Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Forming a Healthy Relationship Between the Parents and the Children

I am a reformed yeller. It was worth it. Now I get to brag. My 14 year old just wrote this for her HAL class and with her permission I bring it to you.

"Take a second to think about your parents. The people who have been the biggest influence in your
life and even if you don’t want to admit it, have shaped who you are as a person thus far. As you grow older and start to become more independent, you start to think for yourself and realize a few things about yourself and your parents. You may start to think that your parents don’t know anything. Okay, they may not know everything, but they still know stuff and can help you become an adult. As teenagers, it may become normal to live with the “I hate my parents” attitude. If you feel this this way, you should take some time to build a better relationship with your parents. Here’s what I believe forms a good relationship between the parents and the child.

Let’s address something very important and obvious, times have changed since your parents were kids! Have your parents ever asked you for help with the latest fancy technology? They aren’t as experienced as you and sometimes need your help because metal devices that respond to your touch and watches that do more than just tell time weren’t the norm back when they were a kid. This is because the world has changed. Your parents don’t know what being a teen is like in this day and age because they didn’t have to worry about snapping the perfect Instagram-worthy picture whenever they went to hang with friends. Sometimes, the don’t realize that society is constantly changing, and generations raised in this changing society will be exposed to different things than when the parents were teenagers. Parents need to learn to accept the new and communicate with their children to creature understanding between both parties about these changes.

A problem that may be happening between parents and children is that they may not understand the importance of communication. It is essential for the parents and the kids to discuss what it is like to be a teen in this society and help the parents understand. Kids! You should talk to your parents and tell them about yourselves, even though you may not like it. They deserve to know who you are and who you want to be. Tell them about your goals, hopes, fears, anything! Parents! Listen to your children! Even if you are constantly busy, take some time each day to sit down and hear what your kids have to say. That is the number one thing to do to show you that you care! If you listen, you are inviting them to open up to you, and the communication helps for a healthy relationship. While listening to your children, please do not try to change who they are. Let your child form their own opinions about the world and let them be, unless their views on how life should be lived harm other people. For example, if your child thinks becoming a serial killer is a good career path, please steer them another direction.

Finally, you and your parents are allowed to make mistakes! Being a parent is a hard job, and nobody is perfect. If your parents are doing something that is bothering you and you think there is a better approach to the situation, talk to them about it! Remember when I just talked about communication being important? In my family, when I was in about 4th grade, we realized a very important thing that we were all doing wrong. Yelling. Yelling had become a bad habit for everyone in my family. Eventually we realized that screaming at each other helped absolutely nothing, and that sitting down and talking with each other when we were angry worked much better. Our whole family learned from the experience that proper communication keeps a family running smoothly. Everyone makes mistakes, and we learn from them. It’s what makes us human!

I know it may feel like your parents don’t understand you, and it’s almost like they forgot what it’s like to be a teenager! That being said, it’s important for you not to close yourself off in your room all day. Take my advice and talk to your parents. Ask them questions, tell them stories, and what it’s like to grow up in this day and age. This will help you form a healthy relationship with them. And head’s up, your future self wants you to take this time to bond with your parents because you’ll miss them once in awhile when you’re an independent adult." ~M.T.

Now someone please pass me the tissue. About 4 years ago I listened to an online seminar given by Amy McCready of Positive Parenting. I thought this positive parenting thing was too hard, I wanted fast fixes!! I also didn't know how to get rid of the yells. I had a 10 year old and a 5 year old. I look back and realize that 8-12 was my biggest challenge in parenting and had been blindsided when my very complacent oldest child all the sudden had her own agenda with her own needs, wants and FEELINGS!! She also wasn't afraid to share those feelings. So, after listening to McCready, I decided to give up yelling for lent. It wasn't all rainbows and unicorns. Stuff spilled, things got lost, my girls yelled (they don't unlearn it immediately) but I didn't give in. I took deep breaths and moved forward. After weeks of not yelling I relaxed. I learned that stuff still spilled, things still got lost, words were still shared but not only was I relaxing, so were the girls. Gradually our connections grew, and fast forward a year or two, things were amazingly better. Not only did I talk more respectfully but so did they.

Lent starts today, you don't have to be Catholic to start not yelling today, but if you are, I challenge you to give up yelling. It will be your best lent season ever and what you gain will be worth more than a million dollars.

Other blogs, websites and books I read on my journey were:

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