Be sure to respect the intellectual changes that mark adolescence. Adolescent thinking can and should reflect: abstract notions, the relationships of things to each other and people to each other, multiple responses to the same condition or question and the idea of thinking itself.
Too often, we are unwilling to recognize the leap from early childhood to adolescence, with its correspondingly complex growth. And another leap occurs between elementary school and middle school. Studies become specific, homework assignments become lengthy and complex. So, the many, many changes at this age level are a huge challenge to the adolescent and a stunning lesson for the unwary parent(s).
Language is the tool of learning as well as the basis for social interaction. Reading therefore, at standardized grade levels, is an extremely important benchmark. Empowering children to read at expected levels is one of the more important responsibilities of the school and parent(s).
We need to empower children with the tools of self-esteem, pride and accomplishment. Then we need to give them the tough love that balances love and encouragement with guided direction. Parental control needs to be firm, but loving; consistent, but resonant; guided, but understanding. More about that in the chapter on Family and the Role of the Parent.
The clue here is to empower children at every step of the way... empowerment should grow in style and magnitude as the child develops. Allow the child all the growth that good sense dictates. Advise, but do not constrain. Help, but do not muzzle. Love, but do not smother.
Excerpt from the Book, ???Empowering Children.??? See more at: http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/description.asp?ISBN=0-7414-2331-6
Dr. Malkin holds a B.Sc. in Business and a Masters and Ph.D. in Religion. He has made hundreds of visits to schools with a moving and effective motivational presentation, urging teens to do their personal best. His mentoring programs have empowered many, many children. His quest for years has been to teach the power of Right Action, working towards the goal of a better world.