As we advance in age we often quickly forget the struggles we encountered as teens. Although many of us vowed decades ago not to become just like our parents, somehow fate caused us to embrace exactly what we once despised. Now with children of our own, their behavior appears foreign and we panic. Instead of conquering our desire to be our children’s role models and their best friends, we find ourselves struggling to maintain a solid influence in their lives. Sound familiar?
Back tracking the steps that led to my rebellion as a youth and dealing with my own teenage children, I was able to discover some viable parenting tips to sustain my parental influence and block the wiles of adverse peer pressure. The key to my success has been fostering my children’s desire to be successful and independent.
Think about it. Many of us couldn’t wait to turn of age so we no longer had to listen to our parents and could explore life on our own. Our kids are no different! In their minds our rules are set in place simply to block them from having fun. They believe when they finally get out on their own that’s when the good times will begin.
Often times when we smother our children and enforce too many stringent rules, we cause them to rebel. Even worst, when they finally break free, they go wild! This rebellious behavior in many instances turns out to be extremely destructive. To avoid this tragic fate, we must develop trust and foster our children into maturity and independence.
I found it most helpful to gauge my children and find out their deepest desires and dreams. Regardless of how far removed these dreams were from my own expectations, I embraced them and decided to help them set a plan of action to reach their goals. Nothing has been more rewarding than watching the glow on my children’s faces when they saw I genuinely embraced and supported their dreams and could provide useful pointers to tackle their desires. During our countless hours of planning, I’ve been able to establish trust while fostering a sense of pride and independence within them.
Working together on life projects with your children will ultimately bring you closer together. It will be amazing to watch how many similar gifts and talents they have inherited from you. Spending quality time working on a project they are excited about affords you the opportunity to watch your children open up and express who they truly are, without worries about being rejected or judged.
Be confident in your parenting skills and never second guess yourself. If you’ve done your job of instilling morals and values within your children, they will ultimately land on their feet, no matter what! Be open and allow them to explore. Let them know you trust them and believe in them. As you show your support of their independence they will ultimately embrace you more.
Want to know what’s really happening in your children’s lives and what truly motivates them. Sit down and have a conversation today about collaborating with them on a project they will enjoy. Teach them how to set goals, how to research and find answers and how to persevere despite adversity. I guarantee you they will embrace your advice and you will build a strong, healthy relationship that will last for many years to come. Enact this simple piece of advice and you will turn an awkward relationship in to a close bond that breeds success!