Teens and the Juggling Elephants Routine

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were extremely frustrated with our teenage daughter (I said teenager so you are thinking... and you're surprised?). She is an outstanding young lady, but had become quite distant, aloof and downright cranky at times. When we had a discussion with her a few days ago, the reasons she gave for her disposition were somewhat surprising. She said, "I just feel so much pressure to get things done-I don't have alot of time to do what I want. I just would like not to be so rushed." And she is only 13.

While my wife and I consider ourselves to be "good parents," we sometimes don't do an adequate job helping our daughter learn to be the ringmaster of her circus. We might set a poor example or just expect her to jump into the lineup. We also haven't spent enough time helping her to better learn how to manage her time and energy.

Teens today face enormous pressures from all sides. Somehow in the midst of the chaos, we need to teach (and model) the behaviors that will help them deal with the rush of more complex acts that will come their way as they get older. What's the old saying, "An ounce of prevention......"

I am happy to report that after a family "performance review" our daughter is more like herself. And mom, dad and sister better understand what acts they need to have in their lineup to make sure it doesn't happen again soon.