the PARENT UP-Date

Vol 2.1 March 2015

Parents as Partners

To steward the life of a child is a gigantic task entrusted to us. As parents, we must recognize the limits of our control and efforts, and capitalize on the power of a partnership with our kids as they do their own work to individuate and mature.

In adolescence, kids are asking, "Who am I?", "Where do I belong?" and "Am I going to make it?".

A parent with a posture for listening, and the gift of consistent presence, will be able to help their kid answer these questions without the intoxicating distractions of drugs and alcohol.

In this edition of the Parent UP-date, we share a parenting perspective on partnership, resources for preparing for a safe and fun prom season, a few ideas for your family to have fun together this spring, and a book recommendation for parents of all ages.

Thank you for being a ParentUP parent!

-The ParentUP team

How To Partner With A Kid Who Has Just Messed Up...

If you've had your kid share shockingly scary or disappointing news with you lately, know you're not alone.

In a blog post, Parenting Consultant, Karen Alonge, takes a detailed look at how to respond to hearing, "My middle schooler just tried pot!". Her thoughts provide great perspective on parental posture.

Alonge says it begins with the parent's emotional state. First, give yourself time to settle down, to ease out of shock, anger, rage, or powerlessness.

When ready, after days if necessary, the next step is to LISTEN to your kid, gathering information about their perspective of what happened, why, and what they think now.

Alonge says, "The point of all this listening is to find out how your teen has processed this experience. You want to know if they feel guilty, defiant, unconcerned, or enthralled."

Through their own processing, with you as parent asking guiding, reflective questions, the child can decide drugs and alcohol are bad for them on their own. Then, guilt and remorse will be powerful assistants in future cases where the child needs internal control.

After reflecting back, it's time to partner with your kid for the future. What consequences are necessary now and what can be put in place to break the pattern for next time? Alonge has researched the effect of random drug tests done at home by parents. In her studies, most parents believe it helps teens use restraint: they can say to friends, "No thanks, my parents could test me at any time."


"So to recap:", Alonge writes, "Find out how they have processed their experience. Let them know the specifics about why you think it's not wise or healthy for them, and listen to their perspective. Ask them how you can support them in refraining from future use..." The point is to partner with your teen to help and support them.

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ParentUP Prom Resources

For every thing from coordination to conversations about prom, check out our prom resources at
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Spring Family Fun

Try these options for a family day or night around Kansas City this Spring:

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What Parenting Does to Parents....A Paradoxical Read

This book is a thought-provoking read for parents of kids at any age.

One reviewer writes: “Travelling far beyond the infant and toddler years into the acute challenges of adolescence, Senior ingeniously deconstructs the kinds of experiences that all parents have but few parents talk about, revealing in countless ways that none of us are in this alone. I loved this book.”

—Madeline Levine, bestselling author of Teach Your Children Well

Find out more and how to purchase at

Find it at your local library as well!

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