As a mother, I have had great success with my children. I will not say they are perfect but on the whole I cannot complain about the people they have become and are becoming. They set goals on their own and they make a path to achieve them.
Tip #1- You cannot solve their problems. They must find their own solution. It is up to you to support them through that tough time when problems exist. Friends will be jerks, siblings will fight, things will happen. Offer solutions, but don’t demand they act on your advice. They aren’t you.
Tip #2- Let them talk. Think back to when you were a teenager. What was your biggest complaint about mom or dad? They didn’t listen! That is exactly what your kid thinks. The only thing you have to do is listen. They will talk. Don’t be shocked by what they say. Teenager are wild and free and do weird things and think weird things. Their friends are weird too! Just listen…what a gift that is when they talk to you. Your relationship will grow so strong when they come bounding in to the living room to tell you the crazy thing so-and-so did. This builds trust and open communication and goes back to Tip# 1. They solve their problems this way.
Tip# 3- Don’t tune them out. When your busy or you have a fight you cannot shut down. You cannot make them go to someone else for answers. This gives them the knowledge that you are completely unwilling to communicate with them. If they needed something-you are off limits. This is the message we absolutely do not what to send. Parents do this all the time with, “Go ask your Dad” or the we had a fight now you will have to ask your dad for everything because you cannot talk to me. What?? You are a parent. This is not the answer. You just told your child I am not grown up enough to talk to you because I am mad. Might as well cross your arms and plop down in the floor too.
Tip# 4- You actually are their friend. You are their first friend- from birth. I hate it when I see those articles that say you cannot be your child’s friend. Yes, I can. We are actually good friends. We talk every day, they ask me for advice, we get mad at each other, we have lunch just like my other friends. We are even roommates! The difference is that in the relationship they know when I am teaching them a life lesson and at that time my role switches to mothering.
Tip#5- Let them make the mistake. In life, we don’t learn from our successes. If we do everything right the first time we don’t understand what failures are and how to overcome a mistake. It is difficult to watch but we cannot intervene when our children are headed into a mistake. We must allow them to learn from these life mishaps. We did and that is how we became who we are. It’s experience building and our job as parents is to listen, be there, and let them talk. They will figure it out.
I can follow these up by saying I have never been a hard disciplinarian. I have 3 daughters. They have never been grounded. None have received a spanking after the age of 3 and pretty much only when they were in danger like sticking their fingers in an outlet and I panicked. They however have written apology letters, verbalized their wrongs, and have been spoken to about how their actions affected others.
We lead a very scheduled life because both my husband, me, and all the children were involved in various activities. Everyone knew where, when, and what the family was doing. All of the kids took care of their own homework and only occasionally need help. Our oldest has graduated, and the three still in school are honor roll students. We are very open in our home and talk about all subjects- history, politics, human rights, health, etc. We are a normal yet atypical family. Our methods work and the techniques we use are successful. Give them a try. Be open with your kids and watch them bloom. We see kids under too much control that leads children who are not so eager to express their personalities and lack of freedom to experience life in general- in all its ups and downs.
As always live Life Positively.
Aspire To Inspire