Winnie the Pooh’s Guide to Raising Teenagers

Image via Wikipedia

I am writing this article because…why not.

1. Find the Honey Pot

With teenagers, you always need to find the sweet spot.  What is driving them? If it is something you want them to do, think about what they want.  What is their honey? We are not talking bribery here, just like Winnie the Poohs honey pot, we want to entice them with something they need and crave that will make them happier.  When they do what you need to get it, they are happier and you are happier.  If they do something bad, what was their honey pot there? What drove them to try pot, look up porn or be mean to a friend.  Find the honey and you will find the bear.

2. De-Program A Tigger Quick

A tigger is when a teen gets something in their head that is not a productive thought and will not let it go.  Going to a Jonas Brothers concert in the town next door, getting a belly button piercing, or starting their own home tattoo business.  This is an idea, like tigger, that can get the holder very wound up and bounce out of control.  The best way to deal with a tigger is distract, avoid and stop from the beginning.

3. Piglet’s Are Wiser than They Seem

I often tell a story when I speak to Parents about two Harvard Anthropologists who were raising their baby girl.  When they put her to bed at night they heard her talking to herself at great length.  When they started recording what she was saying in her nightly diatribes, they realized she was using far more advanced language than she does during the day with them.  After research, the concluded that infants often ‘dumb’ down their language skills to speak back to their parents the way their parents talk to them…baby talk is parent created.  This can go for teenagers, we might not have a prefrontal cortex yet, but we can be pretty wise, even thought we seem piglet size.

4. Eeyore Need to Be Cultivated

Steady and slow.  That’s what Eeyore is.  We all love him too. Some teens have not found themselves yet, and that is OK.  Hey, some 20 somethings have not found themselves yet.  If you have an Eeyore, give them a break, make sure they always know you love them and they will come round.

5. Winnie is the Winner

Winnie is in all of us and all of our teens.  Winnie might seem like an average bear, but his friends and his curiosity make him stellar.  It is the same with our teens.  I wouldn’t go home calling them Winnie, but let them know that they are different and special than all the other bears out there.

I welcome additions to this silly article in the comments!

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6 Responses to “Winnie the Pooh’s Guide to Raising Teenagers”

  1. Scott Edwards
    March 30, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    Love it!

  2. Vanessa Van Petten
    March 31, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    thank you!

  3. Shaping Youth
    April 1, 2009 at 11:14 pm #

    This is a darling analogy and spot on characterization…Encore!
    (p.s. Hope we can reslate our phone chat; still a zoo here) –a.

  4. Vanessa Van Petten
    April 2, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    Thank you! so fun to write


  5. Karen Robert
    May 16, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    I love this article. I just tweeted it. I am also putting a link to this article in my next blog posting about some of the wise things Pooh said (with a little help from AA Milne). One quote I love was something Christopher Robin said to Pooh “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” I think this is something we could all say to our teenagers from time to time. Though they seem to bungle along, they often do things right, more often than we give them credit for. I am making a card using this quote, to see it go to


  1. | - March 31, 2009

    […] Winnie the Pooh’s Guide to Raising Teenagers | Radical Parenting By Vanessa Van Petten Image via Wikipedia I am writing this article because…why not. 1. Find the Honey Pot With teenagers, you always need to find the sweet spot. What is. Radical Parenting – […]

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