Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Parenting in 2011

I noticed I disagreed with my daughter’s point of view regarding something she was talking about with her BFF in the car while I was driving.  In fact, I found myself curiously wondering how she formed the opinion that she was discussing.  I was quite sure that my husband would have disagreed with her too.  She is eleven and clearly her own person.  This is where parenting becomes a challenge.  Where do we draw the lines?  What are we responsible for?

I am noticing in my peer group of parents of eleven through fifteen, we all seem to be walking on shaky ground.  Some of us are still hanging on to memories of when they were little.  Others are apologizing to themselves or others for their kids’ behaviors/manners/language.  Some are clearly depressed and do not know how to be an effective parent anymore.  We are all going through yet another transition.

There are days when we ask ourselves: who are these young, yet big people in our homes and what happened to the innocent little girl or boy who did as we asked them to, etc.  I am sure that they are confused too, like we were at that awkward stage before adulthood.  What’s different, is that they know so much more than we do about what goes on in their world which has a lot to do with technology.
They crave the newest gadget, they are connected and can figure things out faster and less laboriously than we can.  This gives them the upper hand and they know it too.  This upper hand, makes them believe that they do indeed know more than we do.  I believe this makes parenting that much more difficult these days.

Setting boundaries becomes challenging, because they are connected through the internet and social media.  Sending them up to their rooms as a punishment, does not work.  Taking away their hand-held device works until they go to school or anywhere where there is a computer they can use or borrow.  And they are very resourceful.  While we are busy worrying if we have done the right thing, used the right punishment, they are back on Facebook and forgotten that they were being punished to begin with.  All of this makes us less frightening, less knowledgable, and frankly, less effective.

Going back to my daughter’s conversation with her BFF in the car…  I realize that our children live in a much bigger world than we did and are influenced by more than we could have been.  This is a wonderful opportunity for young minds, and a scary reality for parents.    It’s like when your kids go off to college, but they haven’t really and they’re much too young to do so.  They seem to be growing up faster and faster and we are attempting to keep up. 

Since I am always one step behind, I have decided to enjoy the moments when I do connect with them, laugh together, share a meal or a walk.  All of this high speed living only makes me treasure these rare and short lived moments even more. It is indeed a different day…

Questions to Ponder:
1)    Are you torn about your parenting abilities/skills? 
2)    Do you find it difficult to relate to your children and this worries you?
3)    What would a perfect day be like in your home?  When was the last time you had a perfect day with your children?

If you are concerned about parenting these days and would like to come up with a plan that would work in your home and with your family in a non-judgmental space, you might want to consider spiritual life coaching.  Contact me for a complimentary 30 minute session to see if spiritual life coaching is the answer to your concerns.

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