About 8 years ago, a Roper National Youth Survey was done asking teens what they thought was wrong with America. Some of their answers were: Selfishness/people not thinking of the rights of others & lack of parental discipline of children and teens. Sandy Hotchkiss, whom this week’s blog is taken from, sites more of the survey in her book, Why is it Always About You? Even our teens are noticing how skewed the country is getting, and the teens are attributing some of it to parenting! See if you hold any of these beliefs and take these tips to heart.
2. My child should never suffer. (If my child is unhappy, I am a bad parent.) Failure is always a negative experience and should be avoided at all costs. Suffering is part of being human unfortunately, and we would like to shield everyone we love from suffering, especially our children. Sometimes suffering can be as large as death or illness, or on a smaller scale such as losing a competition or not getting the gift you wanted for your birthday. If a parent jumps through hoops to make sure a child never feels the pain for a failure or suffering, then they are taking away that opportunity for that child to (a) build character, (b) figure out how to handle stressful times, and (c) figure out how to handle feelings such as anger, sadness, envy, guilt, loneliness, disappointment, etc… Children need real-life experiences so they can grow up in a real-life world and know how to function in it.
3. What is good for me is good for my child. This is not always necessarily true. This phrase does not address the fact the child is separate from the parent. A child is their own unique individual with their own thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Whether it’s a parent’s decision to divorce, re-marry, date, move, etc…. this belief of “what’s best for me will be best for them” will not apply. Sometimes these life choices are necessary and unavoidable. However, children have separate needs and separate interests.
As always, we hope this is getting your wheels to start spinning! There are several more tips for the rest of the week. Check back in & as always, thanks for reading!
Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.