Youth and Rewarding vs. Punishing

Co-hosts Eric Komoroff ( and Dr. Jason Stein ( discuss the best ways to deal with our young with regards to rewarding them and/or punishing them when their behavior warrants.

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Adolescence and Attachment: Empowering a Constructive Rebellion

This presentation will focus on providing a pro-active approach to understanding attachment as it relates to empowering adolescent individuation.

Individuation is a developmental milestone when an adolescent becomes a whole, autonomous, compassionate, self-reflective and productive adult.

The goal is to promote a Constructive Rebellion: Empower adolescents to define and create success on their own terms.

I. The Myth of Adolescence: Adolescence begins at 13 and ends at 18. Adolescence is a process of individuation with three stages of development


Ex. George W. Bush


(Disclaimer: The process of individuation is based on the support mechanisms being in place (parents and family) to allow a child to develop. Oftentimes as professionals (therapists, teachers, counselors, or coaches) we need to support early individuation in order for a child to develop the tools to survive and adapt.


II. Early Adolescence (13-18); The teenager begins to see themselves as a whole and separate individual in the world

A. Separation but not individuation

1. More defined boundaries between parents and teenager

2. Actually an Increased dependence on parents

3. Teenager wants freedom without responsibility

B. Peer relations and identity

1. Outside –In

2. One-way relationships

3. Their world (technology and separation)

C. Attachment issues; Revisit early attachment issues

1. Secure vs. Insecure Attachment

2. Internalized Parent Object- secure self as defined by whole introjects vs. part

a. Integrate good and bad objects vs. splitting- all good or all bad

D. Explore the idea of ‘doing right by me’

E. Early Stage: It is necessary that there is a construct that provides structure for morals, values, ideals and future-oriented vision

F. Parents/Caregivers role:

1. Attunement; the parent being able to see and understand their child for who they are

2. (Winnicott)Good Enough Parent vs. The Helicopter Parent

a. True self vs. False Self and attachment

3. Support the Struggle

b. Illuminate the variables, consequences and choices

c. Widen the lens- different perspectives

4. Right brain-feelings, left brain rationale= parents are frontal lobe

a. Super Ego

b. Know where the line is- natural consequences

c. Clear limits and consequences

5. Provide a vision defined by the family’s values

6. Develop a Responsibility Agreement (clear expectations)

a. Set the frame for teenager

7. Sadistic and Masochist aspects of parenting

G. Empowering Constructive Rebellion in Early Adolescence

1. Friends

2. School- grades, homework, study, teacher relationships

3. Free time (unsupervised)- Responsibility=Freedom

4. Allowance and first job

5. Extracurricular activities

6. Struggles and problem solving

7. Explore sexual/aggressive instincts- relationships, sports, arts

8. Driving; independence, freedom and significant responsibility

*Most susceptible to drugs or alcohol during transition year from elementary to middle school and middle to high school

a. Signs; peers, trouble at school and community, low self esteem (particularly physical appearance in girls), grades, social issues


II. Middle Adolescence (18-25); Individuation is defined by adolescence ability to successfully launch and explore independence

A. Launching

B. Defining moral code- “doing right by me”

1. Becoming Inside-out

C. Identity exploration- who am I and who do I want to be

D. Attachment issues; revisiting object constancy

1. Secure vs. insecure

2. Whole Self vs. Part Self

3. Able to accept parents for who they are vs. judge them for who they are not

E. Develop Self-confidence vs. arrogance

1. Strengths and weaknesses

F. Continued Separation

G. Experimenting with Responsibility, Accountability, and Humility

H. Relationship formulation

1. Two-way relationships- mutuality

I. Creating a vision for the future

A. Parent/Caretaker Role

1. Become a resource

2. Mahler speaks of metaphorical holding: Honoring the struggle

a. Empathy and Sympathy, not problem solving

3. Develop fiscal responsibility and independence-set up a structure with budget and expectations

4. Parents hold their values and limits- encourage the struggle of ‘doing right by me’

5. Encourage Launching

6. Greater separation, moving toward independence

7. Develop separate and unique relationships with caregiver(s)

B. Empowering Constructive Rebellion in Middle Adolescence

1. Career exploration

2. Exploring Political/Cultural/religious identity

3. Experience being in an Independent living environment

4. Presentation, Diet and Hygiene

5. Relationships- clearer sense do peer group and mentors

6. Define values in regards to drugs and alcohol

7. Sexuality

a. Sexual identity

b. Explore intimate relationships (two person relationship)

*Drugs and Alcohol: increased experimentation or moving into addiction

1. Lack of sense of self and limited peer validation= grater susceptibility

2. Possibility of developing an identity defined by using/abusing


III. Late Adolescence (25-35); Defined sense of self

A. Emotionally whole- aware of insecurities and vulnerabilities

B. Responsible for self and consequences of choices

C. Developed moral code; inside-out

D. Attachment issues; adult relationship

1. Williams and Kelley (2005) did research on adolescent relationships with their Mother vs. Father

2. They discovered that a secure mother-adolescent relationship provides nurturance and a secure sense of self

3. The paternal attachment focuses more on character and behavior and therefore has a great impact on secure attachment in adult relationships

4. There is limited research on adolescent attachment with each parent, yet we can postulate that the father plays a crucial role in modulating dependence, independence, and interdependence

E. Physically and financially independence

F. Career vision

1. Have a job or working toward career

G. Formed identity; values, morals, personality, sense of character

1. Confidence

H. Defined sense of sexuality

1. Able to consider long term relationship

A. Parent/Caretaker Role

1. Adult-to-adult relationship

a. Greater sharing of each others’ struggles

b. Mutual support

2. Guidance and advice regarding life decisions

3. Support financial independence

4. Forced Launching

5. Continue to provided unconditional love, yet not unconditional support

C. Empowering Constructive Rebellion in Late Adolescence

1. Choosing a career path

2. Ability and desire to make their own money

3. Living independently

4. A self –defined community

5. Defined social network

6. Passions, hobbies, interests

7. Able to negotiate conflicts and tolerate the struggle

8. Building foundation for the future ( partner, family, home, career)


*Drugs and Alcohol: Develop as a coping skill for stress, anxiety, or failure

1. A way to numb feelings of inadequacies from insufficiently working through early or middle adolescence stages

J. iRYZE: Life Tool for Teenager

Discuss… Tools to empower a constructive rebellion

Four areas that promote individuation:

1. Organization; develop a system, routines, and rituals

2. Study Skills: ability to adapt to academic demands with success

3. Communication Skills for positive relationships with adults and peers

4. Self Advocacy; ability to communicate feelings and needs

a. Address all areas of functioning: Home, School, and Community

Youth and Role Models

Co-hosts Dr. Jason Stein ( and Eric Komoroff ( discuss our youth and their attitudes with regards to role models. Is lil Wayne all that??? Do the sports and pop culture celebreties really influnece our kids outlook and behavior? What can caregivers do to be a positive role model in kids’ lives?

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Youth and Respect, Part 2

Co-hosts Eric Komoroff ( and Dr. Jason Stein ( continute their discussion about youth and the meaning of respect.

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Youth and Respect

Join co-hosts Eric Komoroff ( and Dr. Jason Stein ( as they discuss youth and respect with Betsy Brown Braun. Braun is a Child Development and Behavior Specialist, a parent educator, school consultant, and a multiple-birth parenting specialist with more than 35 years of experience in early childhood and elementary education and as a parenting educator. She has taught in both public and private schools, and has been a school director. Additionally, she is contributor to many publications , such as Parenting, and is the author of the award-winning bestseller Just Tell Me What To Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts for Perplexed Parents published by HarperCollins, 2008, and You’re Not the Boss of Me, HarperCollins, 2010.

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