Being a Good Parent During Your Child’s Adolescent Period (Part 1)
A child’s adolescent period is full of challenges, temptations, and new unknown feelings. A teenager doubts, suffers, loves, hates, fears, and hopes. Even the most successful kids can’t avoid the torments of transition between childhood and adulthood. How can parents help their teenager? There are three qualities of a good parent, for which grown up child will be thankful:
1. A good parent is happy.
2. A good parent is patient.
3. A good parent is fair.
1. A parent must be a happy person. No matter how tough life is for you, if you want to be a good parent for your child it is a must to represent happiness, optimism, and cheerfulness to your child. “A child gets sick with a chronic disease of unhappiness not from unhappy circumstances but from unhappy people around him. Unhappy people cannot raise happy children; it’s impossible” (Simon Soloveychik in Parenting For Everyone).
During at adolescent period, when children grow up physically, unhappy parents often see a chance to share their own pain with their child. But children can’t stand unhappiness. More than anything else they need to know that life is hopeful. Hopelessness kills the children’s spirit and pushes them to run away from home, to look for happiness elsewhere, in the school, in the streets, with peers or strangers. If the kids are lucky, they may find a teacher, or a relative who would give hope that there is something worthy in life to strive for. If not, they get infected with their parent’s habit to feel miserable, depressed and despair, and they may end up in the streets, or detention, or even worse.
Another extreme is when parents are unhappy about their children. Parents may be feeling self-fulfilled and self-content, but they always complain about their growing kids. “My child doesn’t do chores, doesn’t study, doesn’t help, is lazy, not interested, doesn’t want to talk to me, doesn’t respect, doesn’t care about anything, etc.” Children sense their parents’ helplessness and lack of faith in them. This attitude decreases the child’s dignity, the child’s sense of human value in themselves.
What to do? Soloveychik would recommend: “Go and tell everyone how good you child is.” Be proud and be happy about your child.
to be continued…