A “Parent”!  Not an easy role to play.

You have a child and with that child come the expectations you have of them. They must crawl at 6 months, get their first tooth at 10 months, walk in a year, talk in two years, excel in all exam, be proficient in music/dance/any hobby, settle in a job by 22 and finally marry by 25 years. We have it all chalked out for them through our expectation after expectation after expectation!

And there is this poor child of yours who just wants to be a child and enjoy his/her childhood. How difficult is that for us to understand?

Just as everything else is becoming redundant, so is our parenting style.  We cannot expect the barter system to work today.  In the same way, we cannot expect the 17th century parenting style to work on a 21st century child.

So what are our options? Either we adapt, change and evolve or we continue and ruin the most valuable relationship in the world with the most precious person in our life.

What is 21st century parenting?  Many instantly say “Be a friend to your child”.  A very clichéd line!

Its not about being a friend to your child its about being an evolved , open and informed  parent .

Our teenagers are exposed to too much at a young age . They are confused, indecisive, seek independence and have many pertinent questions. Are we ready to answer their questions? Are we ready to let our children take their decisions independently? Are we ready to let our children make mistakes? Are we ready to just let go?

In my opinion and experience I have understood that there are two important things that teenagers need today. Someone to listen to them and someone they can talk to.

We need to be able to know when to “listen “to our children and when to talk.

When we Listen, we must do so with our body, mind and soul! Listen without judging, without assuming, without advising . Listen to their silence!

When we talk, talk in the language they understand! Walk the talk ! Talk with your heart , your brain and your gut.  Talk without your personal bias! Talk to their heart!

Once we do this, give them time to reflect on the decisions they want to take.  Give them space to mull over their actions and reactions. Give them the confidence that you trust them. Give them the belief that you are there to support them and most importantly give them the sense of security that you LOVE them, unconditionally!

In the end , love is all that there is and nothing else matters.

So let us the change the way we parent with an open mind, a listening ear and a

a loving heart.

BEING A 21ST CENTURY PARENT TO A TEENAGER – Ms. June Dias

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