DiscoverTalking To Teens: Expert Tips for Parenting TeenagersEp. 87: Combatting the Drama of High School
Ep. 87: Combatting the Drama of High School

Ep. 87: Combatting the Drama of High School

Update: 2020-05-31


Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode

In many ways, high school is something that takes place behind closed doors. Even though many  teenagers seem young and naïve to many parents, they’re having their first experiences with drugs, alcohol, sex, and other serious topics both inside and outside of class, and their choices have major consequences. Not to mention, teenagers are often dealing with a cutthroat social jungle packed with drama! All these stressors add up quickly, and teens might make irrational, possibly dangerous or harmful decisions.  This world—the world of high school—is a hard one for parents to keep up with, especially when their teens don’t want to be open and honest about their experiences. Still, parents absolutely need to be a positive presence in their teens lives to help navigate these wild situations. But when teens are reluctant to share their experiences, how can parents possibly know how to act?  For more about teenage social spheres and what parents can do to help, I talked with Rosalind Wiseman, author of multiple parenting books including Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the new Realities of Girl World, the basis for the hit movie Mean Girls. (You could say Wiseman made “fetch” happen!) Aside from this feat alone, Wiseman has worked with teens for decades, and her books are all written with the guidance of actual teenagers and are screened by teen readers, making them some of the most spot-on books on the market. She’s also no stranger to working with parents, schools, and teenagers themselves to work through some of the most challenging moments in teens’ lives.  According to Wiseman, one of the most crucial parts of helping teens navigate high school is to instill an understanding of how they should be treated and how they should treat others—something parents need to foster. Teens need to know their essential worth as a person and use this knowledge to guide their friendships, relationships, and important choices. For example, what are they looking for from their friends? Do they cherish trust? Loyalty? Acceptance? Teens need to know what their values are, what they look like, and know how to stand up for themselves when they’re being violated. They’re are going to make these decisions for themselves, but Wiseman explains to listeners exactly why instilling this kind of resolve is one of the best things a parent can do, as well as how to do it.  In addition, Wiseman covers everything from breaking down cliques to creating a family “Bill of Rights,” rattling off insights and strategies for parents like the expert she is. Over the course of our interview, we cover:

  • Identifying teenage roles in friend groups. 

  • Getting teens to help themselves with self-help books. 

  • “Reconnaissance strategies” and the importance of teen privacy

  • The reality of nude photos and sexting 

  • Shifting elements of teenage drug culture 

Wiseman’s work has had an incredible impact on the world of parenting, teaching, and even pop culture, and having her as a guest on this week’s podcast was an absolute privilege. Whether or not you’re the parent of a high schooler, listen in for all of her amazing tips!








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Ep. 87: Combatting the Drama of High School

Ep. 87: Combatting the Drama of High School