I have been writing about having serious conversations with your young person frequently. It is equally important that kids have three or more adults that they can go to for help and that they have serious conversations with them. Having serious conversations with those that the family knows, likes, and trusts allow your child to ask some of those questions with which they are struggling. It gives them a chance to express themselves through their lens of understanding without fear of criticism or advice lectures.
When kids have someone to whom they can go and have a serious conversation, it lifts their spirits. It helps them to develop their understanding, to be more tolerant and forthcoming with their personality. As a young person, I delivered newspapers after school, which was the norm in those days. I had a customer who asked me to mow his lawn, which I eagerly accepted to make some extra money. After I completed the job, he would have me come in and sit with him at the kitchen table. He would get me a glass of tea, and we would talk. It didn’t take long before I felt very comfortable sharing with him some of my concerns. He was a great help to me in helping me to gain a better understanding of our family, life, and goal setting. My parents knew the family, and they went to our church, so a relationship of trust existed there as well. I found it most helpful to take some time to talk with him. After I graduated from college and began my profession in education, I continued to write and share with him. We would exchange phone calls and write letters. There was a fond exchange of helpfulness and advice. It gave both of us to share our stories and apply them to life. It was strengthening and added resilience to my life and, hopefully, to his as well.
I want to encourage parents to help their child to have three or more adults with whom they could have such a conversation and develop trust and a safe environment around. Having such a stable relationship can help your young person to develop their ideas about life in a healthy way. It will help them to persevere during a time of confusion and difficulty, like many adolescents experience.
Yours for Better Parenting,