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The Mashup:
Short Raising Teens Blog Entries. Opinionated. Grounded in Facts.

004 - 10.26.23

Inculcate: Guaranteed to Teach Teens

How many of you have asked yourself, "When the hell will that kid ever learn?" or "What do I have to do to make them understand?" Yeah, we've all been there. Preaching to the choir, we love our teens to death, but sometimes it feels like there is no getting through to them as they make boneheaded decisions. I'm here to tell you, don't sweat it. Besides the usual teenage growing pains, there is one way to ingrain your teachings into them, guaranteed for the better or worse.

 

Although my personal dream of raising teens by having them hold a series of rules, morals, and ethics books and learning through osmosis will always be #1, inculcating learning is definitely a #2 for me. I'm guessing the words "inculcate" and "inculcating" are on the uppermost edge of the average person's vocabulary. I know it was mine. I won't lie; I had to look it up and double-check to ensure I used it correctly. The simple definition is to cause someone to learn or understand through repetition. Other synonyms include ingrain, infuse, implant, and instill.

 

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The critical part of the definition is "through repetition." Like us adults, teens are flawed; they have it much worse when you stop and think about it, and we, as parents, tend to become more critical when they do not learn or do it correctly. I get it. Every parent is screaming in their head, "But I've told them over and over again! They just choose not to listen or obey me!" Bear in mind three factors that make it harder for teens to do it right the first time (than, say, adults), which are often overlooked or taken for granted:

  • Teens are pushing their boundaries, seeing what they can get away with—testing the waters per se

  • Hormones play a part (most of the time, in the heat of the moment, they don't realize it), causing their thought process, prejudice, and emotions to dictate their actions over reasoning and obedience.

  • They are flat-out still learning and figuring things out; remember, as a parent, you have an advantage and already have an additional generation's worth of knowledge and wisdom. You don't question what is told like your teen does because you've learned or are old enough to know it is for the best—our teens aren't there yet.

 

Please note there are no excuses for teens not to do what they are told or whatever is asked. I never said it makes it impossible for teens to do it right the first time—only harder. The easiest way to help push along the learning process, or the learning curve, is to inculcate learning. Learn by repetition. In doing this, our teens will begin doing the essential things in life instinctively rather than consciously.

 

Introduce your philosophies, methods, and teachings in a habit-forming way, remaining consistent every day. In doing this over time, like muscle memory, their mind will begin to institutionalize and incorporate it whether they like it or not. Before you know it, much like a sleep pattern, their body and mind will start to adjust, and one day, you'll find yourself not inculcating them. On that day, they will just do it, and you will see it and not say anything even though you want to celebrate, throw a party, and (of course) praise and thank them for a job well done. Instead, you will just sit back and enjoy that well-deserved moment; every parent needs a 5-minute triumph break.

 

Damn, I just made that sound like even a 9-year-old could handle parenting with those step-by-step words of wisdom, wouldn't you say? Not even close. Far from it, achieving these goals takes significant time and effort. When inculcating teens, the effort you put into shaping your teen directly shows in the outcome. The harder you strive and work at it, the better the results. To be clear, this method is a process that takes time. It is like training for a marathon. After all, that is what you are doing, training your teen for the marathon of adulthood. I stand by it: if you keep at it, I guarantee you that you can inculcate your teen with any of life's lessons.

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Until next time!

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Episode

004 - "Inculcate: Guaranteed to Teach Teens"

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What?

So, what exactly is the Mashup? Precisely as it sounds: a blend of online writing styles in a format ranging from storytelling and structured to opinionated to factual, formal to casual, and personal to professional—all while ensuring we keep true to the CurlyStache mission of guiding teenagers and raising teens today in a volatile society. The Mashup is designed to be more opinionated, grounded in facts, less researched, and directed to spark ideas and discussions.

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When?

During the weeks I cannot get a blog out, I will fill that void with a Mashup entry. Remember to follow us on Facebook @CurlyStache Blogs and through all your favorite social media outlets to get notified of the newest releases! And be sure to share it with friends and families that could benefit! 

Why?

I enjoy writing and expressing my opinions on essential issues when raising teens today. There are times throughout the week when I cannot get to my computer as much as I would like—or cannot do my due diligence and research a blog to present it how I want it and still be backed by facts. This fills the void. Short articles containing whatever is on my mind grounded in current events relating to parenting and teen issues, writing in whatever style vibing at the time.

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