Mental Fitness for Teen Parents

  • Dr. Sapna Sharma
  • 14 August 2019

In the end of the series, I would like to share another common occurrence in my counseling sessions. Many times when the haggard parents bring in a so called “wayward” son with a barrage of complaints, in the solitary confidence in my office I invariably find these “Bullies” in tears and the first sentence that is often blurted out is, “No one loves me”! 
 
Where does it arise from? I would direct you again to the questions that I ask the parents and the answers they gave. When you say things like- You are useless you can’t do anything, What will people say, how can My son score so less, After all that I do for you how can you… etc. Where do you think your concern or love is directed- to your child or to your own self?
 
I have no doubt that all parents love their children. And yet in our over enthusiasm to see a better future (read materialistically loaded future) for our children, we forget to let them know that we love them. We are very liberal with our admonishes and punishments and yet how many times do we go out of way and tell them “I love you” without any expectations for ourselves? How many times are we ready to stand up for our child knowing and understanding his/her limitations? How many times are able to distinguish our love from our frustrations? And how many times can we leave all other priorities with the sole aim of helping the child to explore his/her best?
 
If love is the feeling and the child’s betterment is the first priority then:
 
  • Sit with them often and let them talk. 
  • Listen. 
  • Put your own judgments of right and wrong on hold. 
  • Don’t jump to conclusions whatever they may present with. 
  • Ask and inquire. 
  • Make them feel loved. 
  • Look beyond their words.
  • Be open for innovative options like: Personal home tutors, Remedial classes, Counseling, Aptitude testing, learning type analysis etc.

And if the child is unable to open up to you, seek the help of a counselor. There is no shame in seeking help for your child. I am a counselor for 20 years but very much a mother to my own children. So when they need to talk to someone neutral I help them go to another counselor because for me their mental and emotional well-being is more important than anything else.
 
What is really important to you? Give a wise and thoughtful answer to yourself. And with this, I put an end to my series of blogs on mental fitness for the parents of a teen.


   

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