Encourage and support your kids because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them. (Lady Bird Johnson)
– Desiree Panlilio
As our teens graduate high school or college, we as parents need to give ourselves grace. We need to remind ourselves that we did a great job and that our teenagers are able to handle what the world has in store for them. But as a parent, we always want to be involved, provide our teens with advice. We want to “manage’ our teens in order to see that they succeed in our own vision. As a parent, I have to do this as well. Stop. Yes, stop. Enjoy the transition your teenager is going through. Encourage, love, mentor and coach them but do not manage, direct and push them in your own vision. Here is how you can help your teen.
Encourage your teen to bet on themself. Yes, your teen is incredible. Encourage them to discover their purpose and the passion that goes along with that purpose. Encourage your teen and your new college graduate to contribute to the conversation of our culture and time and to help shape the direction of our culture into what they hope to see in the future. If they need a resource to further develop their critical thinking and communication skills a life coach is the best resource. Allowing you to be the parent and enjoy the success and support the struggles they have as they navigate their new environment.
Encourage your teen to be kind, be generous, and to trust their inner voice. All of these traits will allow for your teen to be resilient, to grow their self esteem and self confidence. Do not underestimate the capability of your teen. Instead, be their biggest cheerleader as they grow into who they are. Remind your teen that hurdles and disappointment are part of the journey. The journey and learning that accompanies hurdles and disappointment are a way for them to gain experience, grow as a person and to develop skills they did not realize they had. As a parent, listen to your teen’s frustration around their hurdles and disappointment but do not solve it and do not allow them to be trapped into a victim role. Teach them that they are the author of their story, empowering your teen to become that author.
Of course there is always some sage old advice to share with your teen. Such as going to the bathroom when you can, not when you have to. You never know when a bathroom will not be handy. Be kind to the elderly, they were once you, young full of fire and ideals. Be generous with your time to others you can help. Call your parents, we miss you more than you will ever know. Always write thank you notes, the personal time it takes to write and send will never be forgotten. Lastly, always floss.