Any good books for parents dealing w/teens

I found out a few years ago that I had a son, and have been slowly working myself into his life. He just turned 13 this summer and is certainly turning into a teenager. Since I didn’t have the opportunity to bond with him when he was younger, there are still issues of trust. Our conversations have now broken down to one word answers to my questions, or I don’t know/care’s.

Can anyone recommend a book or two to help me out?

No, just some advice. Mom of an Eighteen, a Fifteen, and a Twelve.

Talking to a teenager doesn’t have a blessed thing to do with whether or not you “bonded” with him when he was young. Just talk to him like he’s a regular human being, have a normal conversation, about the weather, about Iraq, about the D.C sniper. It’s possible that he’s reduced to monosyllabic replies because you’re badgering him, albeit in a well-meaning sort of way, about things like, “how was school, do you like girls, is this playstation game kewl or not”.

It’s also possible that the reason he’s reduced to monosyllabic answers is that you’re badgering him, albeit in a nice sort of way, to “talk to me!” YOU know–“bond with me, let’s make up for lost time”. Those are impossible conversations even for an adult to handle, let alone a 13-year-old.

It’s also possible that he’s reduced to monosyllabic answers out of simple shyness. Did you see Austin Powers, the first one? Scott’s reaction upon being introduced to his dad for the first time is classic. “Where have you been all my life? You suddenly show up–and you want a hug…?”

And, you know, an adult and a teen don’t normally have much to talk about in the first place. My kids come home from school, and it’s like, “Hi Mom” and they go upstairs, and I don’t feel a need to have this big “CONVERSATION” with them, like “how is your whole life and everything”. Actually, just between you and me and the forum lampposts, they’re pretty boring, as conversationalists go. :smiley: So don’t feel obligated to do the “conversation” thing, is what I’m saying. Maybe you’re pushing it, and Junior is getting uncomfortable, because he knows perfectly well that most adults don’t WANT to have conversations with teens, and you’re making him nervous.

Books won’t help you much. :wink: Just “be yourself”. Give the kid some breathing space. Relax. Don’t worry so much about doing “bonding” stuff together, just go with the flow.

Oh, and–I’d email Bibliophage and ask him to move this to MPSIMS. You don’t really need “tips for books”, which would mean IMHO–you need “advice” and MPSIMS is the place for that.

General Questions is for questions with factual answers. IMHO is for opinions and polls. I’ll move this to IMHO for you.

Off to IMHO.

DrMatrix - General Questions Moderator