Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Tuesday, 01.23.2018
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3  4  5
 6  7  8  9  10  11  12
 13  14  15  16  17  18  19
 20  21  22  23  24  25  26
 27  28  29  30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

May 11,2007
Parenting is about connections, limits and autonomy
by Jane Clifford

Does your child have friends you just don't like? How do you limit their time together? How do you explain the situation to your child?

Professional guidance comes from Yanon Volcani, a Southern California clinical and consulting psychologist:

RAISING YOUR KIDS - Children should be free to choose their own friends, experts say. You shouldn't interfere in your child's selection unless the other child is destructive or a thief. 
Before parents can figure out how to respond to the issue of their children's friends, they have to understand themselves, their role, and how their children develop.

"A parent's path is to help kids learn to take responsible care of themselves. I look at everything through that."

A big part of that is understanding the role of connections.

"Connections underlie everything," Volcani says. "It's why Tom Hanks named his volleyball Wilson."

The ball was Hanks' character's only connection in the movie "Cast Away," where he found himself alone on an island after a plane crash. The relationship he had with that ball and the desolation he felt after it floated out to sea were accurate reflections of how crucial connections are in life, Volcani says.

For young children those connections are to parents, siblings, extended family, maybe pets. Once kids enter school, the connections will be to teachers, classmates, neighbors, members of their Girl Scout troop or Little League team. And friends.

Here is where parents have to factor in another concept.

"Now, we get to limits," Volcani says. "One, the limits must be age appropriate and expanding and, two, you have to, have to, have to foster autonomy within the limits set."

For a young child, he uses teeth brushing as an example. In the parent's domain is that daily brushing of teeth is mandatory. In the child's domain might be what kind of toothpaste or toothbrush to use.

For the older child, he tells the story of how his mother, once he turned 13, told him she wasn't going to fight with him about his messy room anymore. She moved it from her domain to his. With limits. He couldn't damage the room by putting holes in the walls, he couldn't let things get so bad that she could smell odors coming from the room, and he had to keep the door closed.

"Development is more and more about putting things in the child's domain," he says. "So, now, whose domain are friends in? The friends thing is very tricky."

When your young child has a friend you don't like, unless that kid is destroying property or stealing from you, Volcani says to stay out of it. You could take up the annoying behavior with the offending child, or that child's parent, if you're close enough to the family.

Maybe you're worried the back-talking or mean or selfish or lazy behavior in the friend will rub off on your child.

"You want to err on the side of belief in the goodness of your child," he says. Instead of restricting the friendship, first try explaining to your child the concern you have about the friend's negative behavior.

"You tell your child, 'If I don't see you taking care of your (behavior), then I'll have to go to the next level,' whatever that is."

Things get even trickier with older children. Volcani cautions parents of teenagers not to fool themselves.

"Don't set a law you can't enforce," he says of the temptation to forbid certain friends. "It's an illusion that you can control who they spend time with."

They will manage to see those friends at school or wherever. Better to open up and be honest.

"Just say, 'I get scared when you're with so-and-so. I know very well he's a substance abuser, smoking marijuana and drinking. I feel very awkward telling you whom to associate with. That seems very controlling. However, that being said, I'm worried that you're in a bad situation and all kinds of horrific things can happen.' Then wait and see how your child responds."

Volcani says you might be met with denial of all that you know to be true, and you might need to reconsider limits. Or your kid might agree with you, express concern for himself but also worry that he is abandoning his friend by not hanging out with him or her anymore.

That can lead to a deeper discussion about ways your child can help the friend. The bottom line, Volcani says, is that these situations often are opportunities for parents to provide their children with more lessons in learning to take responsible care of themselves.

Copley News Service

1682 times read

Related news
Child care experts offer tips for tots' food by John O'Connell posted on Feb 02,2007

Tips to Help Your Kids Celebrate Reading by NewsUSA posted on Feb 09,2006

How To Raise a Spoiled Child by Erik_Deckers posted on Sep 22,2006

Children's rights should include life with both parents by Phyllis_Schlafly posted on Jul 20,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 6 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?