When you are a teenager, you struggle inside to be that grown up person you are becoming. With your friends you will have intimate chats about everything under the sun. It’s an exciting time. Everything very is happening new. For the parent, it may be the most trying of times because your child is no longer a child, but a teen developing their own personality. If there is going to be a time your child believes you “don’t understand” them, it will be during their teen years.
After all, this is the time when for the first time you are actually experiencing what they may call exciting yet adult stuff. First kiss, first love, body image, and being responsible for who they are becoming. If there was ever a time a child needs guidance, it is now. If they ask questions and tell you some of their problems, this is a good thing. This is not the time to, say, throw them into the world. It is a big scary place for them alone now.
Psychologist and psychiatrists have said your baby years are most important. I don’t doubt that. But that is a time when they are cuddly and cute and they understand the discipline of a parent who says “no” and praises them when they are good. As a teenager they feel they should spread their wings and they “think” they know it all.
As parenting does not come with a “How to Do It Right the First Time” manual, parents are going to make mistakes. Not big ones because we all try our best with our children, but later on you may wonder
“Was I a good influence on my child?”
If your child feels they can go out in the world and fit into society and knows the world does not revolve only around them.
If your child has some good friends not only acquaintances.
If your child has not been jailed for a serious crime.
If your child prefers the world without drugs.
If your child know the difference between right and wrong AND what will harm them.
If your child knows you care …
AND last but not least …
If your child is still able to talk to you …
Then pat yourself on your back.
You did do the best you could. We have to let them go and hope the world is a better place for the offspring you have nurtured. We cannot make them change their attitudes towards how they feel about people, or circumstances in their world. We cannot wish them to be a certain way or live a certain way.
As young adults, if we can still communicate with our offspring we have done something right! They are not going to let you into all aspects of their life because they know their parents lived in a different time. A time when life seemed so much more simple.
Grandchildren now see the world through different eyes. The adventure is just beginning and we are part of that again. As grandparents we enjoy the innocent unconditional love we receive from them. The grandchildren tug at your aprons for hugs. The children tug at your hearts when they are feeling the stresses of the times and many times try to manage them the best way they know how.
But our children are the next generation so if we want a better world, we have to try and do it right for their sakes!