Teenagers, teenagers, teenagers!! Oh how we rack our brains trying to be the best possible parents. And no matter what we do, it seems we can never get it quite right!
Some of my clients have teenagers who they want to save from making mistakes and protect from being hurt. But is this possible? Can you protect your children? (And I’m not talking about taking care of your kids when they are small.)
Here are a few things you might want to ask yourself when it comes to having teenagers in your house: How will these young adults learn to take care of themselves if you are always protecting them? How will they learn that everything we do has consequences if we don’t allow them to experience the consequences of their words and actions?
How did you learn?
Think about it for a moment – how, in fact, did you learn? How did you become the person you are today? What happened when you faced difficulties and crises in your life?
Since you’re still here, it means you must have survived and probably learned a lot in the process. And if you look closely, wasn’t it these (dreaded) difficulties that shaped your character and taught you most of what you now know in life?
So what about your teenage children? Are they any different? How are they going to learn? And by the way, isn’t thinking you know best really just a lack of respect for the intelligence of your very own children?
Having teenagers can teach us a lot
Having teenagers can teach us that we can’t pass on our wisdom to our kids! No matter how hard we try. This doesn’t mean we can’t live our wisdom so they can see it on a daily basis and learn from it if they want to. It can also teach us that each and every one of our children has their own destiny path--and it’s not necessarily the same as your path or mine!
And finally it can teach us that letting go is the only thing that works! (Reality check = you never had control anyway).
We're All On A Learning Curve
Another thing that's good to remember when it comes to soothing yourself in relation to your teenagers... we're all on a learning curve – each and every one of us! We're all evolving human beings – each and every one of us – and that the way we learn is by trying things out....
Other good things to remember:
* Teenagers didn’t come into this world to make you happy (that’s your job).
* It’s not your job to make your teenagers happy (that’s their job).
* And this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat them with love and respect.
* Everyone wants to be free (including – and especially – your teenagers). It’s the universal urge in us all. No one fights to be a slave.
* And this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set limits in your home.
* But when your children become teenagers, it's a parent’s job is to let go and trust in their intelligence.
* Teenagers came into the world to live their own lives (that’s their job).
* You came into this world to live your own life (that’s your job).
* You can’t know what your teenager's dream is.
* You are probably having a hard enough time figuring out what your own dream is.
* You can’t know what’s best for your son or daughter.
* Can you even know what’s best for you?
* Your son or daughter has a right to be who he or she is.
* And this doesn’t mean that you cannot set limits in your home.
* And this doesn’t mean you cannot show your teenagers, through your words and actions, that everything we say and do has consequences.
* You cannot prevent your teenagers from experiencing the consequences of their thoughts, words and actions.
* This is the order of the universe and the sooner teenagers learn this, the better.
* You cannot prevent your teenagers from making what you think are “mistakes”.
* How else can they learn about life?
* How did you learn about life?
You're Not Perfect, and That's OK
All this also means that it’s okay to show your teenagers that you’re not perfect (the reality) and that you don’t know all the answers (also the reality) and that sometimes life is difficult for you (also the reality) but that you’re doing the best you can to figure things out (also reality) and hopefully follow your integrity (probably your preference).
And since this is a sane, realistic assessment and approach to life, it’s also a sane, realistic way of interacting with the young human beings who are now teenagers and still living under the same roof as you.
And enjoy them now if you can – they'll be gone before you know it!
© Barbara Berger. Reprinted with permission.
Book by this Author
Find and Follow Your Inner Compass: Instant Guidance in an Age of Information Overload
by Barbara Berger.
Barbara Berger maps out what the Inner Compass is and how we can read its signals. How do we use the Inner Compass in our daily lives, at work and in our relationships? What sabotages our ability to listen to and follow the Inner Compass? What do we do when the Inner Compass points us in a direction we believe other people will disapprove of?
About the Author
Barbara Berger has written over 15 self-empowerment books, including the international bestseller "The Road to Power / Fast Food for the Soul" (published in 30 languages), "Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life" (more than 20 languages) and “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind”. American-born, Barbara now lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition to her books, she offers private coaching sessions to individuals who wish to work intensely with her (in her office in Copenhagen or on Skype and telephone for people who live far away from Copenhagen). For more about Barbara Berger, see her Web site: www.beamteam.com