Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Podcast For Parents: Want to be yourself? Go for it!

May 25, 2009

Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken

"Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken" by Mike Robbins

When my son was in grade school he never wore bright colors but he liked all kinds of t-shirts. When he started 6th grade the only tees he’d ever wear were blank white ones (the kind Haines sells in packages of three). When  I asked him about it he launched into a detailed description of the school’s social hierarchy and where he fit in. (A notch above the  losers.) Losers wore whatever they wanted because they were invisible and lacked social aspirations. Popular kids wore whatever they wanted and instantly spawned new trends.  The rest of the kids (95% of the class) were very cautious with their wardrobe choices. From my son’s perspective, wearing a plain white tee was a low risk move. All he could afford to make. As he patiently explained, “I’m not cool enough to be different.” In other words, he wasn’t confident enough to be himself.

You expect insecurity from tweens and teens. “Do I look OK?” “When am I going to learn to keep my big mouth shut?” “Did anyone just notice what I did?” But many adults still work overtime keeping our ‘unacceptable’ selves in check. We wait at the corner forever looking both ways before we make an assertive move.  In doing so, not only are we holding ourselves back from truly enjoying our lives and relationships, we’re also missing in action when it comes to showing our kids how a self-assured authentic adult operates.

I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a long time. That’s why I was drawn to Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken: Transform Your Life with the Power of Authenticity by Mike Robbins. In this week’s  Family Confidential podcast, Mike and I talk about removing the barriers to being ourselves so we can be better people and better parents.

Have a listen here:

If you have iTunes, you can subscribe to this podcast in the iTunes Store.

Or, you can download an MP3 version here.

Upcoming guest authors include:

Subscribe to Family Confidential and tune in each time!

*What’s a podcast? “A podcast is a series of digital media files, usually either digital audio or video, that is made available for download via web syndication.” – Wikipedia… So, in this case, there’s an audio file for you to listen to (in addition to reading the above).

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Podcast For Parents: Is my kid the problem or is it me?

May 10, 2009

Author Joan Ryan

Author Joan Ryan

About five years ago my son and I were restocking the woodpile under our front deck when someone else’s son wiped out on his skateboard in front of the house. We didn’t see the kid go down, but we heard his concerned friend yelling, “You OK, Ryan?” (No response.) “Ryan?!” I ran out to the street and saw a sturdy-looking 13 year old sprawled on the road, not moving.

On the ride to the emergency room the boy told me his name was Ryan Tompkins and his arm hurt a lot. I waited with him at Marin General until his mom arrived. When she walked toward me, I had that weird feeling that I knew her. Actually I didn’t, but I’d seen her picture over breakfast every morning. Ryan’s mom is Joan Ryan, long-time columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

"The Water Giver" by Joan Ryan

"The Water Giver" by Joan Ryan

Ryan was wearing a helmet and he was fine after his spill, but turns out he had another skateboard accident in 2006 (no helmet that time). His traumatic brain injury is at the heart of Joan Ryan’s new book, The Water Giver: the story of a mother, a son, and their second chance.

In this week’s Family Confidential podcast, Joan and I meet again to talk about getting beyond focusing on our kids’ problems and what needs to be fixed, to setting up Parenting Camp on new ground… the place where we accept, no celebrate our children for exactly who they are.

Have a listen here:

If you have iTunes, you can subscribe to this podcast in the iTunes Store.

Or, you can download an MP3 version here.

Upcoming guest authors include:

Subscribe to Family Confidential and tune in each time!

*What’s a podcast? “A podcast is a series of digital media files, usually either digital audio or video, that is made available for download via web syndication.” – Wikipedia… So, in this case, there’s an audio file for you to listen to (in addition to reading the above).

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