Monday, December 17, 2007

Domestic Violence

I recently sat at a booth in the middle of Main Street in a far flung suburb in Oregon. The event was a Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil. Why would StandUp Parenting set up shop here?
It’s true that probably about a third of the parents in our local support group were either abused as a child by a parent, or as an adult, by a partner. For most, it was in the hazy past with a parent or partner who no longer figures in their lives. The effects may live on, though.
Some are still living in or affected by abusive relationships with either partner or parent. This, of course, affects the parent’s relationships with their teen or young adult.
The majority of our local parents have suffered verbal abuse by the tongues of their children, young or old. A large portion of these have suffered physical intimidation, threats or abuse at the hands of their kids.
Often caseworkers, therapists, teachers and law enforcement officers just don’t understand our predicament. Most cities and states have quite clear laws about partner violence, or the violence of a parent toward a child. There are few such laws protecting parents from abusive children.
The great thing about our StandUp Parenting groups is the hope and help they can give folks in this very situation. Does the idea of support in your situation give you hope? Join us! Click the StandUp Parenting link at the right to find a group near you.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Home School Dilemma

Our StandUp Parents come from many different backgrounds and traditions. It has not been uncommon to have homes school families join our group with out of control teens. They can no longer pull off teaching and keeping a lid on the constant anger at home. We’ve brainstormed and come up with many different directions a parent can try: Home school co-op, sending a kid to public or private school part or full time. If they’re old enough, letting them go directly to the local community college to attend high school completion or GED classes. Some teens go directly to work.
A new trend we’ve observed on the West Coast runs in the opposite direction. High school students, doing well academically and okay socially
become frustrated with teachers or a particular social situation. Rather than refusing to go to school and subsequently dropping out, these kids are demanding to be home schooled.
Parents who have never even considered home schooling are hit hard by their student’s announcement. What to do? Brainstorming with your group to see what others have done is your best bet. Also consider that this isn’t the end of the world! Your kid still wants an education. Home schooling is so prevalent around the country that most schools have a contingency plan for these kids. There are lots of curricula available. Online schools, home school support groups and resource centers abound.
As you come up with a plan with your StandUp group, recall the advice given by Love and Logic’s Cline and Fay – who is holding the units of concern in this situation? Your kid wants to be home schooled? Let him/her do the legwork. Let them find the programs available, the prices, what fits in your family budget. Let them contact school personnel about the change in their plans, get the forms, filled them out as much as they can.
The more your teen does, the more they will own the process. Will they follow through? Perhaps. Will they fail? Perhaps. Will they succeed? Perhaps. No hard and fast answers here, folks – just food for thought.
If you’re new to this kind of teen difficulty, check out our link to the StandUp Parenting web site and look for a group in your area to get the support you need. We’ll be looking for you!