Pre-Teen Touchpoint: Realizing parents are not perfect

Watch Joshua Sparrow, MD's video on Pre-Teen Touchpoint: Realizing parents are not perfect...
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Pre-Teen Touchpoint: Realizing parents are not perfect

One of the things that is really hard about having a pre-teen or a young teen is that you as a parent get knocked off your pedestal. And that doesn't feel good. If you think back to when your pre-teen was 4 or 5 and the way they looked up at you. You were the most beautiful mommy. You were the strongest daddy, in the world. There was nobody better. Felt pretty good. But 10, 11, 12 year olds they know better than that. And they can see through you. It is sort of like in the Wizard Of Oz when the curtain gets pulled back and they say more about who you really are. And its exciting that they can. Because it means that they can think in broad new ways. But it's kind of a shock for them too. You are not as smart and strong as they thought you were. So if you are prepared for this touch point of development. And with your child's new ability to think in abstract terms that allows your child to compare you to other parents and to standards of fairness or strength or intelligence. If you are prepared for these changes, which are exciting and its a good sign. And prepared for it means, in terms of the way they start treating you. You won't have to react as emotionally. I am not saying to let them do it. You have to tell them, "Listen, i can hear what you are saying, but you need to say it in a way that's respectful of me." But you don't fly off the handle if you know it's coming and you know why it's coming. And that will help them get themselves back under control. So they can talk about the things that they are worried about or seeing in you that they need to talk about with you.

Watch Joshua Sparrow, MD's video on Pre-Teen Touchpoint: Realizing parents are not perfect...


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Joshua Sparrow, MD

Child Psychiatrist & Author

A child psychiatrist, Dr. Sparrow’s care in the 1990s for children hospitalized for severe psychiatric disturbances, often associated with physical and sexual abuse, and for developmental delays aggravated by social and economic deprivation, prompted his interest in community-based prevention and health promotion. At the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, his work focuses on cultural adaptations of family support programs, organizational professional development, and aligning systems of care with community strengths and priorities, and has included collaborative consultation with the Harlem Children's Zone and American Indian Early Head Start Programs, among many others. He has lectured extensively nationally and internationally on related topics and has consulted on media programming for children and parents, including PBS’s Frontlines and Discovery Kids. Co-author with Dr. T. Berry Brazelton of 8 books and the weekly New York Times Syndicated column, “Families Today,” Dr. Sparrow has also served as a contributing editor to Scholastic Services’ Parent and Child magazine. In 2006, he revised with Dr. Brazelton Touchpoints: Birth to Three, 2nd Edition and in 2010, co-edited Nurturing Children and Families: Building on the Legacy of T. B. Brazelton, a textbook on the ongoing generativeness of Brazelton’s seminal research in a wide range of fields. Dr. Sparrow has authored numerous other scholarly works, teaches and lectures nationally and internationally, and is frequently called upon for his expertise by national and international media. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Sparrow worked for several years as a preschool teacher and journalist in New York City.

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