I was reminded this week how important it is to spend time one on one with our children. On the day that I wrote about in the Oops! post I found Jonathan and I kind of at different places in our relationship. He is seventeen now and needs to think about his future and jobs. However, because of the challenges he faces in several areas dealing with numbers and not handling the crush of time and schedules well, he is very concerned about his ability to be out in the work world and wants another year to just be a kid.
I kind of "get this" however, I believe that he should get a job and that there will be a lot of satisfaction in it and that it will surprise him how much he likes it and that he can do a lot more than he believes he can. There will be a place that suits him well.
I also found out from Jonathan that I have not been treating him with the respect that I should be. I tend to tell rather than ask when things need to be done.
Some of this comes from the knowledge that if I ask him to do certain things, I know that response I will get. So, I just tell him to do it. But, I heard what he was saying. He wants to be treated respectfully and being ordered around doesn't feel very good. I wouldn't treat my friends at Co-op like that. So then why do I do this to my child? Familiarity...bad habits. I was wrong.
By the end of our time together we were having a great time and were very much enjoying each others company. He is so fun. I love to make him laugh!
I tell on myself in this post because I hope that other parents of teens will take the time...invest the time...with your young adults.
Listen...to what they are saying.
Try not to take offense....
Nurture that relationship.
These are our final years with these young people in our homes before they move on to homes and families of their own.
This is where they learn how to be awesome parents to your grandchildren.
It is a very precious commodity.
Spend it in "one-on-ones" often.