Sample Pages of
C H A P T E R 13
Tower of Strength 3--the family's tower:
Familyhood supplies irreplaceable assets.
Parents are important!
A sixteen-year-old I'll call Dale visited with me some time ago about a problem
he was having. He said, "Two forces like have hold of me and are trying their
best to rip me apart. I want to party with my friends, but if I do, I have to go
against my parents. I don't want to be left out, I don't want to miss out
on things, and I don't want to go against my parents. What do I do?"
Crissy, seventeen, had a different problem. She said,
"I hate my parents."
I asked without reacting, "Why do you hate your
She erupted: "They won't give me any space!
They think they have to know everything! They don't trust me at all! They think
just because they wrote their little names on a piece of paper at the bank and help
pay my insurance that they can ground me from my car!...They hate my friends! But
that doesn't really matter because my friends think they're gross
Both Dale and Crissy needed to realize the vital place their
parents will always occupy in their lives. At some point in visiting with teenagers
like them, I usually draw nine intersecting circles with labels. (See diagram on next
I explain the diagram this way...
Think of these circles as vital cells in your life. In order to have an all-around healthy life, you must have good health in each cell.
If one cell gets sick, all other cells are affected, and you become crippled to some degree. You may be able to ignore the sick cell for a while and deny that it's a problem to you, but one day you'll realize that you have been handicapped all along.
I try to help young people see that the wisest way to live is to struggle to keep all the cells healthy and not to sacrifice one cell to make another fat (like when teenagers sacrifice parents to have good times with friends).
We look at one cell at a time and talk about its importance. When we come to the
Other topics in this chapter include...
Fair and reasonable parents are irreplaceable people.
There's no place like home.
But why won't teenagers listen to parents?
How you can strengthen the family tower.
The wrong crowd clique is really in a bind.
Three cheers! You can compete with the wrong crowd!
Why people may fail who intrusively substitute themselves
for a teen's parents without his or her parents' blessing.