Keeping the lines of communication open
|"A life well spent" by Charles West Cope|
When children reach their teenage years, some stop talking to their parents about the important things happening in their lives. They no longer want to share their problems and feelings with their parents, instead they turn to their peers for support (or simply stop talking to anyone). This is a very vulnerable period in their lives as they move from childhood into adulthood and it’s the very time they need the support of their parents rather than their peers who are also going through the same problems (and can and often offer the wrong type of support).
When my son was 15 years old, I told him that no matter what he did, his parents would never desert him. Whilst his friends might leave him, or hurt him, bully him, make fun of him or even dump their problems on him, only his parents would fight to the very end to protect him, stand by him and never leave his side. At the time he didn’t really understand what that mean. He does now. Only the other day he was feeling very down. In the past he would have bottled it all up until he couldn’t cope, instead he rang his dad and had a long chat. Our role as parents is too listen, remain calm and provide that much needed support. A parent willing to listen without making judgment is so important for a young adult. This can be hard as you would like to say that they have done something stupid or you don’t agree with their behaviour, however its important to keep the balance right so they keep coming back to you for that support. If you come down too harshly, they may clam up, something you don’t want to happen.
Keeping the lines of communication open is so important. Your young adult need to know that they can come to you at any time with their problems and talk about their feelings without you scolding them (lecturing them). However they do need to understand that you may feel cross about their decisions, but regardless, you will stand by them and show them the love that they need. With more than a quarter (26%) of all deaths of 15 to 24 year olds (in Australia) being the result of suicide, this is a critical time for parents to be vigilant and make sure their children feel completely comfortable talking to them.
Its tough being a parent and I have found these young adult years the most difficult and by far the most stressful. Whilst not ever parent will have the difficulties we are facing, almost all young adults cause their parents some form of stress. I have no idea how I would have got by without my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him all things are impossible. My mother once said she was wearing her knees out from praying for us children - I can understand completely what she means.
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
1 Peter 5:6-7