We all want to be liked, approved of, and feel that we belong. When our children are young they heap love on us, shower us with affection, and accept our beliefs.
That all changes in adolescence. Tweens and teens are engineered to seek independence and autonomy in order to become their own persons. This necessary and normal process disrupts their lives and challenges ours.
It doesn’t feel good when they reject and judge us. Or when they prefer and defer to their friends. We can not measure our purpose, value or worth based on their colossal disapproval of us. We are not collecting “likes,” but building trust, respect, and adults. We have insight and wisdom that will not be theirs for years to come. We have surety and confidence in ourselves and the practices we’ve established.
How should we approach their transforming years? First, we need to let our children know we believe in them. It’s an arduous task evolving into who they are meant to be. Next, we need to be present, authentic, and available. It’s our privilege to be their anchors. Finally, we can’t expect them to like us. We are not their friends. We embrace our leadership role, hold them accountable, and are the voice of reason.
Our adolescents rely our steadfastness to figure out who they are, where they fit, and what they hold dear. With every fiber of our being we believe in their grace, goodness, and future.
I admire all that you do raising your remarkable children. If I can be of help, I’m an email away,