Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Parenting Question #3

Where do teenagers prefer to get advice? Do they prefer their families, their peers, or their teachers? If you said peers and teachers you are partially right, however teens actually show a great preference for getting information they can count on from their mom and dad. Surprising, but true!
Any time is a good time to connect with your child. Remember to spend more time listening and talking with them than you do telling them what to do. Kids are listening to parents!

Here’s another parenting question: A trusted adult such as a parent will not always be around, so children need to follow:
A.   An inner voice to help guide them
B.   The advice of other children
C.   Rules that other adults spell out for them

Having an inner voice is really critical. Often teens have not developed a sense of speaking up for themselves. They may listen only to others if they have learned to depend on others to instruct them what to do all of the time.

Our goal is that children develop an inner sense of what is right and wrong. We need to help children learn to listen, certainly, but also to begin to act independently on their own.  We will not always be around to guide them.

So the best answer is “An inner voice that helps to guide them”. We also call this a conscience. If we don’t give children a chance to practice listening to their conscience in the safe confines of our supervision, then they may become followers. The trouble with followers is they can easily be talked into doing something wrong by their peers or adults. Children need opportunities to practice developing that inner sense of what is right and what is wrong.

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