“Mentor.” That word likely stirs up all kinds of images for you. Depending on your experiences, some of those images are incredible while others evoke disappointment or painful memories.
One-sided conversations. That’s how many parents describe their interactions with their teenage children. Gone are the days of easy, playful talks. They’ve been replaced with stressful experiences of “walking on eggshells” around adolescents in the home.
Recently released from jail and suffering from mental illness, 19 year-old Lawrence is struggling to recreate his life. As a teenager Lawrence was abused and disowned by his family, and now he feels like he has been disowned by much of society. How does a young person like Lawrence move from a seemingly hopeless situation into a new hopeful reality? The answer can be found in something researchers and psychologists call “resilience.”
As parents, we have all kinds of reasons to talk to our kids. Often we resort to talking at our kids. But how often do we really talk with our kids? When we do pursue conversations with our teenagers, what is our motivation? To listen? To learn? To understand? Or are we hoping to win an argument?
Parents can feel frustrated and hurt, especially when teenagers treat parents like they are people to be endured rather than embraced. These kinds of exchanges can be not only unsatisfying but also damaging to our relationships. As my daughter Yumi and I have reflected on how parents and adolescents both contribute to breakdowns in communication, it reminded us of tennis.
It is not a secret that teens use social media to connect with their friends. However, teens also use social media to connect with adults they trust and with whom they have a positive relationship.
The Proper Care and Feeding of Emerging Adults: Parenting Strategies for Launching Kids into Adulthood, Part 2
We explored some of the ways parents and mentors can support their emerging adults as they transition into adulthood. One of the major areas of focus was on the need for parents to be patient as their emerging adults stretch their wings and get ready to fly.