If you respect me, I will hear you
If you listen to me, I will feel understood
If you understand me, I will feel appreciated
If you appreciate me, I will know your support
If you support me as I try and learn new things,
I will become responsible
When I am responsible, I become independent
And in my independence, I will respect you
And love you all of my life.
(Diana Haskins, please check www.empoweringmessages.com or check her name online for more information)
Please pay attention to those powerful words. Our children, our teenagers, need us; they need so much love. I know sometimes it seems that we can never give them enough, that they need too much attention, that they take too much of our time... Well, that's what being a parent is all about. Yes, being a parent is a big responsibility and we should take this job very seriously because we can make a difference in our childrens' life! We definitely have to make time for them - to really talk to them; to share our concerns, our hopes and our dreams with them; to hear their opinions; to nurture, respect and appreciate them; to really listen to them; to LOVE them. They are the most precious gift we have and they are our "responsibility." We are certainly responsible for their well-being and it is our duty to be there for them (at all times).
People, in general, are working longer hours now a days; and in most households both parents have full-time jobs - or they are single parents - with little time after a full-day's work and after doing all the chores and the many other things required to manage a household. Our kids are left alone for long periods of time (long hours), without supervision and guidance. Parents come home tired and don't have the energy to spend quality time with their children. But no matter what our workload is like, we still have to put our children FIRST. Some things and chores can wait or we can do some of them together, while sharing some meaningful time, conversation and fun activities (let's always find time to laugh with them). Avoid at all cost yelling, demeaning and insulting them; remember that they are still kids - don't expect them to behave like adults yet. If you feel stressed out, be honest and tell them how you feel; you are only human, you can feel vulnerable at times, overwhelmed, upset, sad, worried. It's O.K. if they see your "humanity." Just take some time-out for yourself and avoid negative behaviors in front of them. They do learn by example and they know when you are there for them and love them no matter what. But please take time to listen and talk to them as often as possible!
Children should feel comfortable talking to us - their parents - and speaking openly about their lives. They should feel safe with the people they trust the most. Let's earn their trust! Please check the books "Nurturing Your Teenager's Soul" and "10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting" by Mimi Doe, they have wonderful insights on how to raise healthy, spiritual and successful children. Check: www.spiritualparenting.com.
We have to learn to validate our children and demonstrate to them how important they are in our lives. Also, we have to learn to express our feelings in a loving way - without ever insulting them - and tell them often how much we love them (just actions are not enough - they need to hear the words "I love you...") We have to try not to criticize and judge them all the time; just express your concern for their behaviors or actions and let them know that you really care and are there for them to help them, guide them and give them advice whenever they need it. And don't ever feel bad if you cry in front of them - is important for them to realize that like them we are only human, and at times is important to express our emotions. Randell D. Turner, Ph.D. wrote "Our children face enough criticism everyday and as they grow into their early teens they become very critical of themselves. They don't think they look good enough, sing good enough or play good enough to be successful. That's why it's so important that they know that you believe in them and love them no matter what. They need to hear that a lot, when you talk to them and write to them. They are young, insecure, and need our encouragement - especially as they become young adults. So, let your child know today that you believe in them NO MATTER WHAT..." (please check: www.crosswalk.com/family/516084.
As in any relationship, honesty, trust, communication, respect, patience, kindness, forgiveness, reconciliation and affection are vital. We have to learn to love our children unconditionally, no matter how hard the task may be... In loving them, we will learn to love ourselves better and feel good about our accomplishments as parents. I wish you all the best! I know parenting is a great challenge...
I want to share with you the following important message that Walter Tubbs wrote in the 1974 issue of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology:
"If I just do my thing and you do yours,
we stand in danger of losing each other,
I am not in this world to
live up to your expectations;
but I am in this world to confirm you
as a unique human being,
and to be confirmed by you.
We are fully ourselves only
in relation to each other.
The "I" detached from a "Thou"
I do not find you by chance;
I find you by an active life
of reaching out.
Rather than passively
letting things happen to me,
I can act intentionally
to make them happen.
I must begin with myself, true,
but I must not end with myself;
the truth begins with two."
In this process of re-discovering yourselves, hopefully -one day- you will be willing to risk yourself and open your heart to unconditional LOVE.
You want your children to remember you as "always loving them . . ."
"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them."
Lady Bird Johnson
"May we treat one another with respect, honesty and care,
for that is the only way we will ever grow together.
May we always try to be sensitive to one another's joys,
sorrows, needs and changing moods,
and realize that being a loving family
means sometimes not understanding everyone
all of the time, but being there to love
and help them just the same."
Bradley Tyler ("A Guide for a Loving Home")
"I know you want the best for me
I know you love me
But I'm not perfect...
I may not always be able to fulfill
your expectations of me.
But I promise you:
I'll try my best, always."
I wish you all the best! Peace & Love,