“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverb 22:6 NIV
Sometimes we tend to think just because our children are teens or young adults that the training is over. This is a crucial time when training is more important than ever. It’s when they are subjected to all types of temptations and experience situations that may not have been possible a decade ago.
The most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open. It’s all too easy to be judgmental and make accusations. Life is filled with constant learning and large doses of understanding should be administered along with effective LISTENING! Spend more time learning WHY they do things instead of just CRITICIZING the outcome of their choices.
I have also learned to not just listen but also to: a) Remember how I would have reacted as a teenager b) Not necessarily respond after listening - sometimes sympathy (read: non-judgmental listener) is far more effective than trying to give advice, which is often neither wanted nor appreciated. We're still working through the teenage years with two and have another guy about to be a teen, but I'm still here to talk about it!
I find communicating with my teenage boys quite the challenge. It seems to me, teenage kids, / young adults. Today verbal communication skills are more like a text message that comprise of sentence fragments and abbreviations that are misleading.
It is funny you say that - as much as I can understand your statement, I actually find my daughter to be far more difficult to communicate with. My boys will eventually open up after gentle discussion but my daughter translates everything into her own ideas and all I can do sometimes is smile and tell myself to be patient, she'll speak English in a few years.
My problems didn't germinate until they were in their teens. They were young and very impressionable children and believed everything I told them. Which was good because I was always honest and upfront with them. However, once peer pressure hit ... they were more the dominant ones than the followers.
I do believe it is a hormone thing, in addition to the fact that I have also noticed that girls think/process information differently than boys. Although there is no one gender which is emotionally stronger than the other, girls seem to more times than not react in a more emotional manner than boys.
Perhaps it is the so called "nesting instinct" in girls that becomes more dominant as they age. The desire to have there own place to procreate and form a family whereas boys are happier wherever they "roost" be it with Mom or significant other.
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