Lately I’ve read several books on parenting teens – since I’ll be doing that in less than five months. Scary, isn’t it?!
So far, I’ve noticed three consistent themes for approaching the coming years.
- Listen. As in don’t interrupt, don’t criticize, don’t judge, don’t jump in with advice. Just open my ears, my mind, and my heart to the words that are being said as well as the thoughts that are being expressed behind those words.
- Love. Show my love through touch – an arm around the shoulders, a hug, a pat on the back – and through words – not just saying “I love you,” but affirming through praise for a job well done or a positive character trait displayed
- Let go. Realize that independence needs to be granted slowly but surely, giving certain freedoms as maturity is shown and trust is built. Allow them to make some decisions, then be willing to let them fail and take the consequences, if necessary. Cover this step in prayer!
Books are helpful, but I know experience will be a great teacher as well!
What do you think of these three ideas? Any lessons you can share from your own experience as a teenager or a parent?
That sounds like great advice! Actually, it sounds like pretty good advice for all children!
Yes – I thought it sounded like good advice for all ages, too!
I agree! I try to listen w/o jumping in (so hard! I'm a HUGE interrupter 😛 but I *will* say, it's easier for me to sit back & not interrupt w/ my kids than my friends!) The love touches are also very easy for us, b/c we are SUCH a touchy feeling affectionate fam. The letting go, though? Ouch. 😉
Wanted to let you know, I just "nominated" you for a Sunshine Award on my blog. 😀 Check it out whenever, and let me know if you find the time to do it, so I can come read your responses! 🙂 Love to you!!!!!!! http://castleblake.blogspot.com/2013/07/shine-on-shine-on.html
I have no children in that age group yet (not many years now, though!), however from my own years as an adolescent… Definitely looks like a good list. Also, one thing that drove me mad when I was an adolescent was the way my mother (who I loved dearly, don't get me wrong) would ask me about something or listen to my opinion, and then tell me my response was wrong (mostly because hers was different) – so I guess I would say a big one is not to push ones-self on adolescent children. They are forming their own thoughts and opinions and their adult personality is slowly starting to emerge more than ever in that age-group… Carefully given advice is good, pushing (and being judgemental in the process) isn't so good. Just a thought I had. 🙂