May be a teenager and won’t listen right now, but that first of all he values in adult sincerity and honesty that’s for sure. And he needs to be loved not for profit and obedience – reflects Metropolitan Athanasius of Limassol.
- Transition to adulthood: fights without rules
- 7 rules for parents of Teens
- The transition to adulthood. I survived
- Puberty now begins at 9-10 years. What else should parents know
- Teen. Usage instructions – how to survive the transition to the age of the child
If parents are not honest with yourself – with the kids it will not work
Children and adolescents experiencing their parents feel Confessors, teachers… And exit for us here – first and foremost to be yourself. Not to lie, saying one thing and doing another. Imagine Smoking father who does not allow Smoking teenager son – it’s ridiculous! Or father, which is endlessly berates his mother and children while demanding respect. “I am your father!” And the children constantly see him defy his parents or wife’s parents.
Or imagine, in the eyes of a child looks like the parent that sends him to Church and he stays home and sleeps.
If parents are not honest with themselves – with the children nothing will happen. The same applies to teachers, to priests: there is no honesty, sincerity will not work.
Children have amazing intuition. They perfectly distinguish the truth from the lies. Their soul is designed so that is almost impossible to deceive them. And they want us to sincerity. May be a teenager and won’t listen right now, but that first of all he values in adult sincerity and honesty that’s for sure. And he needs to be loved not for profit – that is, I love you, and you obey and do what I tell you! No, teenagers want us to love them without asking anything in return. And if the parents possess this skill, they can make whatever you want – in the best sense of the word. And the kids won’t even notice it.
Teenagers need to pay much attention. It is not enough to talk to them “slogans” don’t go, don’t go here, bad here, bad there! Don’t say that it is a sin! Don’t do it – etc. etc. It will do nothing.
Children need to spend a lot of time and carefully listening to them and not: “Come here, I have something to tell you!”
Not you, but he needs to talk for hours
Often poor parents come to me and say:
– Father, I spent hours telling him the same thing!
The fact of error. You keep saying the same thing for hours. Have I ever said that the way to do it? Yes, there is not only child – I have a head ache, if you got something to say, even the most Holy and the right thing! But imagine I start a conversation on four or five hours! Don’t you say:
– Sorry, father, you speak all right, but we can’t listen to you. We’re tired. Enough!
In the Scriptures there are good words: “hast thou Found honey eat so much as you need, not to sicken them and not vomit it” (Prov. 25:16). Honey is sweet, delicious but don’t eat the whole barrel at once! Two, three spoons and pretty. And if you give one med, then you eventually just have to throw up.
So it’s a mistake to say something to your child for hours. He needs to talk for hours. Then it will be successful. Sit down with him and let him spend hours talking. Let him say whatever he wants. And you as a priest: listen without wincing, without the boredom and disgust; don’t look at the ceiling, thinking about something else. The baby is feeling, you carefully listen to him or not. We priests know that very well.
I have met people who said:
Do not go to the priest.
Because I start to say something and he looks at his watch. It is evident that he does not listen to me and think about something else.
Yes, it happens. We are people too and sometimes inattentive. St. Nicodemus of the Holy mountain says that when a man opens my soul to you, it’s like a deer gives birth to a fawn. That is such a frankness akin to childbirth. And like a deer at the slightest noise could freak out and cease to give birth, with the result that he and the deer die – so the person who comes to you, father, for confession: if you listen to him without attention, if you show your weariness, yawning and looking at watch – he will understand that you don’t listen. And that was the end. You lost.
And with children. If you do not give them someone to talk to, if you don’t listen to them as much as they need to listen to everything they want to say without any restrictions in time, communication will never be.
“If I tell father, he’ll kill me”
Very often I come to the guys with serious problems. Someone problems for many, some have just begun. And they say such a teenager:
– You know, it would be nice to tell their parents.
And in response:
– Father, are you laughing at? If I tell you about this mother, she will die!
And indeed this can happen. The mother will not survive if her child, for example, smoke marijuana – not to mention more.
– And if you tell father, he’ll kill me.
So, the parents simply have not established a trusting relationship with your child when he can say anything and in return you will not see neither surprise nor indignation, or disgust. Say what you want, I’ll listen!
As the confessional.
Sometimes people tell you something and then asks:
– Father, you were not disgusted to listen to me?
– Aren’t you scared?
And I thought you kicked me out.
We listen to hundreds of thousands of sins, but do teenagers really that bad?
I know some kids are so vulnerable, that they themselves are bad then if they offend someone or refuse to help. They think it’s such a crime that they struggle to admit it.
Wants to confess, but is afraid
One day I to confession at our youth camp a girl came in. Before that, she cried for a long time, repeating:
– I want to popovitsa, but I can’t, I’m scared!
I was approached by the leader of her squad and said:
– Father, we have a girl that wants to seriously popovitsa, but is afraid.
The girl still came to me. It was a ninth-grader.
– My daughter, tell me what happened! I’m old, can do something and not to hear, unable even to fall asleep in the confessional. But you say the Lord hears everything…
– No, – said the girl with tears. – I can’t!
What did this child?
“Okay,” I said. – Write on a piece of paper, let me go.
The offense was clearly serious – if she was ashamed to even talk about it.
And the girl has written your sin. What was it?
Turns out she was pushed off the balcony of the cat!
Indeed, a terrible thing. But. The family lives on the first floor, and cat nothing happened. However, the girl was so nervous that as if you’ve killed a man.
“I see,” I told her. – And you did it on purpose?
– No, I didn’t want to.
I explained that the cat is not nothing wrong happened, but more so to do. We love cats, care for them and don’t need to push them to the balcony.
The girl was so worried about the act – for her, it was a real tragedy! And if in such a situation, make fun of her and did not continue to listen, she would think: “Father, I did not quite understand. Do not understand how important this is to me, how I worry…”
But the problem is not the teenagers, but we
Talking with children, you should always talk seriously. Not to belittle them in the eyes of serious things. The same language, but seriously. Otherwise, the child, when grown, will not understand why you need to go to Church, pray, and confess.
So, the problem is not the teenagers and us adults. And if you want to solve a problem in a child, we must start with ourselves. Working on ourselves, we will see that relationships with children improve. And if you try to fix the child, without any effort on them – all will be in vain. We will only cause pain and nothing more.
Let’s pray that God enlighten us all, and especially those who have teenage kids. Yes God help you to master the great art of parenting is to keep you happy, and they were calm, healthy and happy.