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How Expectations Can Hurt Parents with Out-of-Control Teens


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When Parents' Expectations Begin to Crumble

Parents with high expectations can feel beaten down with their out-of control teens. Our parenting experts and authors for today will give you examples why this is true. Authors Marney Studaker-Corner, Kimberly Abraham, and Kathryn O'Dea have experience with teens. Here is an excerpt from their book, "The Whipped Parent." Let's see what they have to say.


The Expectations Road Race

Expectations are a lot like that car ride. Careening ahead at full speed are those expectations your child just can't or won't meet. You know the ones. Those nagging unmet hopes and expectations that leave you feeling disappointed, angry, resentful and full of worry.

You've read the first chapters of this book and may have decided, "Boy, they're right. I can't expect anything from my child. As a matter of fact, I should just give up all my hopes for him. He'll never meet them anyway."

The highest unmet expectations can be followed by extreme lows. "I used to want my child to go to college and be an engineer. I thought he'd have a nice house and family. But he just refused to go to school. Now I figure he'll probably live in a house that's almost condemned. Even that's a high expectation, because he'll probably be homeless."

Sometimes the higher your expectations are,

the harder you hit coming down from them.

A speeding car ride may be exciting the first time you take one. If the ride never stops, however, you end up being fearful, exhausted, overwhelmed and sick. You can probably picture your kid, sitting in the driver's seat, scaring the daylights out of you and refusing to slow down no matter how hysterical you get.

When you're traveling at full speed ahead, the times of high expectations, you're feeling anxious, powerless and fearful.

"I want so much for my child. I'm afraid of how his life will turn out-if he lives to see his future. I need to keep him from ruining his life."

When the car slows down, and your expectations are lowered, you may have given up all hopes and expectations. You feel helpless, depressed, and totally whipped.

"He'll end up dead or in jail. I'm not even going to open myself up to him emotionally, because he'll only hurt me again with his behavior."

Another type of extreme low is when anger and resentment lead you to sabotage your adolescent.

"I hope he does end up in jail for drinking and driving. As a matter of fact, next time he goes out with his buddies, I think I'll tip the cops off about what road he usually takes."

Without realizing it, you may even set him up to fail. Your whipped emotions are what take you from one extreme to the other.


As a whipped parent, finding middle ground is the key to feeling... (from pages 45-46)


The authors captured the thoughts of many parents. Let's APPLAUD them for their work with teens and sharing how well they understand parents who feel whipped.

To read more, pick up their book, The Whipped Parent: Hope for Parents Raising an Out-of Control Teen

The Whipped Parent

Available at


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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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