Parenting children is no easy feat. I always laugh when people tell me that I’m lucky because I have teens. It seems that they think once your child reaches the teenage stage that it gets easier and I beg to differ. In some cases, I will say it is harder as it brings on a new set of challenges.
Do you remember when they were learning to walk? We would hold their hands, and they would hold onto us so tightly. The dependence between the parent and child is critical. As the children grew, they wanted to do things on their own. No longer dependent on us for every earthly need. It becomes such an interesting dynamic when that little baby, now not only speaks out of turn, but openly defies you.
Every parent goes through their own experience transitioning as the child grows from birth to teenage years. And you know what it’s a struggle. There are times you want to scream, shake some sense into them, send them to their grandparents or just go back to bed for the day. But, as adults we have to be the first to demonstrate what to do in the face of conflict. The last thing you want to do is share bad behavior, for dealing with issues, with your own children.
Before starting out on a road trip, you determine what your music playlist will be, so use these steps to determine your parenting playlist. It all starts with being calm.
We have done the gambit of conversations with our children. But nothing has worked as well as just having calm conversations. Regardless of the topic, instead of ranting and raving it is just more powerful to listen to understand first.
Our parenting style is unique, as I am told. One of the reasons people say this is, our children do not fight. It is a blessing, but our approach was absolutely intentional. It starts with reflecting on your own childhood then add or subtract.
Life is stressful and for so many of us we are still learning how to deal with it. It’s important that we show our children by our behaviors how to deal with it. They are facing things that are new to us so can’t disregard their feelings.
Successful children are more likely to become successful adults. This has nothing to do with grades. This is not how many points or goals they score in a game. This is about how they approach life in general. Is your children able to adapt to different environments, while maintaining their uniqueness. And if needed, leaving before inappropriate things happen.
There is usually a sign. It may not be obvious, as sometimes it is that gut reactions that makes you just check on your baby. We all have this innate ability as parents, and we should never ignore it. Paying attention reminds our children how important they are in the grand scheme of things.
This list is of course not exhaustive but it’s a start. Making your own list is helpful especially during those times when you’re at your wits end. As you begin to make your own let the Center for Parent and Teen Communication (CPTC) be your guide. They offer lots of useful and practical advice for navigating life with teens. It’s as close to a manual as you will get.