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January 5, 2015

Find Someone Else

Image: Flickr/Kevin Dooley

Image: Flickr/Kevin Dooley

“The secret of dealing successfully with a child is not to be its parent.” (Mel Lazerus)

It’s normal for children, especially teenagers, to push back against their parents. They’re working very hard to differentiate themselves from you. They’re not mature enough to realize that you can be close to someone and still hold different values and opinions from them.

Heck, we’re not usually mature enough to realize this either — which is why we tend to take it personally when our kids reject our opinions and advice.

Perhaps the best thing you can do to help guide your kid into adulthood is to find someone else — someone who doesn’t make all the rules, someone you trust, someone to whom your child will actually listen. Our children remember us being there and loving them through all of the hormones and drama more than they’re going to remember our advice anyway. So, talk to them, hang out with them, and don’t be offended when someone else you both trust can really help them get through something difficult.

Be a big enough person to seek out and accept that kind of help. It doesn’t diminish your influence. In fact, that kind of maturity will actually increase it.

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