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.

Helping teens debunk the myth of ‘Normal’

March 24, 2014

I was in high school when I read David and Lisa, by Theodore Rubin. (The book and the ground-breaking film on which it’s based, are both profound and well worth checking out.)

David and Lisa are a couple of teens with “issues” who meet and fall in love in a residential treatment center. When the kids from the center go on a neighborhood field trip they encounter a group of “typical” teens who mock them viciously for not being “normal.” To which David counters: “If you’re normal who wants to be normal??” (Best comeback ever!)

The character’s self-confident defiance launched a personal revolution inside my head. Come to think of it, that single line of dialogue has probably been the engine driving much of what I do, what I write, and what I teach.

User's manual for parents of teens

User’s manual for parents of teens

So what is “normal”? That’s what I wanted to explore when I sat down recently with my Family Confidential podcast guest, Dr. Jennifer Wider MD. Jennifer aka, Jena, is a nationally renowned women’s health expert, author, and radio host. Her weekly radio segment on Cosmo Radio is called “Am I Normal?” Dr. Wider’s latest book (co-authored with Logan Levkoff, PhD) is Got Teens? The Doctor Moms’ Guide to Sexuality, Social Media and Other Adolescent Realities. Learn more at DrWider.com.

Jena and I had such a dynamic conversation about the myth of “normal” I wanted to share it here. I can’t think of anything more essential to the emotional well-being of young people than helping them bust out the confines of living up to someone else’s idea of how they should look, feel and think so they can gain confidence to be themselves. Listen in on our conversation here.

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