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I told my son that he would go crazy.

Perhaps not as crazy as this girl, but similar.

I let him know that that as he begins his ascent into teenagerhood, his brain will actually rewire itself.

I told him that teenagers turning crazy is a biological fact.

I also told him that this particular insanity would reveal itself through his emotions, anger, frustration, sometimes random needs to cry or fight.

It’s all very natural.

Most importantly, I asked that when he feels the Craziness attacking his brain, and he gets really upset and doesn’t want to trust his parents, that he should remember that I said these things and predicted they would happen.

I don’t think he believed me at first

But this all changed when, one day, I heard some crashing in his room, and my son emerged crying, an unholy mess behind him through the door.  He looked up at me,  “I think I have the Crazies…”  he confessed to me.  He came over, I gave him a great big Dad hug and the tears subsided.  He was OK.

Maybe I am blessed with an extraordinary kid (and what parent doesn’t believe that deep down?) but I think there might be some lessons here.

Lesson One: Be Honest, Always, Brutally Honest

As a parent I think that it is crucial to be honest like this.  I try to never pull the punches with Sean and so far he seems to be reaping the benefits of this practice.  I try to let him know what will happen and do my best not to sugar coat anything.

Lesson Two: Tell Them That Your Arms Are Always Open

Along withe honesty I let him know that my wife and I will always be around to love him through mistakes, changes, accidents, anything that might come up.  So far he’s accepted that .

Lesson Three: Tell Them All the Bad Things You Did

Most importantly, I am sharing my own experience with him.  Now he knows, since I essentially predicted his future, that I really understand what he’s going through.  If your kid really believes that you have some idea about him or what he’s going through, there will be far less moodiness and anger.

So share with your son and daughter, tell them the stories that they need to hear about how you rebelled or acted out.

Be honest with them about the mistakes that you have made, share those experiences, and let them know that you are aware they might make similar mistakes.

This all seems impossible to many folks, but I’m convinced that it’s helped my son immeasurably.