People don’t respect me! People don’t listen to me! No one understands me! Do you respect and listen to others? Do you take the time to understand others? Respect, listening and understanding are a two way street.
This goes for all of our relationships. Whether it is our peers, our parents, our children or anyone else with whom we have interaction. Today I’d like to briefly discuss parents and teens.
If we want someone to respect us, listen to us and help us we must be willing to do the same in return. Parents, you want your teens to respect you and listen to you but are you willing to do this for them? Teens, it is the same for you. You want your parents to respect you and listen to you , but are you willing to do it for your parents?
Appreciation for what others do is a great start. Understanding or at least considering what the other person has to deal with goes a long way towards appreciating them.
Teens, think of all the things your parents may be doing for you: perhaps they pay for your activities, cell phone, computer, parties with friends, give you a home, food, and clothing. Your parents not only provide all of this for you, but must provide for themselves. They likely work a large part of their day and are responsible for all the work involved with providing a home for the family. There is a lot of pressure on your parents surrounding their money and time. They have a limited amount of both. Making sure they have enough for everyone can be very stressful. Your parents are people too (I know this may be hard to believe:) and they have bad days. They may have a short fuse or be distracted and it has nothing to do with you. This doesn’t make it right , but if you are aware of this you may be a little more understanding of your parents. When is the last time you sincerely asked your parents: “How was your day? Whats going on with you? ” What would your world be like if everything your parents provided was gone tomorrow? Just some things to think about.
Parents, your kids don’t have it that easy either. They have many social, peer and school pressures pulling them in numerous and often conflicting directions. The messages they are receiving from music, TV, friends and the world may often fly in the face of what you are telling them or what you believe is the right thing. If they are nearing the end of their high school career there are the pressures of what to do after graduation: college, being on their own, becoming a more independent individual. It is a lot to deal with. So, they may have some bad days and need some understanding.
Do you speak to each other in a way that you want people to speak to you? Do you apologize if you’ve said or done something that has hurt another person? You want this kind of respect shown toward you so you should do the same for others.
Teens, I believe that you are capable of a lot more. We so often want to make excuses for you because of the “difficult” teen years. They are difficult, but you can handle them. It isn’t easy, but you can do it. Parents, be parents, not best friends. Life is difficult and you have many challenges every day. However, your kids need you to be parents. They may not like it but they do need to be parented and one day they will appreciate it.
Start today! Respect each other, listen to one another and make the effort to understand what others are dealing with. It will create a greater appreciation for those around us and they will know – You’re Not Alone!