Recently Mark and I had separate conversations with parents regarding conflicts with their teenagers. These issues were not new and has been brewing for years, just that their kids are now teenagers and wanting more independence. What the issue boils down to is that there is personality clash between mom and kid and the moms to a tee want their kids to operate more like them and lament the fact that their kids are not more like them.
From my observations, each of these moms have good kids by most standards. Are they perfect? No, but for the most part they are well behaved kids who have decent standards for personal conduct.
The moms want their kids to grow be responsible adults who will succeed in life. Unfortunately they have failed to see or sometimes just fail to acknowledge to their kids their continuing character growth. And instead of learning to adjust to working with another person they want their kids to learn to adjust to working with them.
I know that our teenagers still have much more to learn but they need to see models of how to work with people with different personalities. Isn’t it our perfect opportunity to demonstrate to them how we can have common purpose, hold to certain standards, and achieve certain end goals without having monolithic personalities and working styles. That’s life right? That certainly is true at work places and in marriages. There is no better time for our kids to learn that than while still under our roof. Of course wisdom needs to be applied in separating the non-negotiable standards from our own preferences and have things in the right priority.
We as parents should be the adults. We who are suppose to be the more mature ones need to be the first to alter our behaviors and attitudes and to be first to apologize when we are wrong . Be immovable as a rock in the essentials but be flexible when it comes to our personal preferences, desires, and comforts.