The Blessing of a B MinusParenting Group Discussion Guide
I’ve written this guide to provide parents of teenagers with a framework for discussing the topics of The Blessing of a B Minus
in a group setting. Teachers and school administrators can also use the guide to form a group of their own. Talking about your concerns and getting the perspective of peers can be cathartic, reassuring, and eye-opening. Yet parents of teens are less likely to participate in parent education programs or discussion groups than parents of young children.
I witnessed this reluctance firsthand when I decided to hold my first classes for parents of teens a few years ago. I expected the classes would be similar to the ones I’d held for parents of children in elementary school, when the participants would arrive at my office like butterflies, wearing happy colors and alighting gracefully in their chairs. They talked a lot, commiserated, and smiled. We had fun. But when I walked into my first class for parents of teens, it felt as though the lighting had changed in the room. The parents wore darker clothes and darker expressions. They raised their hands to speak, and even when I called on them they didn’t speak much. A few of them admitted reasons for their reticence: they were afraid of betraying their teen’s privacy or worried the others would judge them for having poor parenting skills. After a few sessions, however, the paren