Mother’s Day is just around the corner.
I am now 47 years old, a mom of a tweener, 12 yr old Antonia, and a 7yr old, Nio my youngest .
Last April 30, 2017 , I partnered with The Parenting Emporium for a Learning Session on Parenting. The topic was close to my heart that’s why I thought of it :
RAISING TWEENS AND TEENS
(The Challenges, Joys & Everything In Between)
We had as speakers, the Dynamic Couple and parenting experts, Herald & Melissa Cruz from CEFAM.
Oh what a learning session it was !
We try our best everyday to be the best parents we could ever be to our children, to be good role models. We shower them with so much love& affection, time & understanding. We provide for their needs- material & non- material.
The best education, the best life we could possibly give them.
BUT there is no such thing as being 100% right as parents. No such thing as fool-proof parenting. Even if we are there for them, guiding them every step of the way during their formative years, they will still grow up beyond our expectations. Reality will always set in.
At the end of the day, our children are different people- different from us, yet so much alike. But they will grow up having minds& opinions of their own, making decisions on their own- even if, they need to accept or suffer the many consequences of their actions and sometimes irrational decisions.
Then again, that’s all part & parcel of growing up.
What is alarming is how many tweens and teens of today are wired. Social media exposure and pressure have profound effects on the mental health & well being of our tweens/ teens. Some are not prepped for these external societal pressures that sadly, some tweens/teens succumb to – taking their own lives.
Our worst fears as parents : Suicide.
So traumatic. So scary.
But sadly, it is the reality nowadays.
Teens easily feel depressed. They even try to personally interpret how they feel,
much like ” doctoring” or treating themselves just by googling for online treatment.
Herald & Melissa remind us parents to always have an open line of communication with our tweens/teen. Remind them in many ways that we will always be there for our kids no matter what, never judging them.
Herald in this learning session, tell of a father who is having problems with his teen who smokes & drinks. When asked if the father has vices- he admits that he too drinks & smokes. So there.
The first rule is, be the example that you want your kids to follow. If you smoke & drink, don’t be surprised if your tween/teen picks up the habit, and blames you for it.
It’s a classic version of ” Look Who’s Talking? ”
Teens are naturally rebellious. We all went thru that phase. Can’t we also relate?
It’s a phase.
But now that we are parents ourselves, we can’t help but push that panic button. Suddenly we find ourselves facing a mirror, and see shades of our past tween/teen self. And then there’s a huge thought bubble : ” How did I ever survive Teenhood ? ”
Yet, we did ! And when we look back now, we wouldn’t be our strong, resilient adult selves if we didnt go thru all those emotional upheavals as a tween/teen.
Teenhood didn’t break us. It made us strong.
It is just more complicated now because of social media. The presence of smart phones & gadgets.
That is why as a mom myself, we have set rules at home when it comes to social media. I know my daughter’s passwords. And she no longer has IG on her phone. She really has no twitter in the first place. She isn’t interested.
She is okay with it.
We warn her that it is a fact that there are many sexual predators in social media. And that the world is a dangerous place. She understands that we are doing everything we can to protect her.
Herald & Melissa have been married for 24 years and have 4 beautiful children.
Aged 23, 20,16 and 12. They too have parenting challenges themselves.
That’s why they assured fellow parents who attended the Learning Session to relax. And reminded us that we are not alone.
Last thing before I go, I also learned from Herald & Melissa this interesting fact :
Understanding the Teen Brain
It doesn’t matter how smart teens are or how well they scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn’t something they can excel in, at least not yet.
The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so.
In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part.
In teen’s brains, the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing—and not necessarily at the same rate. That’s why when teens experience overwhelming emotional input, they can’t explain later what they were thinking. They weren’t thinking as much as they were feeling.
This explains why tweens/teens are irrational. Well again I say, weren’t we irrational too when we were teens?
In closing , I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks once more to supermoms Maricel Cua & Hubby Carl with Beng Feliciano (co-founders of @theparentingemporium .
Blessed to have as our speakers, the terrific tandem and parenting experts Herald & Melissa Cruz in today’s Learning Session :
Raising Tweens & Teens ( the joys, challenges, pains & everything in between)
Profile of our speakers-
Pastor Herald C. Cruz :
he did his post-graduate degree in Family Counseling from the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) at the Ateneo de Manila University.
He is a Professional Family Counselor and heads the Parenting Cluster of CEFAM.
He hosts the program “Serbisyong OFW” a daily AM radio program at 702DZAS and “Hawak Kamay” a daily live streaming program both produced by Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC). And the beautiful better half,
Melissa is a certified life coach from the Ford Institute for Integrative Coaching in the US and has a Graduate Certificate from the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) in Ateneo de Manila. She finished her undergraduate degree from UP Diliman, and works as a Senior Adviser for an international aid agency.
Both individually and in partnership, they have given various talks both nationally and internationally on various parenting topics, and acts as a resource person for various print, radio, and tv shows.
They have been married for 24 years and have 4 beautiful children.
Ages 23,20,16 and 12.
Follow them both in their respective programs and attend their talks. And the learning is priceless.
A partnership between @theparentingemporium and
Sponsored by: Hanns, Manuka
and Aide Medical App .