Children are a bundle of joy and watching them grow is such an experience to be relished. Watching your young adults go off to college is a really thrilling experience; it fills a parent’s heart with both excitement and fear; excitement that your children are progressing in life, and fear that you will not be there to monitor, caution or discipline them.
Effective ParentingBut really, you do not need to fear.
As parents, you need to realize that as your children reach college age – say 18 – your role in their life changes, and so does the nature of the relationship between you and them. And the earlier a parent adapts to these changes, the smoother the transition.
In this article, I will be sharing a couple of tips that will help you maintain a good relationship with your young adults, while still having a significant role in their life.
“The key, for you as a parent, is to change from being their teacher, supervisor and disciplinarian to being their CONSULTANT”.
Yes, you read that right. This enables you to treat them more as adults; this helps you put some responsibilities in their hands. In fact, you will not be in college with them and so it is best that you begin to groom them to be responsible for themselves.
Begin to communicate with them as independent adults and not dependent teenagers; the truth is, the process of independence has begun with life in college, and you sure don’t want to inhibit it.
In your new role, you will be able to coach them and remain their friend even after they become fully independent adults.
Below are few tips to help you excel in your new role as your children’s consultant.
· Listen: Proper listening habit with empathy and a desire to comprehend what your child is going through is important. Fight the temptation to just “tell them what to do” or what you expect. While you may be willing to give your advice and make your expectations clear, this may turn your teenagers against you and make them unwilling to share their feelings with you. Make a note to
- Listen without judging or evaluating
- Be patient, even when they appear to struggle with expressing themselves.
- Observe verbal and non-verbal messages.
- Ensure your feelings and assumptions reflect what your child is feeling
- Listen and try to just “solve the problem”
- Judging, shaming, warning, disagreeing, blaming and questioning rather than listening will hinder you from listening and make them trust you less.
· Ask Questions the right way: There are two general ways of asking questions the Closed and the Open questions.
Closed questions stop the flow of conversation, while Open questions allow conversations to continue.
Sadly not many parents have mastered the art of keeping a meaningful conversation on with their teenagers, especially when the discussion is about the teenage in question. Come across as sympathetic to their feelings rather than just go straight to your questions about where they are, who are with, what they are doing and so on. Timing is also of essence here, it may be best to first ask your teenager if the time is right for a discussion, whether over the phone or in person, it will be really frustration to hold a conversation with your teenager while their friends are with them.
· Do Not Blame: Many parents have the tendency to jump to conclusion and proffer solutions to observed problems, but it usually come across to your teenagers as a warning. Rather than blame, express honest concerns, this will make your teenager approach the conversation with a more positive attitude.
There is so much to helping your children transition from dependent teenagers to independent adult, and many parents have not sufficiently developed the skill to properly coach their children. It important that you maintain quality communcation with them, even if they are schooling overseas.
That is why at Morgan Consultancy Services, we have the facility to cater for international students, through our sister network, the International Learning Network.
Morgan consultancy Services offers international school placement to Canadian schools and globally. The MD CEO, Mrs. Abiola Anyakwo is a regulated Canadian Immigration consultant.