Magazine article Working Mother

Holiday Spirit

Magazine article Working Mother

Holiday Spirit

Article excerpt

As a busy working mom of a very busy teenager, you may not get much face time with him. So togetherness around the holidays, when you both have time off, is probably a high priority for you. But here's the deal: While you want everyone to go to Aunt Clara's for her annual holiday fete, your peer-focused teen has other ideas-like hanging with his pals-and you see a battle brewing.

At this stage of his life, your teenager's values may not always coincide with yours. (When you were a teen, was a family gathering the first place you wanted to be?) Yet if spending holiday time with family is important to you, your child's participation is ultimately your decision. "Think of your teen as an adult-in-training," says Jeffrey Rothweiler, PhD, a clinical psychologist specializing in adolescence at St. Louis Children's Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine. "This is a time to train him about the importance of family obligations and responsibilities."

Bear in mind that you want your child to develop independence, also a part of the adult-in-training program. So listen to his message as you assert yours. "If the issue is nonnegotiable, be up-front and honest about it," says Dr. Rothweiler. But also hear your child's objections, and perhaps make a conciliatory concession. If, for instance, your teen says he made other plans, reinforce that he should have cleared them with you first. Then you might offer a compromise: "I understand this other party is important to you, and at a reasonable time Dad will drive you over to Jake's house. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.