Talk to the average teen parent around and they are already anxious about parenting at the teenage stage. The big question is; Why?Well, there are genuine reasons to be anxious for example;
i. Overnight your beautiful, little adorable children no longer hang on to you and suddenly they seem independent,
ii. Secondly, when you hear the stories of how some “good parents” made a shipwreck of their teenagers, it does send shivers down your spine.
So let’s ask ourselves, is it the teenager who makes parenting difficult or we can look elsewhere for the answers. Well with inspiration from John Maxwell who says that everything rises and falls on leadership plus my interaction with a number of parents I speculate that THE GUILT OF OUR OWN PAST TEENAGE FAILURES is the greatest source of our fear.
Let’s be honest, as parents, some of our teenage years were full of ups and downs, one trick here, one trick there, remember the pressure to fit in, not to mention those mistakes that you never wish to remember.
One father said to his daughter “I was such a bad boy, so I see each one of the boys around you as bad as I was”
We need not be haunted by our past failures otherwise we will be guided unfortunately by fear. The skills and attributes required to parent teenagers which I will be sharing with you in detail later, all require you to operate from a place of victory and not from a place of fear.
Fear of your own teenage mistakes will make you see things that are simply not there in the first place. I know that you are reading these tips because inside you somewhere, you believe your child’s teenage years will be surely better than yours because you are his or her parent. So from this place of victory, clear all the guilt, the fear, the condemnation and strap your boots as we embark on this wonderful parenting journey.
When anxious parents come to me with the challenges they are going through with their teens and I tell them to relax, they sometimes think I am just trying to calm them down but after sessions together they realize that they have to really relax because the journey is long. Teen Parenting is not a hundred meter heat race but a marathon so taking it nice and slow is key.
So in conclusion, my first joy tip to you is that RELAX, yes RELAX. Your Teenager is not the worst in the whole world. You have an important role to play which is more powerful than any of their friends and you need to be in the right frame of mind to play this vital role. Parent from victory and not from fear.
KK Baidoo, the author of this article has been a youth development consultant for the past twelve years. He is also the global executive director of Teens Aloud Foundation, an organization that helps young people to discover and perfect their gifts and potential for national development. Send your questions and comments to [email protected]
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