MomsOnMonday: Prep for Parenting Your Modern Family

Posted on June 10th, 2013, 0 Comments

While we wait for Season 5 to begin…

We’ll look back at Season 4, exploring some new aspects of the episodes I’ve already blogged about. We’ll also look at episodes 1-6 that aired this season before I began blogging about “Modern Family,” and we’ll take a peek at some of the best episodes from earlier seasons. Plus, starting this week, there’ll be some polls to make it easy for you to share your parenting experiences. Your answers will be added to those of others and the results will be instantly available for you to see.

So come on, Ladies! Let’s get some synergy going over the summer!

Reframe: Right. Wrong. They Just Can’t Stop It.

Season 4, Episode 23
(Click here to see the original post.)

My Notes

Our job is to stay connected to our teens. But our teens don’t make our job easy. In fact, they seem programed to extend away from us. Because to successfully transition from childhood to adulthood, they must complete two crucial tasks: They have to figure out who they are as individuals, and they have to become independent.

Two snippets from this episode of “Modern Family” give us a glimpse at how teens think about their job of extending away:

As the Dunphys ride up the coast in a borrowed RV, there’s this conversation…
Claire: Alex, honey, that’s a cute sweater. Doesn’t Haley have one like that?
Alex: Oh, it actually is hers. I took it from her closet before we left.
Claire: You’re okay with this [Haley]?
Haley: Oh, yeah, she can wear whatever she wants after I’ve had it for six months.
Alex: Or I get it automatically if you buy anything that looks like it.

And there’s this back and forth as Manny explains why he needs to search for his backpack in first the Dunphy home and then Mitch and Cam’s place while the families are away…
Manny: But my backpack is in there, Jay. My poem for my poetry reading…
Jay: Calm down. Didn’t you back it up on the computer?
Manny: What kind of man writes poetry on a computer?
Jay: You could have ended that sentence after “poetry.”
Manny (continuing to think about his upcoming reading): I don’t want my mom there. I’m exploring some darker themes I’m not sure she is ready for. Poems like “The Umbilical Noose,” “A Jail Called Mom,” “Smother Nature.” She’ll just find some way to make it all about her.

As our teens assert their individuality, they are also busy pushing for adult privileges and battling for independence. To be honest, most interactions between us and our teens involve a tug-of-war. They want one thing, and we want something else. What do you battle most about with your teen? And you only get to pick one.

If the direction of the interaction doesn’t sit right with our teen, they dig in for battle, using their improved vocabulary and arguing abilities to prolong, intensify, and complicate things. What is your teen’s “go to” strategy for keeping the battle going? Again, you only get to pick one.

How do your tug-of-wars with your teen compare with what other moms said in the polls above? Did you have trouble picking just one battle or strategy?

In the next few weeks we’ll talk about how to handle some of these battles. See you next Monday!

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