Parenting is not an easy job. The answers don’t come easy. Sooner or later your teen will realize that, you too, are a flawed person just like everyone else and that you don’t have all the answers.
The results of this can vary of course. Sometimes it can build a mutual love and respect, other times it might do the exact opposite. They might clam up, act out, become angry or even scared. For whatever reason they don’t feel as secure as they once did.
You wish they’d still come to you with all their troubles, their fears, their anxieties just like they did when they were younger. And then you’d magically fix them and they’d have no need to confide in friends, get involved with the wrong crowd or succumb to peer pressure. Unfortunately, they're just not around as much as they used to be due to the demands of school, peer life, work, and other activities. And sometimes we can feel our influence waining. How do you, as a parent, maintain your positive influence over their lives and decisions?
There is no almighty rule book for parenting (even though society is flooded with opinions) and there isn’t one single way to raise a child into an adult. Reaching out to other adults to help your child might seem distressing at first, but we can assure you, we’re here for you too. Every single one of us approaches parenting from a different perspective. You have shaped your parenting style the best you could; doing what you thought was best for your child. Just as life is confusing and difficult for them, at times, it might be the same for you. We are here to partner with you and your trust is so important to us and something that we will never take for granted.
So before we meet, let us start by saying “THANK YOU, PARENTS!” Thank you for going this far with your child. You’ve stuck around and no doubt you do your best to be there for them. That deserves some credit, for sure. Heck! You are reading these words right now, and that means you are actively seeking out a solution to a problem. Kudos to you! This is one of the best decisions you will make for your teen.
Sometimes there are things going on in their life that they just don’t feel comfortable talking with you about. And that might be painful for you, but you still need to find answers for them, don’t you? In these perplexing times, we strongly encourage you to set up a second layer of support. Another adult or mentor, someone trusting and unbiased to their situation, can listen and focus and offer a fresh perspective.
We’ll meet with you and your son or daughter for the first session to cover who we are and what we are about. We can answer your questions and address your concerns and fears. The following sessions will be just one of us and your teen, so they can share privately what’s going on in their world. After every four or five sessions, we will re-convene with you, the parents, to discuss the next possible steps for everyone involved.
So, if your son or daughter comes to you and wants to make an appointment, please know that this will be a good thing! He or she is taking a step to address an issue in their life. Teens desire their parent's love, support and encouragement; and we will need you on this journey as they take steps towards addressing the challenges they face. Thank you in advance for allowing us to be a part of your teen’s life. Your trust is a gift we take seriously, and we will do our best to be there for them, and encourage them to be the person God created them to be.