I akin the whole experience of parenting my teenager to a tango dance, know when to lead and when to follow to create ultimate magic in your relationship. Trust me when I say this the patience and freedom of thought you exhibit and give ultimately results in a profound trust that develops over time.
Vintage Parenting No More
The door banged shut rather loudly in her wake. It left me wondering ‘ Am I too tough on her? Should I back down and agree with what she is saying.’ This and an array of thoughts swarmed my mind as I reflected on our recent conversation. Well whatever the feeling, the course of action is to give ourselves the gift of time to bring more perspective to the matter on hand.
Over time I have noticed that my relationship with my children has evolved very differently from what I had with my parents. Must say it has been drastically different, though the desire to connect has been intrinsically the same. We seek to understand and be understood by them. I am not surprised, the world in the past decade or two has changed not gradually but at an exceptional pace.
The circle of influence for a child growing up in the millennium is profuse. They face a barrage of information continuously from a very young age. I am not blaming the situation. This is the new reality all parents of my generation and the next face.
Whether it is the electronic gadgets or the numerous activities that they are expected to attend and acquire result in a far superior amount of information they accrue in a shorter period.
We must acknowledge the fact that they are way ahead in the information gathering skills. At best, we can keep pace.
The approach towards my children has been more of a friend, compatriot or a fellow discoverer. A gentle nudge in the right direction where experience plays a role is all that is required. Confrontations merely become an unnecessary ego tussle and let’s face it whoever loses ultimately it does not help the child.
Most challenging action for a parent is to let go and watch them make mistakes. They need to fall to understand how to rise, dust and carry on with confidence. Sermonizing and discussing your past errors unless they ask for it or they are in a place to receive will only tend to alienate them. This does not mean you capitulate for their every need, want or desire. It just says you are willing to listen and consider their point of view seriously during discussions and decisions are made on the merits of the matter in hand.
I do know this, that there are times when I mete out tough love, we need to pick our battles, but the door is always open for them to come back. They do come back stronger and more convinced with your point of view, or at the least, they will attempt to talk in an adult manner. Foster a feeling of trust and openness, such that children feel confident to share their problems or predicaments. They have it figured out most of the time, they just need you to truly listen.
Who said being a parent was natural? Live and learn.