Module 3: Improvement of self-understanding and relationships
Begin class with a review of Module 2 objectives and vocabulary. Then introduce Module 3 vocabulary and definitions with word attack skills.
The vocabulary for Lessons a and b in Module 3 are as follows:
The teacher should become familiar with the words and definitions prior to each session.
Lesson a deals with emotions and feelings. A young adult needs to feel he/she belongs and is important, not only as a person in society, but especially in the family unit. A child feels that he/she is a part of the family by being included in important decisions, asked how they feel, and given chores to do to help the household run smoothly. Everyone should take part in the normal functions of family life. Communication with family members is an important part of parenting and helps build mutual respect within the family unit. The instructor should use personal examples of how he/she felt important or respected in his/her family.
The list of characteristics of a successful youth is included; however, the participants may want to add to the list. Many parents feel that these characteristics are not the only ones needed to live successfully in society. Caring, empathy, accepting responsibility, honesty, having a good self-image and having a purpose to life, are all characteristics that are usually modeled by the parent. Making good decisions and social skills are usually taught, not only at home but sometimes in the school system. Discussion of the characteristics may lead to a realization by the participants about their example to their child/children. Be aware, some parents may not feel the need to teach these characteristics to their child/children. The instructor may need more examples of each characteristic to prove the need for each. Encourage the participants to take the handout home and discuss each characteristic with the other parent and with other family members.
Lesson b discusses the behavioral survival patterns of youth. The instructor is encouraged to read about or have some knowledge of gangs and cliques. Many times if a young adult doesnt feel he/she belongs or is important in the family, he/she will turn to friends for that feeling and reinforcement of importance. Gangs and cliques are the most common action taken by young adults. Gangs give the teen a family-someone who loves them, they think, for who they are and how they think. The teen is looking for acceptance, that feeling of importance they cant get at home. Alcohol, drugs, video games and an imaginary world are other ways teens and children escape the feeling of loneliness or not belonging. Alcohol and drugs allow the child to "express oneself" and to be part of the group. Video games help the child to "escape" into an imaginary world where they are the "boss," they are in control, they are important. Some teens and children get angry. If they yell and throw temper tantrums they can manipulate the parent. If they threaten the parent or other siblings, no one will challenge them or make them do what they dont want to do. A small number of teens and children become introverts. They keep everything to themselves, dont talk to anyone and they dont have any friends. The other extreme is the extrovert, who has to be involved in everything and be everywhere. This person needs the approval of others and needs to be noticed because they arent noticed at home. They lack the feelings of belonging and importance. They also feel they arent respected and their ideas dont count. Negative survival patterns such as anger, eating disorders, gangs, alcohol, drugs, lying, running away, and violent behaviors are usually a cry for attention or help.
Society in the United States has changed considerably. What was unacceptable in the 1950s is more acceptable now in the year 2000. This is important to note. Many parents are not too receptive to change. Some parents think "the way I was raised is the way Im going to raise my children." Unfortunately, times change and we have to change with the times. There are too many new situations parents have to deal with today. Parents need to learn to comprise. Once again, communication is vital. If parents would talk to their children, a lot of problems could be avoided. In the same respect, if young adults would talk to their parents, situations could be handled differently. (In the "perfect world.")
Compromise incorporates communication and acceptance of certain behaviors. A statement such as, "Just because Sophie lets her child run the streets at night, doesnt mean Im going to." And " If your friend jumps off a cliff, would you do the same thing?" Will not help the situation. Parents need to understand teens do things differently now. The 10 oclock curfew may work for the 13 and 14 year old, but older teens stay out until 12 oclock. Its not meant to say that parents need to conform to other parents standards or rules, however, in making the rules and curfews a compromise between parent and young adult should be reached.
Two means of compromise are: arbitration, a process by which the parties submit their differences to the judgment of an impartial party and mediation, the attempt to bring about a peaceful settlement of compromise between disputing parties through the intervention of a neutral power. If both parties bring their problems to the meeting and allow each other to discuss all facets of the problem, without interruption, usually a compromise can be reached.
This file is in Adobe Acrobat format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it here for free. Using Acrobat Reader, you can print out the handouts and photocopy them as much as you need to.