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

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Comments

  1. Not so many years now until my children reach those young adult years - something that I find rather startling - where have the years gone?!?
    I think the trust between a parent and their child needs to begin long before they reach the young adult years - it needs to begin even when they are children so that a pattern can be formed and the transition made smoothly when the relationship between child (who is becoming an adult) and parent is changing so much. I have little experience, but that's where I'm at now - trying to ensure my children trust me NOW, rather than having to earn trust later. :)

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    1. You are quite right, we need to start when they are young and build the trust between parent and child. I know I stopped telling my parents things because I knew they would jump on me and I didn't want to be jumped on with anger.

      We get it right some of the time and other times we get it wrong - no parent does this perfectly.

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  2. Jo~ When I was just a young child I said something to my mother about a boy in school. She misunderstood my motive and scolded me. I was only 6 or 7 years old. I determined in my child's mind that I would never share anything personal with her again. Very soon after my parents divorced and she became "unavailable" with working and worrying. I ended up keeping my innocent vow. After my children were born the Lord brought to remembrance my promise and when I realized I was only a young child when I made it, I put it aside. But, it was hard to make a new habit of sharing things with my mom. I'm so glad that things changed between us long before she died. She was one of my best friends.

    I learned that parents need to continue to invite their children (and spouses) to share with them. It is so easy to get in a rut and keep things to ourselves.

    God bless you and your husband with Peace and Wisdom from God as you persevere in loving your children.

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    1. I was never very good at sharing things with my mother which only got worse as I got older. I always thought she was "so old" and didn't understand me or my generation (the cry of most teenagers I think).

      I have made plenty of mistakes with my sons and only now beginning to see better ways of doing things. I wish I had my wisdom that I have now, 20 years ago and I would have done things completely differently. Sadly, that is what life is like - learning as we grow older.

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  3. Hi there! I am visiting from Roxy's linky party :)

    I truly appreciated what you had to say in your post - I have a young son and am always thankful for wisdom from other women - thank you for sharing this today!

    I am now following along and I look forward to many visits :) Hugs and blessings to you!

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    1. Hi Stephanie,

      Thankyou so much for visiting. Being a parent is continuous learning, I don't think we ever stop learning. I was a young parent only in my early 20s, I wish I knew far more back them. Perhaps I would have made far less mistakes.

      Just keep building the trust between your son and yourself and keep the lines of communication open. If he does something stupid, don't jump on him so he doesn't tell you the next time. Keep calm :)

      Blessings

      xx

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  4. Dearest Jo, I want to tell you thank you for this gift of wisdom. The facts and statistics are something we cannot argue with! I am trying to be diligent with my Grandsons now on this very matter!
    I also want to thank you for Linking Up with my 1st party, I pray this will build love and community of those who long for truth and wisdom. Life seems to always take the tough stuff to train us!
    Love, Roxy

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    1. Thankyou for creating the linkup party and I will continue to join in:))) It is such a wonderful way of spreading the importances of being mothers, grandmothers, keepers of our homes, loving our children and most importantly spreading God's word.

      Blessings to you xxx

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  5. Appreciate this insight - soon to face those teenage years with my daughter. I aim to 'parent' quite differently from my parents & I hope that I have been gentle enough that my daughter knows she can come to me with any issues. Yet firm enough that she knows the boundaries too! ;-) Such a tricky balance hey!!!!

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