Learn Effective Parenting Then Trust Your Parenting. There’s nothing that beats the pride I feel when reading my daughter’s progress report. She’s 15 and a Freshman who at a very young age knew if she needed help with any school work she is to ask. Whether from her father, myself or her educators. And if that wasn’t sufficient, and I know I wouldn’t be helpful with anything to do with Math or Science, a tutor was to be considered. The point being I never “bugged” her about doing her homework or if she handed it in on time. She knows what is expected of her as she has always been given choices.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist working with loving parents for over 21 years I also see that some can be overbearing and project their own anxieties upon their children creating undue pressure on them and disharmony within the family. It’s those “helicopter moms” and “controlling dads” that get in the way of effectively parenting their kids. Don’t get me wrong, I believe we as parents need to guide our children by placing boundaries and putting limits in place so they’ll know how to take care of themselves through their process of growing up. But that’s just the point, it’s their process, not ours. When parents can grasp that concept their children are free to “be” who they are going to be and will have the good well-being to choose for themselves what is right for them. Often times those choices are the right choices albeit they might not be what we want.
So in reading her English teacher’s comments, “she earned A’s on all her Macbeth tests; her responses to the short-answer prompts indicate good comprehension of the reading and are among the best I received.” “In short, she possesses all the skills needed for successful literary analysis.”
Her Science teacher comments, “she remains quiet as ever and her intense focus on exactly what she needs to do is a welcome respite from the conversations that happen around her in class, I am consistently awed by how much she is able to accomplish during class.”
It goes on and on as her World Culture teacher states she has earned a preliminary recommendation for an AP History as her Sophomore history class.
As a mother I’m not immuned to my own anxiety when I see her heading to bed at 11 pm and sometimes leaving the house a little later for school because of it ending up a bit tardy for her first class. Or when she sleeps in until 11 pm on weekends to catch up on her sleep. My mother used to say I was lazy for sleeping in so late on the weekends when in fact science indicates a teenager’s sleep cycle will change. Their circadian rhythm will move them about three hours past where they were as kids. This is referred to as “sleep phase delay.” This means they will fall asleep three hours past the time they used to and unless they are completely exhausted, it will be biologically very difficult for them to fall asleep earlier. If you didn’t know that as a parent you could be experiencing Power Struggles with your child and that would create disharmony between you.
As a Marriage Counselor who works with single parents and intact families I help parents learn and understand childhood developmental stages. With knowledge comes a better understanding of how to raise and parent our children and get the outcome we all want. When it comes to teenagers, as much as we want more hands on, for obvious reasons, the more we are to trust and give them their independence so they can learn to make the right choices for themselves. For more information on the best parenting possible contact me at (858 735-1139.