For those of us who are parents, we understand what a tough job it is to parent well, especially as our children enter or are already in their teenage years.
Considering the perfect storm of changing hormones, media indulgence, peer pressures, and a growing desire for independence–it can be tough, really tough.
As I was reading Dr. Henry Cloud’s excellent book, “The Power of the Other”, I came across this excellent talk he had with his two teenage daughters–it is worth the read:
“Girls, you’re becoming teenagers. It is an exciting time. One of the reasons is that you will be getting more and more independence. That means that you get to do a lot more stuff on your own, and you’re going to want the freedom to do those things. So I want you to understand something.
My deepest desire is to give you as much freedom as you want. I have no plans to control you on some short leash. In fact, I want the opposite . I want you to be in control of yourself and have as much freedom as you can. So here is how it works. It’s a formula. The amount of freedom that you will have will be equal to the amount of responsibility that you take when you have it, and that responsibility should be measured in love. The choices you make , that you will be responsible for, are to be loving. They must be good for others and for yourself. Your choices should not hurt anyone in any way- you or anyone else. That is your guide to responsibility.
If you are not responsible with the freedom that I give you, if you do things that are not good for yourself or others, things that are not loving, then your freedom will be limited to that same degree. It is totally up to you how much freedom you will get in the teen years. Show me that you can be responsible with it, and you will get it. That will make my life and yours a lot of fun! ”
Is that awesome advice or what!