Got Teenagers? “Ask Amy” for Advice

Are you a Tiger Mother, like Amy Chua, or do you let your child make his or her own decisions about extracurricular activities?

 

Should you snoop on your teen’s open Facebook page or would you consider that a violation of your child’s privacy?

If you’ve got teens, you’ve got questions. Amy Dickinson, a.k.a. “Ask Amy,” has heard them all, and they mostly center around parental involvement and control. She’s bringing her expertise and humor (essential if you’re the parent of a teen) to the Wilmette Theatre in a free-wheeling conversation about parenting on February 3.

Right now, there’s a lot of conversation about overbearing parents, thanks to Amy Chua’s book excerpt in the Wall Street Journal. “We’ve made such a big emotional investment in our kids, it hurts when they push away, even when it’s age appropriate,” Dickinson says. But, she adds, the flip side is that some parents in affluent communities are like fingernails on a blackboard to their teens!

Some of the many questions she’s heard from parents: Should I snoop? When do I ease up? And what do you do with teens whose choices, which made perfect sense at the time, are dangerous and foolish?

Part of Dickinson’s appeal is that she genuinely loves teens and their complexity. “They get a bad rap that’s often undeserved,” she says. And she helps parents see that each child is different; there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to every question. As the mother and stepmother to 5 girls, she has seen again and again that what worked like a dream with one child didn’t with the next. “You have to pay attention,” she says.

And ask lots of questions. The appeal of “Ask Amy” is that you’ll actually get an answer to your query, not a grunt or a mumble!

“The evening will be like teenagers,” says Dickinson. “Fascinating, lively and just a little bit dangerous.”

Note: “Ask Amy” at the Wilmette Theatre has been postponed.