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July 23, 2014

The Good Old Days?

Image: Flickr/J.K. Califf

Image: Flickr/J.K. Califf

“People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children.” (Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes)

It’s so easy for adults, feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of adulthood, to forget just how difficult it is to be a child — especially a teenaged one. School is either incredibly hard or incredibly boring, relationships are always brimming with drama, body images are skewed, and hormones are raging. This is what it is like to be literally immature: one feels insecure and in a constant search for validation.

But none of that is the hardest part. Sadly, the hardest part about being a teen is having to relate to your parents. Even parents with the best intentions can project their own unfulfilled hopes, and their worry-filled fears, upon their children. This leaves the kids feeling the burden of all the unmet expectations of the family. Hardly seems like “the best years of your life”.

We parents usually don’t even recognize this process, but it’s the driving force behind much of what we do. That’s the force we’re all trying to stop with ScreamFree Parenting. And the first step is asking yourself, in a calm way, one simple question: Would you have liked having yourself as a parent?

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