Who Teaches The Most: The Parents Or The Children?
By Donovan Grant
"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something." ~ Wilson Mizner
True parenting is never as easy as practicing the ‘top 10 rules or skills of a good parent.’ Parenting is real messy work of failing and succeeding. It’s just another thing to handle when aiming for more balance in life.
Some parenting methods can stifle a close relationship between dad and child because the dad must be a leader in the home. This isn't necessarily bad. It's just how it is. The only problem is that this doesn’t work too well for the teenagers. They want their space. They want their independence. They want to be taken seriously as young men and young women.
Between you and me…
… in most cases, our youngsters secretly just want to know ‘am I loved?’ and ‘can I get away with doing what I want?’
Of course the honourable answer to those questions is ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ As parents, we are a gifted a script that literally says to imitate God. Be the perfect parent, by providing both mercy and unconditional love on the one hand, and strength and discipline on the other. A life balance mum or dad.
The thing is that we get bombarded with so many challenges during our day, that sometimes we can be off-key! What this means is that on some days we can be the good mum and other days, we’re the bad mum. All we want is balance in life not more problems when we get home.
Have you ever had a day where you struggle with living up to your own ideals?
I’m sure that most mums and dads don't believe in being overly restrictive, but once in a while you ask yourself “am I being too permissive?”
When the answer comes back “yes,” you can end up at a boiling point where your kids literally drive you crazy and you say things or handle a situation in a way you definitely regret later. Basically you overreact.
Don’t go beating yourself up! No one needs more ways to highlight what failures we can be as parents! Maybe you can ask a question like- “How can I listen and learn from my children so that I can teach them?”
When we ask questions like this, it brings us closer to who we are supposed to be. As a matter of fact, I truly believe that we can redefine the parent-child relationship and become even more effective at handling the ups and downs of parenting.
When our kids are away from the family home they bring the family banner with them. The share stories from the home and they talk about you, their parents. How would you feel if your child were able to talk about you like some of the students on our youth programs spoke of their parents?
“I can't describe how nice it felt to be listened to”
“Finally mum treated me like an intelligent being”
“I just wanted given the freedom to control my own behaviour”
“I want to be trusted to chose right from wrong and have credit for the outcome of my decisions (or to deal with the consequences).”
“I prefer to control my behaviour out of respect for others, not because I fear punishment.”
Although some parents may find it difficult to change the habits of a lifetime, the atmosphere in your family home may be much better for it. Every child matters. Every parent has the ability to really listen to what their child is saying and how to respond in a way that keeps the child talking. Be willing to negotiate with your child so that you come to an agreement you can both live with.
Remember this- your child has the right to be different from you and unique in their own sweet way. Along the way, your children may even teach you a few things about yourself and life balance.
Maybe we just need to narrow the gap, by bringing ourselves closer to our children as we learn to listen to them.
I believe in you and I believe in your dreams.
Father of three wonderful children, coach, mentor, copy-writer, speaker and IT Professional are just some of the roles that Donovan Grant enjoys everyday. He is a passionate and committed person who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Donovan has been a catalyst for many to live a life of balance, integrity and fun whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com