Even as kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them. Adolescence is not about letting go. It’s about hanging on during a very bumpy ride.
Hold on. This goes for all of the people we love, we keep them close and support them regardless of their age. If your teenager is asking you to step away from their life, ask yourself why. And ask yourself who should be the primary influence in their lives peers or family.
Support through adolesence is something that I learned by living through it. I am fortunate to have been raised in a communicative family. I’ve heard people on television, say: “When I’m a parent I hope I’m nothing like you.” Those words couldn’t be farther from the truth for me.
I always felt supported by my parents. And I still do. They love me like no one else ever can or ever will. Now I’m an adult and don’t really need them any more. But, it’s still nice to know they have always loved me for who I am and will always want what’s best for me.
There were times in my adolescence when I felt compelled to ask for more freedom or independence. My parents always listened to my requests and metered out as much as they felt was appropriate. Which in some cases I felt was a little overbearing or unfair.
It go something like this:
- When I’d tell them all my friends are going: “There’s lots of time for that when you’re older.” (true)
- When I’d suggest they not come watch me play sports: “Of course we’re going — we love you and we want to spectate at your volleyball match.” (nice)
- When I’d insist it was embarrassing that my parents would chaperone at a school dance. “We trust that you’ll be behaving yourself whether we are there or not, so it shouldn’t matter if we see you at the dance.” (good point.)
- When I wanted cool sneakers, aka expensive ones: ”As long as we’re paying for your shoes they don’t have to be the ‘in’ brand. We’ll pay as much as practical shoes cost, if you want cool ones, you can pay the difference.” (I never did buy the cool ones. Or maybe just once, but I quickly realized it wasn’t worth it afterall.)
I read Hold On to Your Kids when my children were small. And while I didn’t necessarily agree with everything in the book, I’m glad I read it. It helped reinforce that I want to be an involved parent through all the stages of my children’s development.
So far, so good. 12 years and counting.
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- Eye Contact
- Love and Rules
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- What are you Paying For? Allowances for Young Children
- How Much Help?
- Three Piggy Banks