I do not claim to be an expert on the subject nor do I have all the answers when it comes to teenagers, however it has always been a love of mine to have the opportunity to interact with these courageous souls.
I feel teens are courageous because they are negotiating through what can be one of the most challenging times in their life. They are inundated with a variety of pressures and perceived obligations from parents, school, peers and society while also trying to figure out their own independence and who they truly are. That can be pretty overwhelming and sometimes difficult to cope with especially if they feel alone and unsupported.
As a mother who survived the teen years with my own 3 children along with working with youth and their families for 5 years, I’ve picked up on a few things here and there. These things have proven to be very beneficial to maintaining my sanity while also giving me the gift of having beautiful relationships with the young people in my life.
So where do you start when it comes to teens? I guess ideally as parents it should begin the moment these wise Beings choose to be our offspring in blessing us with their presence on their birth-day!
I feel the first most important realization when we are gazing into their beautiful little faces would be that we don’t own our children. They choose us and we agreed to share experiences with them, and as I found with my own children they are individuals on their own journey who have come here to learn and grow, just as we the parents did.
As these little people grow with our support from infancy to the transitional years of teenage hood it’s all the more important to remember that they are individual souls with their own agenda as to what they want to accomplish in this life time.
As supportive parents it is highly beneficial to our teenagers that we don’t take the authoritarian approach in deciding what we think is best for them based on our own experiences and beliefs because as I found out we the parents don’t always know what is best for our children.
On a soul level (which means it isn’t always on a conscious level, it is when the soul is doing the directing on a subconscious level) our children come here knowing what it is they are needing and sometimes it doesn't fit in with our expectations. In fact it’s really not our job as parents to have expectations for our children, it is more beneficial to provide guidance to the best of our ability while also giving them the gift of trust.
For myself with my own children, trusting meant allowing them to make their own decisions, knowing no matter what they choose it would benefit them in some way. If there were what could be perceived as negative consequences then it was something they needed to experience, if it was a positive outcome it added to the foundation of successes in which they could build upon when it came to being responsible for their own lives.
If we are able to stand back and allow them to be in the drivers seat of creating their own reality then we are empowering them. If we try to control them and make all their decisions for them then we are essentially telling them we don’t trust them in their ability to manage their lives or create for themselves. We all possess our own internal guidance system and have the ability to move through any challenge because we all also possess unlimited potential. As the adults guiding our young people it is up to us to empower them by demonstrating trust and encouraging them to trust in who they truly are.
Our children don’t come here to follow in our footsteps they come here to create new and expanded paths of their own that all of humanity benefits from. Honoring, supporting and respecting their individual journey is the first step to building beautiful relationships with the teenagers in our lives.