed deeply. “Sundari. I was standing here thinking nothing could be more beautiful than this sunset tonight, but I was mistaken. You standing here in the setting sun with your hair and skin aglow is almost more than a man can…fully appreciate.” I tried to change the subject. “What does sundari mean?” “It means ‘most beautiful.’” I blushed again, which made him laugh. He took my hand, tucked it under his arm, and led me to the patio chairs. Just then, the sun dipped below the trees leaving its tangerine glow in the sky for just a few more moments. We sat again, but this time he sat next to me on the swinging patio seat and kept my hand in his. I ventured shyly, “I hope you don’t mind, but I explored your house today, including your room.” “I don’t mind. I’m sure you found my room the least interesting.” “Actually, I was curious about the note I found. Did you write it?” “A note? Ah, yes. I just scribbled a few notes to help me remember what Phet had said. It just says seek Durga’s prophecy, the Cave of Kanheri, Kelsey is Durga’s favored one, that sort of thing.” “Oh. I…also noticed a ribbon. Is it mine?” “Yes. If you’d like it back, you can take it.” “Why would you want it?” He shrugged, looking embarrassed. “I wanted a memento, a token from the girl who saved my life.” “A token? Like a fair maiden giving her handkerchief to a knight in shining armor?” He grinned. “Exactly.” I jested wryly, “Too bad you didn’t wait for Cathleen to get a little older. She’s going to be very pretty.” He frowned. “Cathleen from the circus?” He shook his head. “You were the chosen one, Kelsey. And if I had the option of choosing the girl to save me, I still would have picked you.” “Why?” “A number of reasons. I liked you. You are interesting. I enjoyed listening to your voice. I felt like you saw through the tiger skin to the person underneath. When you spoke, it felt like you were saying exactly the things I needed to hear. You’re smart. You like poetry, and you’re very pretty.” I laughed at his statement. Me, pretty? He can’t be serious. I was average in so many ways. I didn’t really concern myself with current makeup, hairstyles, or fashionable, but uncomfortable, clothes like other teenagers. My complexion was pale, and my eyes were so brown that they were almost black. By far, my best feature was my smile, which my parents paid dearly for and so did I-with three years of metal braces. Still, I was flattered. “Okay, Prince Charming, you can keep your memento.” I hesitated, and then said softly, “I wear those ribbons in memory of my mom. She used to brush out my hair and braid ribbons through it while we talked.” Ren smiled understandingly. “Then it means even more to me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Dear Pen Pal, I know it’s been a few years since I last wrote you. I hope you’re still there. I’m not sure you ever were. I never got any letters back from you when I was a kid. But in a way it was always therapeutic. Everyone else judges everything I say. And here you are: some anonymous person who never says “boo.” Maybe you just read my letters and laughed or maybe you didn’t read my letters or maybe you don’t even exist. It was pretty frustrating when I was young, but now I’m glad that you won’t respond. Just listen. That’s what I want. My dog died. I don’t know if you remember, but I had a beagle. He was a good dog. My best friend. I’d had him as far back as I could remember, but one day last month he didn’t come bounding out of his red doghouse like usual. I called his name. But no response. I knelt down and called out his name. Still nothing. I looked in his doghouse. There was blood everywhere. Cowering in the corner was my dog. His eyes were wild and there was an excessive amount of saliva coming out of his mouth. He was unrecognizable. Both frightened and frightening at the same time. The blood belonged to a little yellow bird that had always been around. My dog and the bird used to play together. In a strange way, it was almost like they were best friends. I know that sounds stupid, but… Anyway, the bird had been mangled. Ripped apart. By my dog. When he saw that I could see what he’d done, his face changed to sadness and he let out a sound that felt like the word ‘help.’ I reached my hand into his doghouse. I know it was a dumb thing to do, but he looked like he needed me. His jaws snapped. I jerked my hand away before he could bite me. My parents called a center and they came and took him away. Later that day, they put him to sleep. They gave me his corpse in a cardboard box. When my dog died, that was when the rain cloud came back and everything went to hell…
Bert V. Royal (Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead)
A cult is a group of people who share an obsessive devotion to a person or idea. The cults described in this book use violent tactics to recruit, indoctrinate, and keep members. Ritual abuse is defined as the emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive acts performed by violent cults. Most violent cults do not openly express their beliefs and practices, and they tend to live separately in noncommunal environments to avoid detection. Some victims of ritual abuse are children abused outside the home by nonfamily members, in public settings such as day care. Other victims are children and teenagers who are forced by their parents to witness and participate in violent rituals. Adult ritual abuse victims often include these grown children who were forced from childhood to be a member of the group. Other adult and teenage victims are people who unknowingly joined social groups or organizations that slowly manipulated and blackmailed them into becoming permanent members of the group. All cases of ritual abuse, no matter what the age of the victim, involve intense physical and emotional trauma. Violent cults may sacrifice humans and animals as part of religious rituals. They use torture to silence victims and other unwilling participants. Ritual abuse victims say they are degraded and humiliated and are often forced to torture, kill, and sexually violate other helpless victims. The purpose of the ritual abuse is usually indoctrination. The cults intend to destroy these victims' free will by undermining their sense of safety in the world and by forcing them to hurt others. In the last ten years, a number of people have been convicted on sexual abuse charges in cases where the abused children had reported elements of ritual child abuse. These children described being raped by groups of adults who wore costumes or masks and said they were forced to witness religious-type rituals in which animals and humans were tortured or killed. In one case, the defense introduced in court photographs of the children being abused by the defendants[.1] In another case, the police found tunnels etched with crosses and pentacles along with stone altars and candles in a cemetery where abuse had been reported. The defendants in this case pleaded guilty to charges of incest, cruelty, and indecent assault.[2] Ritual abuse allegations have been made in England, the United States, and Canada.[3] Many myths abound concerning the parents and children who report ritual abuse. Some people suggest that the tales of ritual abuse are "mass hysteria." They say the parents of these children who report ritual abuse are often overly zealous Christians on a "witch-hunt" to persecute satanists. These skeptics say the parents are fearful of satanism, and they use their knowledge of the Black Mass (a historically well-known, sexualized ritual in which animals and humans are sacrificed) to brainwash their children into saying they were abused by satanists.[4] In 1992 I conducted a study to separate fact from fiction in regard to the disclosures of children who report ritual abuse.[5] The study was conducted through Believe the Children, a national organization that provides support and educational sources for ritual abuse survivors and their families.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Help)
The Audacity of Despair "You can stand your ground if you're white, and you can use a gun to do it. But if you stand your ground with your fists and you're black, you're dead. "In the state of Florida, the season on African-Americans now runs year round. Come one, come all. And bring a handgun. The legislators are fine with this blood on their hands. The governor, too. One man accosted another and when it became a fist fight, one man — and one man only — had a firearm. The rest is racial rationalization and dishonorable commentary. "If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford. Those that do not, those that hold the pain and betrayal inside and somehow manage to resist violence — these citizens are testament to a stoic tolerance that is more than the rest of us deserve. I confess, their patience and patriotism is well beyond my own. "Behold, the lewd, pornographic embrace of two great American pathologies: Race and guns, both of which have conspired not only to take the life of a teenager, but to make that killing entirely permissible. I can't look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what they must tell their sons about what can happen to them on the streets of their country. Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American.
David Simon (The Wire: Truth Be Told)
People complain about the obscurity of poetry, especially if they're assigned to write about it, but actually poetry is rather straightforward compared to ordinary conversation with people you don't know well which tends to be jumpy repartee, crooked, coded, allusive to no effect, firmly repressed, locked up in irony, steadfastly refusing to share genuine experience--think of conversation at office parties or conversation between teenage children and parents, or between teenagers themselves, or between men, or between bitter spouces: rarely in ordinary conversation do people speak from the heart and mean what they say. How often in the past week did anyone offer you something from the heart? It's there in poetry. Forget everything you ever read about poetry, it doesn't matter--poetry is the last preserve of honest speech and the outspoken heart. All that I wrote about it as a grad student I hereby recant and abjure--all that matters about poetry to me is directness and clarity and truthfulness. All that is twittery and lit'ry: no thanks, pal. A person could perish of entertainment, especially comedy, so much of it casually nihilistic, hateful, glittering, cold, and in the end clueless. People in nusing homes die watching late-night television and if I were one of them, I'd be grateful when the darkness descends. Thank God if the pastor comes and offers a psalm and a prayer, and they can attain a glimmer of clarity at the end.
Garrison Keillor
In the United States, a four-year-old American kid isn’t obliged to greet me when he walks into my house. He gets to skulk in under the umbrella of his parents’ greeting. And in an American context, that’s supposed to be fine with me. I don’t need the child’s acknowledgment because I don’t quite count him as a full person; he’s in a separate kids’ realm. I might hear all about how gifted he is, but he never actually speaks to me. When I’m at a family luncheon back in the United States, I’m struck that the cousins and stepcousins at the table, who range in age from five to fourteen, don’t say anything at all to me unless I pry it out of them. Some can only muster one-word responses to my questions. Even the teenagers aren’t used to expressing themselves with confidence to a grown-up they don’t know well. Part of what the French obsession with bonjour reveals is that, in France, kids don’t get to have this shadowy presence. The child greets, therefore he is. Just as any adult who walks into my house has to acknowledge me, any child who walks in must acknowledge me, too. “Greeting is essentially recognizing someone as a person,” says Benoît, the professor. “People feel injured if they’re not greeted by children that way.
Pamela Druckerman (Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting)
Across from me at the kitchen table, my mother smiles over red wine that she drinks out of a measuring glass. She says she doesn’t deprive herself, but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork. In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate. I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it. I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so. Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional. As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast. She wanes while my father waxes. His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry. A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit." It was the same with his parents; as my grandmother became frail and angular her husband swelled to red round cheeks, rotund stomach and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking making space for the entrance of men into their lives not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave. I have been taught accommodation. My brother never thinks before he speaks. I have been taught to filter. “How can anyone have a relationship to food?" He asks, laughing, as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs. I want to tell say: we come from difference, Jonas, you have been taught to grow out I have been taught to grow in you learned from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence, you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much I learned to absorb I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters and I never meant to replicate her, but spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits that’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades. We all learned it from each other, the way each generation taught the next how to knit weaving silence in between the threads which I can still feel as I walk through this ever-growing house, skin itching, picking up all the habits my mother has unwittingly dropped like bits of crumpled paper from her pocket on her countless trips from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom again, Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark, a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled. Deciding how many bites is too many How much space she deserves to occupy. Watching the struggle I either mimic or hate her, And I don’t want to do either anymore but the burden of this house has followed me across the country I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word “sorry". I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major because I spent the entire meeting deciding whether or not I could have another piece of pizza a circular obsession I never wanted but inheritance is accidental still staring at me with wine-stained lips from across the kitchen table.
Lily Myers
They suspected that children learned best through undirected free play—and that a child’s psyche was sensitive and fragile. During the 1980s and 1990s, American parents and teachers had been bombarded by claims that children’s self-esteem needed to be protected from competition (and reality) in order for them to succeed. Despite a lack of evidence, the self-esteem movement took hold in the United States in a way that it did not in most of the world. So, it was understandable that PTA parents focused their energies on the nonacademic side of their children’s school. They dutifully sold cupcakes at the bake sales and helped coach the soccer teams. They doled out praise and trophies at a rate unmatched in other countries. They were their kids’ boosters, their number-one fans. These were the parents that Kim’s principal in Oklahoma praised as highly involved. And PTA parents certainly contributed to the school’s culture, budget, and sense of community. However, there was not much evidence that PTA parents helped their children become critical thinkers. In most of the countries where parents took the PISA survey, parents who participated in a PTA had teenagers who performed worse in reading. Korean parenting, by contrast, were coaches. Coach parents cared deeply about their children, too. Yet they spent less time attending school events and more time training their children at home: reading to them, quizzing them on their multiplication tables while they were cooking dinner, and pushing them to try harder. They saw education as one of their jobs.
Amanda Ripley (The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way)
Parent and Teacher Actions: 1. Ask children what their role models would do. Children feel free to take initiative when they look at problems through the eyes of originals. Ask children what they would like to improve in their family or school. Then have them identify a real person or fictional character they admire for being unusually creative and inventive. What would that person do in this situation? 2. Link good behaviors to moral character. Many parents and teachers praise helpful actions, but children are more generous when they’re commended for being helpful people—it becomes part of their identity. If you see a child do something good, try saying, “You’re a good person because you ___.” Children are also more ethical when they’re asked to be moral people—they want to earn the identity. If you want a child to share a toy, instead of asking, “Will you share?” ask, “Will you be a sharer?” 3. Explain how bad behaviors have consequences for others. When children misbehave, help them see how their actions hurt other people. “How do you think this made her feel?” As they consider the negative impact on others, children begin to feel empathy and guilt, which strengthens their motivation to right the wrong—and to avoid the action in the future. 4. Emphasize values over rules. Rules set limits that teach children to adopt a fixed view of the world. Values encourage children to internalize principles for themselves. When you talk about standards, like the parents of the Holocaust rescuers, describe why certain ideals matter to you and ask children why they’re important. 5. Create novel niches for children to pursue. Just as laterborns sought out more original niches when conventional ones were closed to them, there are ways to help children carve out niches. One of my favorite techniques is the Jigsaw Classroom: bring students together for a group project, and assign each of them a unique part. For example, when writing a book report on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life, one student worked on her childhood, another on her teenage years, and a third on her role in the women’s movement. Research shows that this reduces prejudice—children learn to value each other’s distinctive strengths. It can also give them the space to consider original ideas instead of falling victim to groupthink. To further enhance the opportunity for novel thinking, ask children to consider a different frame of reference. How would Roosevelt’s childhood have been different if she grew up in China? What battles would she have chosen to fight there?
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)