Many of us are parents. Our relationship with our kids is significant. It's important to know that our relationship with them changes over the years according to their age.
- We have the early years, when they are small and adore everything we do.
- We have the pre-teen and teen years when there are going through puberty and finding their way in the world. This is often the time when as parents, they can drift from us and we suddenly embarrass them by just breathing.
- Then we have the 20's on up. Hopefully as they grow into adulthood, they start to come around and we can enjoy a whole new, close relationship with them again on a different, more fulfilling level.
As parents, do we set out to mortify our kids? Of course not. How did we become the center of their universe to them needing "space" from us? They won't understand any of this until they are one day parents themselves. Does your singing in the produce isle of the grocery store make your child want to curl up and die? And how is it a bad thing to skip through a parking lot? Truth be told, it is rather fun and brings on fits of laughter!
So why does this embarrassment factor show up so big in the teen years? According to Julie Glover, pre teens and teens are trying to differentiate themselves from their family and become an independent person. Oddly enough, feeling independent often means faking it until they make it. They don’t want to look like they actually have to obey their parents, or even have parents!
As a parent, here are a few pitfalls you might want to avoid:
- Yelling "I love you"
- Loud Singing
- Affectionate gestures in public
- Trying to dress like a teen
We love our kids. A little embarrassment won't hurt them. Besides, isn't this just payback for their temper tantrums when they were little? Remember that time at Chuck E. Cheese when you threw a fit because you were too small to play some of the games? Or when you laid across the isle in the grocery store, kicking and screaming because we refused to let you eat an entire chocolate cake right then and there? Oh the humanity! Maybe what comes around goes around little darlings! Of course there are limits, we don't want to shame our children in public. But a little good natured embarrassment may not be such a bad thing.
If you are a parent of a teen in the Tampa Florida area, there are fun things you can do with them, to try to keep the lines of communication open. Amusement Parks like Busch Gardens and Disney are fun for all ages. How about the Florida Aquarium? Too costly? Then try a beach day. Have your teen grab their Ipod and enjoy a beach day with the family. Caladesi Island State Park is a great idea in our area.
And for Pete's sake, try not to breathe too loudly!