At 59 I feel amazingly alive, and live life as an adventure! Come and adventure with me!
Now think back. It has probably been a while since you were a teen. Do you remember what it felt like?
Do you remember what it was like?
No, I don't either but one thing is for certain, and that is the emotions felt by a teenager are so strong, between trying to fit in and trying to be their own person, life can be so uncertain.
The feeling of not belonging can be a strong one They may also feel embarrassed, shy, unsure, picked on, or worse.
They need to feel it is ok to be themselves, that they are not wrong because they don't like the same thing everyone else does and that they do not have to be like everyone else. They need to have their own unique voice.
Why put them on a sports team if they do not like team sports? There are things out there like gymnastics, tennis, etc. that can be done on an individual basis.
Not everyone is cut out for sports!
Then again, maybe sports are not their thing at all. Ask them what they would like to do - or help them to find out what that is.
Teenagers need to feel like they have some control over their lives. They need to find their place. Give them responsibility over some of their decisions. Let them be who they are. Remember also that they are not you and will live a different life than you once did.
Accept this about them and you and they will be much happier.
If they want to have blue hair and a belly button ring, let them choose which one. But let them look after it, let it be their responsibility. It is your responsibility to look after your kids and by letting them look after themselves you are actually doing your job.
We need to learn from each other!
If your attitude is one of "this is just something else for me to look after "- then you need to take a look at your reasons. You are putting your resentments on your kids. No one said you had to do everything, even though you may feel you have to. Let them do it and be accountable. This is your issue to deal with - not theirs. Fix this for yourself and you will be happier. .
Because you give them some control over what they do they will be more respectful of what you want for them. They learn that there is some give and take. They also learn that they can make mistakes and you are there to support them and help them get back up if they need that. Throwing them out in the street helps no one.
They need our support!
As a parent, the biggest thing you can do is to support your kids. To know they have a support system helps them on the road to life. To realize that there is love for them, no matter what, frees them to make mistakes, without being tossed away, It makes them stronger and you may find less rebellion going on within your home. For a teenager to feel loved by their parents gives them a safe place to be.
This is not to say that you can't have a say, and step in when it is necessary. It just means that sometimes, even though it scares you - you have to let them go. It also means that when you do feel strongly about something that you can talk to them about it, and yes, sometimes you have to be the bad guy in the story and that is ok. That is also part of your job.
Just remember to listen and they in turn will one day, maybe not today, listen back. Don't be afraid to tell them you are sorry or that you too, have made a mistake.
Show them love!
It is damn hard, but so worth it, especially when you help them know that there is love.