There were times during my children teen years when a conversation with them seemed as if I was pulling teeth. So I began to look for opportunities to have that extended conversation with them. I would validate the importance of our conversation by stating to them that their behavior at that moment (good or bad) requires me as “The Parent” to have a teachable moment…and I would continue with the conversation.
A parent’s teachable moment with their child doesn’t have to take place only when there is negative behavior. Try having teachable moments when you see your child doing good things and being responsible. Here are some words you can use: “Every person is born with their own spiritual agenda. That agenda takes the form of experiences and lessons. I may not always understand your agenda or God’s plan for you but I can see that it is active and operating. As a parent my intention is to help you find the good in yourself and your actions, regardless of any seeming negative experience. In other words, I will always be in your corner letting you know that I love you and expect the best from you and for you”.
What Every Parent Should Want To Give Their Children:
A sense of TRUST
Let them know you trust them and that you can be trusted.
A Sense of VALUE
Let them know that they are valuable because of who they are, not because of what they can do.
A Sense of WORTH
How you treat children is a direct reflection of how much they are worth to you.
A Sense of HONOR
Let them know they look good and they are good and their actions are important.
A Sense of SELF
Give them boundaries, and honor the boundaries they set for themselves.
Tell them you love them in word and deed. And, don’t put a price tag or conditions on your love.
Teens especially need to know that their parents love for them has no limits. Parents need to know that showing unconditional love gives their children the support they need to know that they matter and belong. Whenever I make the comment “Children need to know they belong and that they matter” I think of all children not just teens. In our society today, a lot of families are blended creating step-parents and step-siblings. Sometime in the shuffle of various family dynamics children can display behavior that attributes to the thought that they don’t feel like they belong or that they matter.
Traditionally parents have shown their support through affirmations, hugs, and some through their actions others by example. In my household support for my boys includes compliments, high-five, hugs, affirmations, eating out at their favorite eatery, new sporting gear and attending their sporting events to name a few. The support they liked best was both of us (mom & dad) being in the stands at their sporting event. Other ways to show support to teens is stating why you are proud of them and display your good listening skills by being slow to speak. In conclusion, I would encourage parents to be consistent in showing support your child needs that stability.