Helen Ruddle,Tony Humphreys

Understanding Teenagers

Helping young people towards maturity demands that they be mature themselves. Without such maturity it is difficult to relate fully to the challenging behaviour of some adolescents. A relationship that is genuine, non-judgemental, compassionate, empathic and unconditionally loving is necessary in order to resolve conflicts that so often arise between parents, other adults and teenagers.
The authors emphasise that no matter how problematic a young person’s behaviour may be, there is a cause or explanation; appreciation of this goes a long way towards helping young people to resolve that which is troubling them.
The book is structured so that each chapter stands on its own, allowing the reader to focus on specific issues that may arise in their own and their teenagers’ lives.
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Gill Books



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    modelling of independence

    • acceptance of (again, not necessarily agreement with) the young adult’s decisions

    • definite and clear boundaries around own responsibilities

    • definite and clear boundaries around not taking on the young adult’s responsibilities

    • willingness to offer support when the young person is struggling.
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    behaviours that are characteristic of parents who let go include:

    • unconditional love

    • uninterrupted listening

    • interest (as opposed to intrusion) in the young adult’s life

    • direct and clear communication

    • requests (rather than demands or commands)

    • expressions of concern from an ‘I’ place

    • respect for (not necessarily agreement with) the young adult’s beliefs, values and opinions
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    When parents do not have a consciousness of their own insecurities, they may find themselves blaming the young person for being ungrateful, difficult and unreasonable when they attempt to take leave of their parents
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