Who is the adolescent really?
Have you ever felt real frustration talking to your child and she looks at you blankly for as long as you were ‘yakking’, then she sighs and asks you what is the next thing you want?
Both of you know at that moment that you have wasted each other’s time. There is a tiny sense of despondency within you for you know the message you want to pass is very vital but you just can’t seem to get it through her thick head right.?
Don’t give up, and assume that a demon may have possessed her or you ascribe the issues to a relative or the other.
Every parent at some level needs to be an effective parent and as much as it is instinctive for some, it is for the most part an art you need to acquire too. I know most parents really need to be communicative in teaching the child the different realities of life and you must teach it well before you assume you have done your best. It is not going to be enough to put your hands up in the air, give up and consign your child to the influences of others who really don’t care.
Why do you need to talk with your child anyway? How about considering these reasons?
• As a parent, you have the most influence over your child
• Your child trusts you
• Your child needs to know facts about its sexuality very early in its growing years, we hear cases of child abuse, young girls taken off and married off. We must learn what they should know, and it is now urgent
• Children particularly teenagers face a lot of peer pressure, it is not enough to just bark orders, you must learn to talk more, listen and guide.
• It is an opportunity to help the child build values, and ethics that will serve the child. If you have family values, this is the time to start passing it on.
• You must have the facts, not the myths always so that your child can trust the information you pass on.
• You will need to pass information in teachable and comfortable way, to allow your child understand that the information is in the child’s best interest. Don’t fall into the temptation of giving dire warnings and issuing threats. It does not work.
• Children are naturally inquisitive and will explore things, test your facts and your value system against what they read, pick up from the internet, learn to be one step ahead as much as you can.
• Your child need to know that you are always seeking for information that will be helpful for it and it creates trust if you are willing to tell your child that you will find out about a subject. Don’t act the ‘know it all’ parent.
• As a parent, you should be the first to educate your child about sexuality issues. Remove the mystery and simply be factual so the child builds self respect and personal value system
• Know your child, it is important to be aware of the child’s weaknesses, concerns and let the child know you trust the child to overcome these weaknesses and give your child the sensing that you know the strengths and highlight those strength often to the child.
• Negative media messages are threats to your child’s self esteem, counter these messages by always giving the correct facts. We all have different body shapes and a girl watching ultra slim celebrities will be under peer pressure. Explain to your child that the body evolves and there are different body shapes for different personalities.
Contrary to what we think sometimes, not all adolescents are on the make and getting through to them, discussing their bodies with them in a relaxed and easy manner helps them over their confusions and might also give you a handle on living with your child. It is not okay to give very dire warnings every time or threaten that you feel the child is going to come to grief one of these days. We should show faith, constant trust and be ‘available ‘ always.
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Remember, every parent was once a child.
Who is the adolescent really?