Anyone who has parented teenagers (and sometimes younger kids too) knows that life can sometimes feel like WAR.
That precious little toddler who cried when separated from you, can, after puberty hits, seem like the enemy, someone you are at war with.
This is a horrible, dangerous and destructive place to be.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing a few thoughts aimed at keeping you and your teenager on the same side of the tug of war rope………………
A coach has a strategy, do you?
Sometimes kids don’t do what parents want, because not even the parents know what that is.
Teenagers can often be heard saying, ‘everything I do seems to be wrong’.
If you the Parents, don’t know what you expect, how can your kids know?
Some parents say “I just want them to show some respect and take some responsibility”, but what does that look like to you? It may look very different to them, remember, lots has changed in the last 20-30 years.
Teaching our children Values is best done when they are young, so that in the testing teenage years, there is a basis for their decision making already inside them. For example teaching our toddlers not to put anything in their mouth that isn’t food, leads well into discussions about valuing our body, drugs, and wise choices with consumption, as children grow.
Respecting property can be taught with toys, and adapted with age appropriate reinforcement.
I love the ancient Chinese proverb “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is today”.
The best time to do something that is important, something that will affect the future, is NOW.
Talk with your kids and teenagers about your family values and how they outwork in everyday life. What do you value? What are non-negotiables with you? Eg. Honesty, kindness, respect, understanding, forgiveness??
Discussing Values helps to explain the why behind the what, which, can make being compliant a whole lot easier.
If you as the parent don’t know what’s important to you, take the time to think and list the things that you want your life and your family to be known for, and work out a plan to head in that direction. Then explain and model those values to provide a framework for your young people to live within.