Wednesday Wisdom Tips – Streetwise or Safe?

Yesterday, I received an email from a bloggy friend:

“I have a bit of communication issues with my children. I do become overprotective but also want them to be streetwise. My kids don’ t seem to be too open with me. Is that a problem or its the teen years that they are in right now. Is there any tips that would help me?”

Friend, you are not alone! In my relationship with my three kids, communication is the number thing that either draws us or distances us.
Here is the tough dilemma; the one I struggle with all too often.
We want our kids to talk to us and feel we are a safe place; no issue is off limits. Yet, when we know things that are unsafe for them, it can bring ramifications into their lives that they don’t like. How do we find the balance?
Here is what works for me: talk openly about what is taking place in the teen culture. Be aware and let your kids know that you are aware. Then dialog. This isn’t a time for laying down rules or telling them what they should and shouldn’t do. This is the time for hearing their take on what is happening, how they think they should respond and what their actions will be when confronted. When we listen, we empower them. Our hearing ear says, “I believe you have what it takes to make it.”
If we fail to move from parent to life coach during this tremulous season, we loose communication; we  loose relationship. Yes, there are still times for us to say “no” to things that are detrimental to them, but these times should be the exception not the rule. It is time, before they leave the nest permanently, to figure out this thing called life while we are still here to help them up.
How do you communicate with your child about tough issues? Do you feel that the two of you are open about what is going on in her world?


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