Parenting an Adolescent Calls for Tough Love
The turmoil that begins for your child as they enter puberty does not just happen to them. Your life will be thrown into chaos as well!
The reason for this is that as your child is taking the initial steps toward adulthood, your parenting focus must change from protecting them as children to teaching them how to respond to the challenges of adult life.
During the early years of adolescence, your child’s future character will be amplified before your eyes.
Do they have a kindness about them?
Can they fail at something and get back up more determined than ever?
Do they take responsibility for their choices, good or bad?
How will you prepare your teen for adulthood?
Being an adult is not easy and it will be necessary for you to prepare your adolescent by showing them some tough love from time to time. Every time you jump in to shield them from disappointment or sadness, you have lost an opportunity to advance your goal of preparing them to be a successful adult.
Supreme Court Justice Roberts gave a 9th grade commencement speech at his son’s school. It was certainly unconventional, but inspiring. I would describe what he said as tough love. Here are a few of his points:
From time to time, in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly so you will come to know the value of justice.
I hope you will be lonely, from time to time, so that you don’t take friends for granted.
I wish you bad luck, again, from to time, so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of other is not completely deserved either.
I hope you will be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others.
I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.
He concluded his speech with the words from Bob Dylan’s song, Forever Young.
May God bless you and keep you always. May your wishes all come true. May you always do for others and let others do for you. May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung. And may you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous. May you grow up to be true. May you always know the truth and see the light surrounding you. May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong. And may you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy. May your feet always be swift. May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift. May your heart always be joyful. May your song always be sung. And may you stay forever young.
This song was written by a father to his son. He had set thoughtful goals for him.
Strengths and Weaknesses
What about you? Have you taken a new look at your child’s character and considered the strengths that need to be supported and the weaknesses that need some tough love as they prepare for adulthood?
I hope you are inspired to take the “tough love” challenge in the parenting of your adolescent. These are significant years for change for them and you can make a huge difference for their future.
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