From Toddlers to Teenagers
by Naomi Aldort
An interview about teenagers by a teenager (18) interviewer:
How to prevent issues from arising starting when they are babies, and how respond to difficulties when they are teens.
How would you be with your baby, toddler or child, if you had a clue how she will be as a teen and adult and what you can do better now?
And how would you be with your teen now if you had new insights into her inner life and true needs?
When I opened the email from Zali, the first thing I saw was “I am an 18 year old…” and my heart jumped with joy. I LOVE teens and was eager to continue reading the email. Based on previous experiences, I expected to read about her trouble with her parents, wishing I would assist her to deal with them, or give them some guidance so they respect her.
Yet, to my dismay, the email was an invitation to be interviewed on her first summit on parenting of teenagers. I was delighted and replied with a big yes.
When Zali and I got together on Zoom, and chatted to get to know each other, I learnt that my reaction wasn’t everyone’s. Zali received some negative reactions too, due to her young age, as well as total dismissal and non response. I share this with you because it is at the heart of the cause of difficulties we see between parents and teens which I addressed in the interview.
Zali did interview 10 parenting leaders who value her work and appreciate her perspective as a young person. She calls her summit: My teen hates me; now what? Of course the interviews are about everything parenting and teens. And as for a teen hating her parents; if you are sure your child will never hate you, think again. Some of them say, “I hate you” at age 4, but if your child is the cuddly little one who expresses only love, not only there is no guarantee she would not feel otherwise, but it is as or more likely.
I am eager to have you listen to my and others’ interviews on teens and encourage you to listen whether you have a teen or a baby/toddler/child. The toddler is the teen she will unfold to be so it is never too early to learn.
At the same time, if you have a teen and you experience or will experience adverse emotions, worrisome behaviors (sex, drinking, defiance etc.), or difficulty connecting, I covered all these and more in the interview.
The questions I answered include everything from how to treat a baby and a child such that she grows up immune to peer pressure, to how to deal with teens who may already have difficulties or how when we think they are doing well, something else may be welling inside ready to take over.
I cover in the interview sexuality, drugs, behavior and how to stay connected and nurturing trust and responsibility; how to empower teenagers so that they thrive inside and don’t need external motivation; when Zali asked if teens are stigmatized I responded with politics and passion; the subject of leadership, boundaries, parties etc, were all addressed and I even talked about mental illness, anxiety, depression and emotional dependency and how to deal with, heal, and, if the child is still young, prevent.
To end the interview Zali asked me how a child develops self-confidence so she can take on adulthood, which allowed me to expand further on principals of parenting in general and address the deeper issues that can harm or build confidence.
I want to tell you more about Zali who grew up in California. She has wisely dropped out of college and started a life, already travelled in Europe, and now has arranged for herself a life in Finland and planning to meet me on my speaking tour, and maybe arrange an event, or participate in one of the workshops in Europe next spring.
I highly recommend that teenagers and young people in your life watch the interview/s as well.
The summit starts on June 11th. Join me in supporting Zali and empowring young people.
Please share on social media and with your friends and family.
Copyright Naomi Aldort 2018