“You are just a child. You do not have any idea about how difficult life really is. You know nothing.” Oh, really? I truly disagree. No matter how young a person is the fact remains that he is a human being. A kid may understand less than adults do, but that does not at all mean they do not understand anything. Even a baby knows when his mother forgets to feed him.
My point is parents should respect more their children’s thoughts. Parents should genuinely listen to and understand their children and not impose on them their own thoughts and values. Let them use God’s gift of intellect and free mind, and exercise their critical thinking. Parents are there to guide their children, not command them to always do this and that. If parents would recognize more their children’s individuality and capacity to think on their own, this barrier will break down and all that will be left is a relationship built on mutual respect, trust and love.
I strongly believe that understanding is more important than love, especially when it comes to parenting. Don’t get me wrong. I think love is great. I love my parents. They also love me.
The painful reality is love is just not enough. I’ll admit that there are people who I love who I still need to better understand. The willingness to understand is very important. It is not always easy, but healthy love is strengthened by the willingness to understand. Love without understanding will like fish without water.
I do not have any children yet. I am not even married but have just started my journey in the real world. Also, the things I wrote here are but based on my personal experiences as the daughter of my parents, on what I have read, and on my observations about different parent-child relationships I know of such as those of my friends. But I have made a decision; I know that when the time comes, I will pick up and apply only what I think will be best for me and my kids. I will look at my children not as a second chance to achieve what I have not, but instead as fellow individual, who should be respected, understood and loved.
Parents help themselves and their children by realizing and understanding their emotional and developmental changes as they grow up. Some parents fail to ever really understand their children. And sadly, many parents are never understood by their children. In many cases understanding of parents does not occur after they are on their death beds, they have passed, or sadly, in some cases, this understanding never comes to fruition. For disconnected and frustrated parents and children, this may sound like, “I love him but I just don’t like him”.
Our egos are what seem to get in the way of understanding those whom we love and care about. Often it is our need to be right that makes what others think and feel so wrong for us. Empathy is the emotional glue that holds all close relationships together. Empathy allows us to slow down and try to walk in the shoes of those we love.
Okay, to be fair to parents, I know sending children to school requires a lot of hard work due to the high cost of education, especially college. But, with all due respect, why does it seem like a really, really huge favor? Well, certainly, children should be thankful to their parents for working hard to give them an education. But it seems parents sometimes forget that education is a basic right of their children. It is something that they should have accepted and been ready to do their best to provide ever since they decided to have a family and raise children of their own.
Moreover, parents should realize that the primary goal of getting an education is to learn and be ready for life; for the children to be self-independent and responsible members of society; and not just to get a job and make a lot of money. While on the one hand, time will definitely come when children will have to pay back to their parents by taking care of them and letting them retire and just enjoy their remaining years, parents should also understand that their kids are not some kind of financial investment whose profit they are expecting to get after 26 to 30 years.
Children are not trophies or medals that should be showed off to friends so the latter would feel inferior and less fortunate. The problem is, parents sometimes “exploit” their children by telling everyone in the neighborhood or their circle of friends how lucky they are to have such great kids. To make it worse, some parents become too excited and fail to realize that they are putting quite a lot of unrealistic expectations on their children. And when their kids do not meet these expectations, they would be so disappointed or get mad because, their reputation among their friends would get tainted.
Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong to be proud of your children, especially if they are doing so well in school, sports or anything they have put their interest in. But, please, parents, be realistic and reasonable. There are a lot of ways to show how proud you are of your children without compromising their reputation, your ego and especially your relationship with them. You can just hug your kid and tell him/her how blessed and happy you are to have such great son/daughter.
Despite wanting to be a supportive parent to your child, you may feel like you’ve just had the door closed in your face and you’ve got it all wrong. Your relationship will be changing and starting to become more equal as they grow up and you spend more time apart. This doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected and provide the support they need as they go through this process of becoming a whole new person, an adult.
Love, support, trust and optimism from their family make them feel safe and secure, and are powerful weapons against peer pressure, life’s challenges and disappointments.
Your aim is to keep your child safe and to give them the foundations they need to do their best. At a minimum they need to know they are loved for who they are, and that you are always there to support them, an environment where basic needs such as a safe and healthy place to live, healthy food, and school supplies are made a priority, protection and support to keep themselves safe from mental and physical abuse, respect for their feelings and concerns, acknowledgement of their milestones and achievements such as birthdays or first day at school, respect for their friends, clothing, sports and music choices, and interests.
Some parents struggle to adjust to the demands that parenting their child through the teenage years brings. It’s a time that can put even the strongest and most loving relationships to the test. Your child needs you at this time just as much as they have always needed you, but in a different way.
They are looking to you for support through one of the biggest changes in their life, towards adulthood and independence. You’ve been through it so you know how confusing and difficult it can be.
Parents and teenagers don’t understand one another because of age differences, unfamiliar teenage activities and the high expectations parents have of their teenage children. Many parents and teenagers don’t understand one another because of age differences. Therefore, parents are usually serious and stern because of this great responsibility. Teenagers don’t understand why their parents cannot be more laid back and parents can’t understand how their children can be so carefree.
Your child is becoming an independent person. They need a firm foundation of values and expectations that can guide them now, and carry them into adult life. Decide what’s important to your family and how you’ll share those expectations and values with your child. That way they’ll have the knowledge to help them navigate life on their own and make decisions that fit with what the family values.
I therefore request all the parents to be there for your children in the way that you would have wanted your parent to be there for you when you were growing up.
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