Imho, the parent kid thing needs to happen before birth and the teenage years can be hellish. But here's an easy guideline for development.
First, 7 years, 0-7, kid get their core sense of self and the world around them via their family...family is the biggest influence of how a kid comes to view them self. Thus depending on the family environment...you can guess the rest. Internet and smart phone is the newest flavor....but its basics, do your chores, feed the cat, clean your room, read a book before you get on the webz for a limited time and web space.
Second, 7 years, 7-14, kid gets socialized and figures out group norming, expected behavior. Peer group is the biggest influence...kids live up to or down to their peer group. Thus parents need to attend and guide this...people...church youth group, scouts, organized sports or is it alley thugs. Kids got to do some teamwork, community involvement...like mowing the elderly neighbors yard...for Free.
Third, 7 years, 14-21, kid gets to learn how to figure it out, which involves them asking themself who am I, what is my passion(s) and how am I going to make it happen. Parents sets up opportunities for learning as a gradual progression....just like in snowboarding. You don't send your kid down a triple black chute on day one. As a parent of a kid this age, you can't really tell them shit and perhaps all you can tell them is that you love them and you believe they can do it and figure it out. They are smart and hopefully you have provide the earlier opportunities and environment and they have some self respect and worth. So instead of telling them what to do or not to do. They want to do things on their own...and you say great. How are you going to do that....what's the plan, how you going to earn the money, how you going to get there, when are you going to be back home....mind you this is a gradual progression. In essence you are getting them to critically think and take responsibility for themselves. Do not do it for them...they will yell and scream that you don't care....but later, they will be proud of them self for doing it themselves...and say fuck you dad for not helping (but you just say I knew you could do it). But then, much more later they will thank you for your wisdom and they will be capable young adults. One of the big things as a parent is not to be too reactive to their shit...and just to be calm, give clear expectations, parameters and clear consistent consequences....which is often the "school of natural consequences" and asking what did you learn from that...or is that working for you?
Ya all are fine folks and I'm preaching to the choir, our family has taken in a few of the kids friends over the years and other families have done with ours. Often times its just stopping and listening a the kid's story with out judgment or criticism and that is a real gift of being human.
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Last edited by wrathfuldeity; 10-14-2012 at 01:16 PM.