The Fine Balance When Parenting Teens

How To Offer Guidance

Teaching Teens About Relationships

According to Marianne Williamson, people are brought together in relationships for maximum learning opportunities. If this is so, then I look to what I can learn from each relationship.

As a Kindergarten teacher, and as a young adult, I learned that every action is either loving or a call for love. Five- and six-year-olds not only demonstrate this well, but they respond immediately and accordingly. Something seems to happen to us over time to change this, and it has been my intent to continue to work at remembering this, and coming back to it.

For this reason, and because the relationships that matter the most to me are with the ones that I spend my daily life, I will briefly outline a part of my relationship with my teens, as these encounters tend to hurl me into said learning opportunities.

Those of you who live with teenagers know that as parents, we must bite our tonguea lot. It is not my job to make my children’s decisions for them, but to guide them while they make their own decisions. The greatest challenge I have is in stifling my elation when I feel that my child has made a choice that is fully in line with what I would choose, because this, in turn, will lead to rewards for behaving as I would behave and possibly encourage them to be people-pleasers, instead of following their own intuition.

I am thrilled when my sixteen-year-old walks in after school and diligently gets down to any homework that he may have, because it makes that wee part of my parenting job easier. However, what about when he chooses to spend an evening with his girlfriend and miss out on an outdoor pick-up hockey game with his friends? I want him to enjoy his youth and not delve into an intimate relationship early. And then I remember, it is just thathis youth.

As a parent, I have to catch myself from replaying my youth through my children, and to let them make their choices, live by the consequences, and move forward, with the hope that they have learned something from those choices. Does this mean that I will not guide them? No! But it is in the biting of my tongue, the careful questioning, the teaching of trusting one’s intuition, and in the responsibility surrounding a choice that I think offers them the greatest guidance.

Ellyn has 21-years of experience teaching mostly 5 & 6 year olds and a Masters in Educational Leadership. She loves life and writes about it. Along with her husband, she presently parents two teens and sees her most important current role as a passionate homemaker. She lives on a farm with her family in rural Alberta along with their two Golden Retrievers and Himalayan house cat Sophie. Ellyn fell in love with blogging and started her first one in 2007. She presently has four blogs and has been invited to guest post by others on their blogs as well as moderate via #Kinderchat. She is enraptured by life...