Posted by: Always Agi | March 26, 2011

Thoughts about . . . Surviving the teen years

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I lived through raising four teens and I am proud to report I am still in one piece, have all the hair on my head and my nerves are still in tact.  It isn’t by accident that my husband and I have loving adult children who are kind, responsible and well adjusted. Before kids morph into teens they are pliable children who respond “willingly” to guidance.  They require love, attention and discipline from the time they have the capability to speak. Consistency is imperative and your word must be your bond. If they can manipulate you once, it may not be a big deal, if continues, they will become masterful with manipulation.

It’s important to teach children a cooperative life style from a very young age. A four year old will run to the washer to help put clothes in the dryer. If you all the sudden feel its high time your 13 year old starts helping with the laundry, you’ll encounter some serious resistance. Talking openly with your children when their young sets the stage to having open communication during the turbulent teens.

If your teen feels comfortable talking to you about anything under the sun, they will discuss issues that may make you uncomfortable. Like, “my friend is drinking, or getting sexually involved.” It’s important to just listen, what ever you do, do not judge and absolutely do not lecture. They will NEVER, I repeat NEVER come to you again. Let them know you understand and ask them how they feel. Teens have so many emotions and transformations taking place in a society with strong messages about appearance, vanity and having a good time.

So many teens are attempting to be all grown up when they are still so child like and innocent, okay maybe not so innocent. I honestly believe it’s up to us as parents to keep the connection strong, not the other way around. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “you just don’t understand,” and the truth of the matter, they really think, we do not understand. Be careful. Being all buddy, buddy and I am your friend can be conflicting with the parental role.

Teens need and yearn for boundaries, they require constant reinforcement from their parents, reassurance they are loved and cared about even though they are acting like the anti Christ has possessed them. The fine line of balancing freedom with discipline is a trial and error experience. Teens need to start taking the reins of their lives in mile stones and not all in one full swoop.  A good friend reminded me years ago, we need to love them, and them love them some more.

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Responses

  1. Agi,
    You are so right, and how lucky are your kids to have a mother and grandmother like you.
    What a great writer you are. One of your many talents.
    Keep up the good work,
    Jeanie


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