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To Change a Mind -- Parenting to Promote Maturity in Teenagers
by John A. McKinnon, MD
2011
(Lantern Books, New York, NY)
All rights reserved.
[Answer 18 of 25 questions correctly to receive
9 hours of Continuing Education credit.]

 


Part 1: Recognition

Chapter 2: A Need to Be Known (p. 7-24)
1. Which is NOT true?
a. For a parent's recognition to have impact on a child, it must be known to the child.
b. For the most part, teenagers usually ask for recognition in direct and obvious ways.
c. "Anaclitic depression" describes the symptoms of institutionalized infants who were separated from their mothers and unable to bond with caregivers, symptoms such as weepy withdrawal, weight loss, insomnia, recurrent infections, frozen facial expressions (a faraway look), retarded emotional and intellectual development, and increasing difficulty making human contact.
d. In her wartime nurseries, Anna Freud discovered that an attentive staff's warm recognition could prevent anaclitic depression even in the continued absence of a child's own parents.

Chapter 3: How to Recognize (p. 23-43)
2. The first advice the author gives in this chapter to parents of teenagers is to
a. choose the right moment to recognize your teenager.
b. forge an interdependent relationship with your teenager.
c. speak with true empathy to your teenager.
d. make time to be with your teenager.

3. Which of the following situations would the author NOT support?
a. Parents who must maintain their separateness as adults so they can set the limits which help their adolescents gain control over themselves, accept legitimate rules, and become responsible citizens.
b. Parents who try to talk a police officer out of giving their teenager a speeding ticket when the teen is driving them home from family vacation.
c. Parents who give recognition to their teen when their teen doesn't always reflect the parents' thoughts, feelings, or convictions.
d. Parents who behave in the manner they want their teens to behave when they become adults: confident, sensible, dignified, realistic, unapologetic about authority, assertive without bullying, good-humored, with common sense, self-discipline, and respect for others' feelings and rights.

4. Parents should speak courteously and respectfully to their teenager
a. even when the parents are angry at their teen's misbehavior.
b. because it preserves and distinguishes the teen's worth from their misbehavior.
c. because their teen might otherwise mistake parental sarcasm and irony with parental hostility.
d. All of the above.

5. With which of the following parental behaviors would the author AGREE?
a. Telling your teen how good he sounds when playing a musical instrument when he actually sounds horrible.
b. You apologize one time for misunderstanding your teen.
c. Accusing your teen of "always" doing something.
d. Trying to guess what your teen's motive is.


6. Most of the time parents should use recognition from "above" to acknowledge a teen's mixed motives. This approach highlights the good over the bad, as in the example of the parent who says to a teen, "I've kept you waiting, and surely this has to be frustrating for you. How good of you to keep your temper." But in some situations, a parent should put aside tact and confront wretched behavior from "below." Which of the following would describe such a moment?
a. When a teen's arrogant, antisocial, or offensive narcissism persists even after the parent has been quite tactful.
b. When a teen's words or deeds are profoundly offensive.
c. When a teen's misbehavior is disruptive to their family, their school, or their community.
d. All of the above.

Chapter 4: Stage and Theme (p. 44-64)

7. When a teen asks his mother permission to stay out with friends 1 hour past curfew when his father has already said "No", the mother should say to the teen
a. "I'll talk to your father to see if he really means 'No'."
b. "I appreciate that you want to be with your friends, but I won't side with you against your father."
c. "As you know by now, your father and I don't agree on everything."
d. "Yes, you can go. I'll handle your father."

8. On the phone, a father allows his teen to go out with friends only after the teen mows the lawn. After the father gets home from work, he finds the lawn half-mowed and his teen gone. When the teen arrives home, the father should say,
a. "I'm angry with you for lying to me."
b. "You're grounded indefinitely."
c. "I'm disappointed that you went out with your friends before finishing the lawn. Would you like to explain why?"
d. "Do you enjoy being disrespectful and irresponsible?"

Chapter 5: An Invisible Girl -- Lisa (p. 65-82)
9. Which of the following is TRUE?
a. Lisa's parents did not have the opportunity to give her proper recognition because Lisa avoided them too much.
b. The fact that Lisa felt invisible to her parents, as well as lost, were indications of depression.
c. Lisa sneaking out of her parents' house was a sign of Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
d. Within weeks of being born, Lisa was put in the primary care of her parents' housekeeper.

Part 2: Limits


Chapter 6: A Need for No (p. 85-104)
10. Which is NOT true?
a. We are all born selfish, without consideration for others, without empathy or altruism.
b. Parental limits teach children delayed gratification, that they have to work for something they want, to wait their turn, to obey rules, and to consider others.
c. Most parents today find it easy to say "No" to their teenagers.
d. Christopher Lasch, author of the 1979 book
Culture of Narcissism, argued that a loss of parental authority resulted in a decline of conscience in their children. Without parental limits, children would be left to develop greed, irresponsibility, licentiousness, and grandiose self-indulgence.

11. Which was NOT a reason given why some parents are reluctant to set limits?
a. Some parents who set effective limits for years with their children found out that limits simply did not work.
b. Some parents view limits as ineffective punishment. They believe their children are more motivated through praise and unconditional love.
c. Some parents will not set limits in order to avoid adolescent rage or arguments.
d. Some parents don't know how to set effective limits.
e. Some parents feel too ashamed or guilty to set limits because the parents hold themselves responsible for the difficult circumstances their children are in, caused by the parents' divorce, or drinking habit, or time away at work, or whatever.
f. Some parents actually believe that the children are "too special" to follow the rules.

12. Coach Fitz, a baseball coach at a Louisiana prep-school, was known for giving consequences to his players who broke the rules. Years later, one his former students wrote: "Coach Fitz believed that privilege corrupts. It enabled you to do what money could buy instead of what duty demanded...You developed a conviction, buttressed by your parents' money, that life was meant to be easy...that nothing mattered so much that you should suffer for it."
This former student believed that Coach Fitz' limit-setting helped him to become a man.
Conversely, parents who try to defend their children when they break the rules
a. are depriving their children of character.
b. are preventing or delaying their children from growing up.
c. are producing spoiled children.
d. All of the above.

13. A parent says to a teenager, "Yes, you may go to a movie tonight with your friends, provided that you have finished all your homework, cleaned up the kitchen, and taken out the garbage."
Setting limits accomplishes all of the five purposes listed below.
Which purpose is addressed by the limit set above?
a. To challenge self-preoccupied, self-important narcissism.
b. To challenge a lack of consideration for others and to teach empathy.
c. To treat others as separate and equal.
d. To make future consequences contingent upon present behavior. To teach a teen how to reach a goal with a plan.
e. To teach ethical thinking, and social and abstract moral reasoning that transcends concrete selfishness.

Chapter 7: How to Say No (p. 105-132)

14. A teen asks his mother if he can have the car keys to go to the movies with friends. The mother politely asks which movie he intends to see, and the teen loses his temper, saying, "It's none of your business" and calls her a "moron" and says he doesn't have to listen to her "moralistic crap." His mother denies him permission for the car keys and walks out of the room. He looks in her purse without her permission for the car keys, which she has removed ahead of time. He follows her and demands the car keys. She says to him, "Whenever you ask me for something while you are being rude and disrespectful, the answer will always be No." The teen replies, "I don't have time for this. My friends are waiting and I need the keys NOW!" His mother says, "No" and leaves the room. The teen tries a softer approach and says, "OK, may I
PLEASE have the car keys?" His mother says, "Go to your room. Stay there for 30 minutes until you have found your manners and we can talk then." What would the author recommend the mother say and do 30 minutes later?
a. Let her teen go to the movie if he has calmed down.
b. Let her teen go to the movie if he volunteers to do chores beforehand.
c. Let her teen go to the movie if he tells her what movie he is going to see and if she approves of it.
d. Deny him going to the movie tonight as a consequence for his disrespectful behavior.

15. A teen has developed a habit of not getting up in the morning in time to get ready for school. He then gets angry at his parents for not waking him up in time, even though they give him several wake-up calls. His parents have a talk with him, not telling him what to do, but only saying how they are going to behave differently. From now on, they are not going to wake him up. They will make breakfast only if he is downstairs by a certain time. And they will not drive him to school if he misses the bus.
Which of the following scenarios would the author agree with?
a. The teen gets up but misses the bus. One of his parents then drives him to school so he doesn't get behind in his school work.
b. The teen gets up but not in time for breakfast. But Mom puts his breakfast in Tupperware so he can take it with him to school.
c. The teen gets up but not in time for breakfast or the bus. His parents don't make him breakfast and don't drive him to school.
d. The teen doesn't wake up. His parents finally wake him up and drive him to school because he has a major exam that day.

16. Which is NOT true?
a. If a teen comes home 10 minutes after their curfew, the author would agree with parents who grounded their teen during the next weekend.
b. After parents have set a clear limit, and the teen agreed to keep it, then breaks it, it is acceptable for the parents to change the limit if the teen intelligently and vehemently argues how unfair the limit is, in the moment they break it.
c. It is quite normal for limits to make teens feel uneasy, because limits confront a teen's immaturity.
d. It is imperative that parents "stick together" by agreeing on the limits they set for their teens. Children of divorced parents are often at risk for delayed maturation because ex-spouses often disagree on limit-setting.
e. When a troubled, immature teenager begins to fail at all the tasks of adolescence, it is more effective to set a few limits at a time, rather than many, usually beginning with rules about mutual respect and basic acceptance of adult authority.
f. To set limits, it is better to have a talk with a teen privately to avoid public shaming. Save public shaming as a last resort, when the teen shows sufficient defiance and lack of guilt or regret.
g. The consequence should fit the misbehavior. A teen who comes home after curfew can be required to come home early next time. But unlimited punishment is ineffective.

Chapter 8: Spoiled and Beaten -- Frank and Gail (p. 133-144)

17. Frank's behavior was characterized by verbal abuse, disrespect, devious actions, lies, lack of academic motivation, not obeying rules, reckless driving, and being rude to a judge.
The author believed Frank's immaturity came from
a. a series of bad decisions.
b. a lack of parental limits.
c. rejection by a girlfriend and subsequent jealousy when she began dating someone else.
d. misguided attempts to gain control over his own life.

18. When Frank would have outbursts in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, his teachers often sent him home. When he was suspended, his mother would
a. punish him again at home for misbehaving at school.
b. hold private parties for the two of them because she wanted to console him.
c. lecture him about his school defiance.
d. threaten to tell his father, who would surely get angry at Frank's defiance.

19. The limits set by Gail's father were too severe. As a result,
a. her grades declined from A's and B's to D's and F's.
b. she had lacerations from beatings her father gave her with a belt and buckle.
c. she secretly met with a boy against her father's wishes and got pregnant.
d. All of the above.

Chapter 9: Parenting (p. 147-170)
20. Which is NOT true?
a. Parents should be careful to not make their teen feel shame or guilt when the teen breaks a rule or behaves like a selfish person.
b. If a parent is good at recognition but fails to set limits, an adolescent will remain self-absorbed, selfish, childish, and spoiled.
c. If a parent is good at setting limits but fails at recognition, an adolescent feels invisible, disoriented, unsure of himself, and lost.
d. If possible, when setting a limit, a parent should also recognize their teen, such as, "I admire the friends you have chosen, but I cannot allow you to go to a party at their home when their parents won't be there."

21. Which of the following would the author say is the best parental response, including both recognition and limit-setting, to finding out their teen has not been turning in homework assignments?
a. It's unacceptable for you to not hand in your homework. You are grounded until you complete this semester with no missed assignments.
b. There will be no privileges until you finish this semester with no missed assignments.
c. You've declined in your academic performance significantly. Until you improve, you will not be going out with your friends any time soon.
d. I'm disappointed because you have always been consistent with handing in your completed assignments. Until you restore this consistency, and I'm confident you will, we have to add weekly bathroom cleaning to your regular chores.

22. Which is NOT true?
a. Teenagers need their parents to act like responsible adults who don't lie, or sleep around, or not work, or throw tantrums, or get drunk, or feel sorry for themselves.
b. Parents should not engage in a sense of humor when their teen has gotten into serious trouble. Otherwise, the teen might take their irresponsible behavior lightly.
c. Sometimes, to get a teen's attention, a parent should NOT give an explanation right away when saying "No." When an explanation is not given, the teen most probably will ask "Why not?" just in order to argue with the parent. The parent should still refuse to give an explanation until the teen promises to listen and not be rude.
d. It can help a teen to accept a parental "No" when the parent anticipates the teen's frustration, such as, "You may not like what I have to say. Are you sure you want to hear it now?"

23. Which is TRUE?
a. It is sometimes necessary for parents to make repeated threats before following through with a limit.
b. When a parent is uncertain about a limit, the parent should not ask their teen if they approve of it.
c. Sometimes a parent should accept the fact that another teen persuaded their teen to do something objectionable, and therefore they should show leniency to their teen.
d. Parents should tell their teens what they did that was wrong when they were their teen's age (used drugs, had sex outside of marriage, etc)

Chapter 10: Clinical Parenting (p. 171-196)

24. Thirty percent of American teenagers who start high school fail to graduate. This startling statistic suggests that the contemporary high school fails to provide experiences of recognition for students. Why is this?
a. The typical American high school has too many students. Thus, teachers have enough time to recognize only their best students. Everyone else feels invisible.
b. High school teachers are underpaid, so they are less motivated to give students recognition.
c. Adolescents today have less respect for authority, so they don't expect much from their teachers.
d. When parents fail to monitor their teens' homework like they should, they unwittingly communicate the idea that school is not that important.

25. The author has observed a pattern in teens who complete a wilderness program. He sees a remarkable shift in the teenager's attitude, which impresses and pleases parents. Then there is a regression that, if parents stand firm, soon ends. Then the teen continues to mature.
What did the author discover is the real reason why wilderness programs were so successful?
a. Because of the healing power of being in nature -- hiking trails, making campfires, seeing mountains and stars and lakes and forests.
b. Because of the corrective nature of the wilderness, which provides "natural consequences" for a teen who gets soaked from a thunderstorm who was too lazy or tired to build a shelter.
c. Because of the affordability of skilled wilderness therapists, many of whom were former participants in the wilderness programs themselves and who came back to help wayward teens.
d. At some point during the program, the teen realized that his being there away from his family began with his parents saying "No" to his immature behavior.