PARENTING IS NO KID’S STUFF
Afriend’s teenage daughter recently sat her parents down and said the dreaded words: ‘We need to talk’. After an eerily long silence, during which the parents were consumed with all kinds of fears, she added, ‘I’m not ready to move out’. The thing is, the girl will soon be going to college and her parents had assumed that flying the nest is a natural process in life. After all, they did it, their parents did it and so shall their kids too. And don’t all kids look forward to being on their own once they are out of school? Clearly, this one wasn’t. In their frantic search for the best educational institution for their adolescent girl, they forgot to check with their daughter whether she is ready to pack her bags and test her wings.
Stumped by her announcement, my friends are now wondering how they did not see this coming. While giving her more personal space, allowing her to sort out her issues
In our efforts to be our kids’ FRIENDS, experts say we’ve FORGOTTEN to be their PARENTS; a role that requires us to GUIDE and nurture them so they BLOSSOM into happy wholesome adults, ready to face the WORLD
with relationships, self-esteem and career options on her own, they thought they were building a girl with a strong, independent personality, who had confidence in her decisions and could handle any situation. But it wasn’t so. Instead, they’ve realised that their daughter is actually overwhelmed by the thought of being entirely responsible for her life and is looking for some hand-holding from her parents to help her through.
According to experts in the article ‘How to understand your teenager’s brain’ on page 18, there’s nothing wrong in giving your child that much-needed emotional support. In our efforts to be our kids’ friends, though, experts say we’ve forgotten to be their parents too; a role that requires us to guide them, talk to them and nurture them just so they blossom into happy wholesome adults, ready to face the world and all that it’ll throw at them. And if you, like my friends, are feeling guilty of not investing enough time in your teenage child, then take solace in the fact that it is not too late.
Let me know what you think. Until next week,