The freedom of boundaries

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

We all want freedom.  Few people want to be made to do something they don’t want. Our children are no different…but their ability to use their logical brain to weigh up the various sides of a given choice is more limited.  They need to learn how to deal with the freedom to choose. With the lockdowns in place throughout the …

Helping your child cope with Corona

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Pandemics activate many of our most primitive fears: Helplessness in the face of the unseen threat from nature Fear of the stranger bringing danger to those we love Fear of sickness and death, both for ourselves and the most terrible fear we could cause it in those we love Fear of the impotence that can come with the loss of …

Stay On Target

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Have you tried to address a problem with one of your kids, and somehow you end up arguing about something else entirely, and the issue was not resolved? One way of avoiding being parented is to go off on a tangent and creating a new topic to argue about.  It is a classic misdirection, and is particularly effective if the new …

Going “GAGA”

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

I’m always looking for new ways to think about or remember ideas that may be helpful when interacting with young people. When emotions are high or behaviours are irritating, it can be so hard to remain cool, calm and connected enough to be helpful to our kids. Expectations and disappointment flood in at times, but if we get caught in …

4W’s: watch, wait, wonder, “one-down”

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

I’ve been playing with a new idea when emotions get high…the 4W’s.  It can be used as a way of remembering what to do when you are feeling provoked, and you want to be helpful and not take the problem personally. Watch: try to step out of the situation and see the big picture. You are less likely to react as an …

“I need a break”

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

When you have a child whose behaviour concerns you it feels like you never get a break from watching and worrying about what they are doing.  The constant wondering whether you should step in can be utterly exhausting. So how can you get a break from the constancy of feeling responsible for how your child is developing? One way to decrease …

Teen Brain and Technology

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked about the topic of technology and teens. Most of my colleagues have concerns about it for their patients. And most of my friends are concerned about it for their children. The stories of what looks like dependence on technology are everywhere: the teenage girl’s terror of losing her …

Why should I? Stage 6: because it’s right.

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Stage 6: universal ethical principles orientation.  Adulthood onwards For some, moral reasoning primarily becomes based on their adherence to a set of universal abstract ethical principles.  The person sees that they have a duty to behave morally based on these principles, and not: to avoid punishment (stage 1),  in their own interests (stage 2),  because of what is expected of them (stage …

Why should I? stage 5: because we agreed.

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Stage 5: social contract orientation. Teenage years onwards  Sometime post puberty the child begins to see the world as comprising many individuals and many groups, each holding different opinions, values and rights.  Rules are not rigid edicts, but are considered social contracts that are cooperatively made for overall benefit of those involved.  In developing these contracts, individuals make claims on each other, …

Why should I? Stage 4: for “us”

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Stage 4: social-order maintaining orientation. Late primary onwards In secondary school (corresponding with the development of abstract thinking) the child becomes aware of the importance of obeying laws and social norms to maintain a functioning group.  The motivation is not for personal gain or approval, but to uphold the obligations and duties of the group so it runs well for all members …