Let’s be honest here, having kids is a journey in itself. You find yourself in the process, and so do they, and your role as a parent is to help them to do so. However, you do sometimes look at your kids, and see extremely confused young adults looking back at you. This is completely natural; very few of us made it through our teenage years without thinking ‘what on earth am I doing?’ a few times.
You can help your kids to find themselves, though, and we’ve noted down 5 ways to do so here.
#1: Give them some breathing space
A lot of the time, kids are confused about who they are – and what they want – because their parents have too much of an input into their lives, and tell them what they should and shouldn’t be doing. Rebelling against controlling parents can take up a lot of time and effort that could be better used elsewhere, like finding out what route they’re going to take in life, so give them some breathing space.
#2: Be a listening ear
Sometimes, your kids don’t want to talk to you about what is going on in their lives. However, there are times when they do, and you need to make sure that you’re a listening ear for when this is the case. If your kids know that you’re not going to go crazy when they tell you (most) things, they’re more likely to open up to you, which will allow you to help them to find a solution.
#3: Encourage them to do new things
Doing new things, and pushing themselves, will really help your kids to find out what life is really like, and how they’re going to make the most out of theirs. When you get a letter about those trips for A-Level students, encourage your teenager to get out there and experience something new. Whatever it is that they do (within reason), it will shape them for the better as a result.
#4: Don’t put pressure on them to ‘succeed’
Another rookie mistake that a lot of parents make is telling their kids that they have to succeed. Sure, getting those good grades will open up a lot of doors for them, but doing so because they feel under pressure isn’t good for either of you. Talk to them about the benefits of doing well, but don’t keep talking about it as if failure is the worst thing that can happen. Sometimes, it can help.
#5: Let them make mistakes
When we’ve gone through our lives and made mistakes, and subsequently learned from them, it can be difficult to watch our kids do the same things. Whilst they can learn from your past experiences in some cases, they will, however, have to make these mistakes themselves if they’re ever going to change and learn. It can be difficult to watch, but it’s just part of being human.
So, if you want to help your kids to find themselves, then keep these 5 things in mind!