Although I wish I had a parenting manual to take care of my two daughters, I don’t. My wife and I take in information and experience from a wide variety of books, seminars, therapists, counselors, doctors and then what seems to be working best for each of our children. What can be the most difficult part in our care is to peer into a mind that doesn’t think in the same logical, focused manner and help them communicate as best as they know how to.
Sometimes our children up the ante so to speak in order to get their needs met. Engaging in risky choices makes us quick on our feet, because as much as you want to protect your children and put them in a bubble so to speak, you can’t hold their hand 24/7/365 as they hit the pre-teen and teenage years. All you have to do is look back within your own life to see that when you really want to feel something or experience something- you’ll gain tunnel vision and find a way to achieve whatever your mind pictures it to do.
Little things make a big difference in our lives. I’m sure many looking from the outside would believe my wife and I are extremely sensitive and /or overprotective of our children. I think we need to set the guidance in the right capacity, to show them we truly take their feelings and emotions seriously. If they are feeling unsafe, I want them to know that we can help to get them the support they need.
It’s fine in my mind to check in with your child every day, see what they are thinking and feeling. You may have to be persistent- you may have to do it in the confines of the car on a long trip away- you may find their willingness to talk when you engage in a preferred one to one activity. Let them know you are available, do not be afraid to question if certain behaviors seem out of character and especially if you have children on particular types of mood disorder/ anxiety/ ADHD medication, watch to see if it’s still effective or if you need to make some adjustments.
Your children could be afraid to tell you, for fear they are doing something wrong or that you’ll be disappointed in them. Nothing can be further from the truth with my daughters. I want to see them as healthy and happy as their heads and hearts will allow. I don’t want my children to be zombies in a fog walking through life. I want them to think, to learn, to feel, to process and to engage in the wonder and beauty of life. I want them to know no matter what they are survivors.
What may be a small trigger for you could be monumental for them. Engage in continuous learning about the developing minds of your children. They need to know you’ll listen beyond the fact that you care. Have a wonderful day, be sure to give your children all the love and confidence they deserve.