To all you parents of teens out there........  I do have children and wanted
to add this......

>> I think you underestimate the quality of the interaction of the kid to his  kid culture--for starters it instructs the kid that parents have nothing of any value to say.

>I don't know.   My dad thought his parents had nothing of value to say, but he's not a mass murderer.  I thought my parents had nothing to say (isn't it amazing how much smarter your parents are when you're older?)

It only sounds as though they are not listening.  That's part of their culture.... pretend not to listen..... but deep down they ARE  listening. And they want to be like you..... It always amazed me as the parent of teens, that my kids would argue with everything I said, or pretend I didn't exist. But 6 months later, while listening close to  conversations they didn't think I could hear, I would hear my thoughts coming out of their mouths to their
friends. .... So keep talking even if you think they aren't listening.............

And don't say this is because my kids were easy to raise.  Both were adopted..... one at 11........ and had lots of emotional problems..... they still have their difficulties..... but neither one are violent........and they have lived to adulthood without hating the human race.....even though life dumped really hard on them in their past.  But over and over we gave them the message that violence was wrong, that the media was fictional and watching violent shows was not good for their attitude (we didn't allow violent shows in our home ... but didn't try to limit what they saw with
friends and would talk about it with them)..... AND we gave the message that they controlled what they did, and  what they did could affect their future. We also stressed their responsibility for their actions on a regular basis.

I remember too well the futile  feeling that what I said didn't matter........ the feelings of having no say in your child's life as they get older...... but hang in there, parents! And keep letting them know YOU are listening  and care whether they do or not....they need to hear that message during  their teen years  as often as they did when they were younger.....maybe even more......

Barbara Schulz  or   or
Co-author of "Scribes Online"
JHU/CTE Faculty Associate
4th/5th Grade Teacher (
Technology Trainer - Harford County Public Schools

Requiem for Columbine High School, Littleton, Colorado

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