Teenagers, Rules and Rebellion

Charlotte (17)

“My daughter will be 13 soon,” says a mother. She groans: “There’s trouble ahead!” The other mothers nod in sympathy. Yes, life is about to get very difficult. It always does when there’s a teenager in the family.

But are teenagers really trouble? I discuss this question with my own teenage daughters, Imogen, Charlotte and Sophie, in this week’s podcast.

We talk about the pressures teenagers have to face, and how a parent can unwittingly magnify those pressures. 

We discuss the practice of making lots of rules and regulations. Do rules really protect teenagers from the dangers of the outside world? Or do they drive a wedge between parents and children? Is there a better way of helping teenagers, as they move from childhood towards adulthood?

We also talk about making mistakes, the need for forgiveness, and also honesty. It’s not only teenagers who need to be honest. Parents are sometimes guilty of deception too. I was. I confess this as I tell the story of how I was severely afflicted with a bad case of adult peer pressure.

I really love having teenagers in the family. I feel very connected to my older children. But it hasn’t always been this way. I share a little about how I stumbled along as I parented Felicity, our first teenager

And though teenagers aren’t ‘trouble’, some do face troubles that can overwhelm them. I end with a few words about this.

Sophie (13)

Program Notes

Blog posts about teenagers, rules and rebellion

Why I Refuse to Be My Child’s Worst Nightmare

When a Parent Makes a Child’s Life Unnecessarily Difficult

Teenagers Are People Too

Guiding My Children Responsibly Without Imposing Rules

What a Day Without Rules Looks Like

Imposing Rules on a Child: Is There a Better Way?

The ‘Risky’ Business of Trusting Children

Rules, Responsible Parenting and Radical Unschooling

Blog posts about parenting a teenager who is dealing with extra problems

My Mental Illness Series page of posts.

Blog posts about teenagers, clothes and adult peer pressure

The Jeans Wearing Rule

When a Parent Makes a Child’s Life Unnecessarily Difficult

Imogen (19)

I hope you will join Imogen, Charlotte, Sophie and me for this week’s podcast: Teenagers, Rules and Rebellion. It’s a few minutes longer than usual. Teenagers have lots to say. (So do mothers!) You might need your knitting or something else to keep your hands busy while you listen!

The Angels of Abbey Creek

You can find my other podcasts on my podcast page.

You can find my children’s stories on the pages of my novel, The Angels of Abbey Creek

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  1. Reply

    Hi Sue,
    I don't like the thought of being my children 's worst nightmare, either, I guess we're lucky that we don't have troubled children. We haven't had rules but our children have cared about what we think. Sometimes, I hope they aren't overly worried about our approval. I wouldn't want them to be adults with issues about pleasing their controlling parents.

    1. Reply


      Maybe your children care about what you think because they respect your opinions, not because they are worried about gaining your approval. It's sad that adult children can be affected so much by how they were treated when younger, by their parents. Yes that need-to-please feeling is hard to throw off. I wouldn't want my children to suffer those issues either. I hope they won't!

      Vicky, you are always so kind listening to my podcasts and then stopping to comment. Thank you!

  2. Reply

    Hi Sue!

    Good to see you again. It took me awhile to figure out that you were blogging elsewhere.

    When I was in my mid-20s I worked with at-risk teenagers. All of them were sweethearts, but they got into a lot of trouble, which I think was mostly due to peer pressure and lack of attention from their parents and other adults, including teachers and counselors, who figured in their lives. My mentor told me that early teen years are tough, as they're going through so many emotional, physical, and mental changes. And, that by 17 and 18, they'll be okay. That's if they cannot do too much damage to themselves in between.

    1. Reply


      I'm glad you found me! I haven't had much to say on my Sue Elvis Writes blog recently, but I've been busy over here. I've also been podcasting which has been a great learning experience!

      Peer pressure is so difficult to deal with, for both teenagers and adults. I do agree with you: teenagers need lots of attention. I imagine your work was very difficult but rewarding as well. A very worthwhile thing to do. I've been thinking about mentors. Perhaps parents and other adults who are helping teenagers (and anyone in need) need support of their own. It's always good to have someone to talk to, and to share the burden.

    • San
    • November 12, 2014

    Great podcast really enjoyed listening to it.

    San x

    1. Reply


      Thank you so much for listening! I met a professional audio recorder/ presenter the other day. He said he'd show me how to give my podcasts a professional touch. They probably need a lot of help! Anyway, that might be exciting.

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