Parents! Pre-Teen Immunisation – A Secret Cure For Teenage Rebellion
By Donovan Grant
“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.” ~ Mark Twain
Teenage rebellion seems to be a natural part of growing up – but there's a point where it goes too far and raises concern.
A quick scan of parent forums all over the internet and you can find so many tales of woe about trials of parenting today's teens. One thing for sure is that “No!” They're not just like us when we were teens! And, “No!” You can't parent them like your parents parented you!
One mother had this to say-
“I was still raging inside…at her, at God, at my husband, I couldn't seem to get a grip on this. Me, who believes all things are exactly as they are meant to be, couldn't find peace and acceptance in this. Finally, a few days ago, I asked the angels or "someone" to please help me.”
Dads are not exempted from the challenge either-
“My 13 year-old and I have screaming fights about every other day and sometimes the way that we communicate I feel like he is lost for forever.”
Teenagers can be so tough to deal with and sometimes parents end up blaming themselves. It’s not unusual to question your own parenting ability or the other extreme is to ask God, why he sent you an alien! Is there any comfort in knowing that you are not alone on this journey?
To a parent, it is quite simple; you’re just trying to raise a loving family. Teenagers don’t see this. Sorry to be the one to tell you, they just don’t care that you only want to establish your authority without the need for a messy and hurtful power struggle.
What if we could get a sneaky insight into the mind of an average teenager?
With so much change happening in the average teen life it can feel like a lottery to them. Words like empathy, cooperation, communication and responsibility in the home can be replaced by dispute, selfishness, argumentative and ‘not me’. They are just a shadow of the former sweet little boy or girl who listened to your every word.
So if changing a crazy teen is impossible, could changing you be the solution?
Dear caring parents, we all get confused, angry, ineffective and helpless from time to time. On some days, you may even be absolutely certain you have no idea where that ex-child, now crazy person, came from.
On a serious note, there may even be days when you have to clench harder at every howler your teens commit, because you’re convinced that they are at risk! Your worst nightmare is that they will become a statistic.
How can we help them?
In the book “Grooming The Next Generation For Success”, Business Expert Dani Johnson has a great cure for teenage troubles. There’s a section where Dani says that parents need to “BE WISE AND IMMUNISE”. This does not mean that we need to inoculate our children with needles, what she means is to start planning early. Prepare your children for the rebellion stage before it arrives.
This all sounds a bit wishful thinking, read on for a paraphrase from Dani’s great book …
When your children get to 9, 10, 11 and you sense that the time is nearly there you challenge them with some straight to the point questions:
- Are you going to be one of those teenagers that hate their parents?
- Are you going to stop loving me when you are 13?
- Are you going to stop honouring your parents and talk behind their backs when you are 13?
While the children are in those young, innocent and pleasant years, they will answer “no mum, never” or “of course not dad” to all these questions. So if you can be consistent and keep asking, you will build a good base for when they turn into a teenager. And when that teenage time comes when they start to get in the mood for a revolt, you step in and say “Hey, remember we had that talk? I asked you if you were going to be like those teens who hate their parents.”
The key thing is to start early so that you can stay sane while dealing with the craziness of teenage years. At the same time you’ll be able to maintain a connection with your kids in a way that fosters strength, love, compassion, and most and best of all – mutual respect.
My little guy, Emmanuel has just turned nine so this is going to be a fun time for us to start building that base.
What about you? Are you children ready for immunisation?
Remember this- No two teenagers are the same! Even in the same family, so you are bound to have some rough spots. The main thing is that you don't end up as one of those freaked out parents when the 13 plus years come along.
Let's raise great teenagers together!
I believe in you and your dreams.
Ps. Got a comment about growing up? Leave a message below . . .
Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, copywriter, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play.