This is final installment in our exclusive online presentation of "How to Be Told by Your Children That You Are So Not Cool in 12 Easy Steps" by Rev. Dr. Trey Kuhne, LMFT. I would like to again thank Dr. Kuhne for allowing me to present his series to you on my blog. If you missed it, you can use these links to read Part One and Part Two. Without further adieu, here is Part Three:
9. Believe that children want rules to guide them. Allow children to paint you as the “bad guy.” Rule number 1 in parenting is to be consistent in love, nurture, and discipline. Rule number 2 is not to set out to create your child into your best friend. Your child’s job is to learn, grow, have fun, and follow the rules and (hopefully) mature. Your job is to foster a healthy family environment for love to nurture one another. Your job is to maintain a loving and healthy relationship with your spouse that helps maintain that healthy family environment for love to nurture one another. In order to have all this “healthiness” you have to have a game plan, some sort of guiding map to help navigate your way. Your parents may have taught you their “way” to a working family. Regardless of what “way” you will lead your family, it is vital to have some guiding rules, principles, and values from the beginning until they leave they home. So, for them to make it to age 18 I suggest that you adopt the position that your children want and need rules to guide them.
10. Remember that teenagers need parental supervision as much as toddlers do. It’s just a different kind. The theme here is that teenagers need direction, guidance, structure and supervision to understand how to be an adult. Toddlers have to have supervision in order to protect them from harming themselves unknowingly, to help feed them and nurture them to healthiness, and to aid them in understanding life as they grow. Same is true for older children. In reality, even adults need supervision at times! Be careful not to skirt your supervisory role in your child or teenagers life!
11. If necessary, love your children enough to let them hate you – for a while. When you child tells you in frustration that they “hate” you it actually can be a healthy coping mechanism for their frustrations because in doing so they are expressing deepened emotions. Also, as a parent, you know that those emotions change ever so quickly and the next moment your “parent hater” child is asking for money to go to the movies!
12. Know that children are never too big for a hug – even when they are grown. I strongly encourage spouses to show PDA around their children often. Of course, be sensitive to your child’s age and experience level but please do let them see you showing love and affection to one another. Hug your children and help them understand what important role affection plays in relationships. Hug them when they are young and hug them when they are old. Isn’t it a meaningful experience when your parents hug you now?
And now for some wise advice from Scripture:
Proverbs 4 (NIV)
1 Listen, my sons, to a fathers instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a boy in my fathers house,
still tender, and an only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said,
"Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or swerve from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, [a] get understanding.
8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head
and present you with a crown of splendor."
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
11 I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Trey Kuhne
Dr. Trey Kuhne is a pastoral counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist with Pathways Pastoral Counseling located at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 400 Dupre Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29307. He specializes in working with individuals, couples and families. Call (864) 542-3019 for an appointment. He may be reach via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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