My daughter is now 24. The only way I could survive the teenage years and have some happy moments is through approaching parenting as an opportunity for personal growth. I would learn how to change through the experience of having a teenage girl that was doing some risky behaviors. I worked at staying connected to her when I wanted to scream, “Why are you doing that? Don’t you know that isn’t good for you?”
She used to tell me she would party (drink great quantities of alcohol) until her early 20’s then stop. She would laugh at how her dad and I were such “light weights” since we split a beer a week. I had to maintain a belief in her. That she would mature.
I treated her with respect even when her behavior wasn’t mature. (Isn’t that what the teen and young adult time is all about?) She stopped her partying a few years ago. We were discussing her change over the Thanksgiving weekend. Her view of life has matured, her choice of clothing has matured; she has become a mature young woman.
I am saying this to encourage any parent who is experiencing the immaturity of youth to have confidence. Have confidence that your kids are maturing. They won’t always stay as they are now. Don’t say things such as, “Why are you like this?” If they could answer with wisdom they would say, “It’s just a maturing phase mom and dad. Don’t worry.”
Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the magazine Parenting on the Peninsula. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or call 650. 341.0779.