Parents count ... and much in adolescence
If there is one thing parents have clear is the difficulty of the education of adolescent children. They have warned in a thousand ways that this stage is usually traumatic, both for parents and children. And, perhaps for that reason, they feel a certain fear when their children turn fifteen. But, to be fair, this is not always the case: many families have emerged victorious from the test.
Adolescence does not have to be a traumatic time. We can not give up thinking about the impossibility of educating teenagers. On the contrary, parents who are responsible and tenacious succeed in succeeding, despite the changes suffered by the child, despite their immaturity and insecurity. The family is basic to the soundness of education.
We all know some families where children are not a continuous problem. What is the secret of these parents who take advantage of adolescence as an unbeatable opportunity to connect more with their children?
Is there a secret to educate teenagers?
Magic formulas do not exist, but, in principle, families that have managed to educate their children during adolescence as well as in the previous stages share some characteristics.
All parents have their peculiarities: by their temperament, by their family history, by their points of view, by the rules they make at home, by the way of carrying the discipline, etc. But, regardless of these differences, all seem to have in common eight fundamental elements:
1. A clear vision of the future they want for their children.
2. With this clear objective, they teach them to live with responsibility and strength throughout childhood and adolescence.
3. These parents are people with defined convictions and that they live according to them: there is coherence between their principles and their works. They teach, above all, by example.
4. Are aware of the environmental hazards, but they want their children to be strong, not protected.
5. Do not rely exclusively on the strengths of oneself to live in accordance with the responsibilities that this delivery implies. They ask friends, read books, attend courses ...
6. When channeling the lives of their children, they do not allow what they think is wrong. They know how to say no to what they can not admit, showing the necessary authority.
7. They maintain constant communication with their children, they understand them well and the children understand them. There is a link between parents and adolescents.
8. The father adopts a prominent role, working in coordination with his wife.
Clear objectives to avoid problems in adolescence
So that adolescence does not become a problem, these successful parents maintain, as a constant point of reference, a clear ideal of how they want their children to be in maturity: competent, responsible, generous men and women, etc. It is about thinking more about the personality that the children will have and not so much in their future careers or in the money they earn.
With such clear objectives, the only thing they will have to do is try not to deviate in the essential, even if they compromise on the accidental. It is about teaching them to live the responsibility throughout childhood and adolescence: Education from the age of twelve continues and carefully develops everything they were taught before. They will know how to change gears, let's say it like that, and press the accelerator, but they do not deviate from the road in the main.
To create a good lifestyle at home, you have to live according to deep and defined convictions. Thus, when parents have to teach their children a lesson, they will simply explain what the children can see for themselves. In other words: there is coherence between their principles and their works; they teach, above all, by example.
We are all aware of the many dangers that threaten the good of their children, and therefore their happiness, but adolescent children should not be overprotected or made hostile to society. These deep convictions of the parents will accept them for themselves, they can not be imposed believing that they will not know how to avoid the bad influence of the street. Boys and girls must be strong to face challenges themselves, not "protected" ones.
That parents know what they want from their children does not mean they can trust their own strength. Why not ask friendly families who have been through the same situation? And some good books, or some family orientation courses can also help us. They will help us to be objective and to reinforce those convictions.
Authority and trust between parents and children
In adolescence, parents who wish to succeed can not ignore what happens to their children. By channeling their life, they do not allow what seems wrong. They have enough confidence in themselves to oppose the rudeness and encounters with the boys.They feel that children have to be told "no", if they are expected to become masters of themselves.
They know that boys need help, in the midst of all their emotional entanglements, to learn to draw the line of separation between good and evil. Sometimes parents have to stomp to clearly mark where that line is. That is complicated life, of course, but you have to be determined to sacrifice for the children what is needed. This delivery example will remove them.
For this, they maintain a constant communication with their children, something they already cared about when the children were small. They understand them well and, what is perhaps more important, the children understand them. They know everything about the personal history of their parents, their judgments and convictions, their mistakes and successes, their hopeful expectations about the family. The children know that their parents have confidence in their integrity and in the integrity of their character.
The father, in particular, has a prominent role as a mentor to his children during adolescence. He works in coordination with his wife; he does not delegate to her "the things of the boys". Now he has more influence than he had when they were younger.
Distinguish between teenagers and their actions
Both in adolescence and childhood, children need to see that their parents distinguish between what their behavior is and what they themselves are. Parents want them without conditions, whatever happens. They love them so much that they intend to correct their faults and thus forge their character.
For this reason, telling children that you feel cheated is much more effective than the explosion of violence. "We are hurt because you have failed us again, but we trust that you will not make the same mistake twice": this way of speaking emphasizes the love for them and their great desire to have more maturity. It shows that the sense of discipline derives from his love.
Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice: James B. Stenson. Founder and director of Northridge Preparatory School of Chicago (USA) and Consultant of the National Commission for the support of the Humanities of Washington, DC