When you brought home that newborn baby, remember the feeling of, “Oh my gosh! What do we do now?” The hospital ran out of instruction manuals on what to do with this precious gift! Oh, wait, no. No instruction manuals exist. Of course there are many, in fact a plethora of parenting books in the library. However, some of them are in direct contradiction to each other.
What are new parents to do? Sounds familiar, right?
In this series, we are going to look at some of the challenges we face as parents and try to address a few of those issues in a small plate kind of way- think tapas. Who’s hungry?
Let’s fast forward to that same bundle of joy at age 14…Did it get easier? Likely not. In fact, many parents become so overwhelmed at the misadventures of teenagers, they raise their hands and give out an exasperated sigh of defeat.
Where is that manual now? To be honest, the more engaged you’ve been up to this point, the better your outcome is going to be going forward.
But if we were in survival mode up until now, there is still hope. The key – consistency and maintaining your integrity. Wait, what?
Yes, I said – consistency and maintaining your integrity.
As parents, we model what we want from our kids. They do as we do, not as we say. You’ve no doubt noticed this trend if your child is old enough to talk. What we must decide as parents of teenagers, well actually as parents of any-agers, is what we want them to be when they are 19.
Begin with the end in mind. If you want respect at 19, curtail disrespect early. If you create rules, enforce them. Enforce rules consistently. As parent(s), be the pillar, strong and sure of what your family’s rules,values and expectations are.
Your child can rise to expectations, if those are clear, realistic and attainable.
If you’d like back-up for this adventure called parenting, please reach out to talk with a professional whether at GROW Counseling or the counselor of your choosing. Sometimes we need an objective opinion, a sounding board, solid skills, or just a place to vent while an understanding ear can move us into productive coping methods.
Parenting…is not for wimps!
In the next blog of the series, we will continue discussing how to maintain our integrity as parents.
Written by: Allison Wray