Teenagers have a lot of relationship issues. Why? Because they are discovering the power of love for the first time. And this power is very overwhelming. I have a 16 year old son myself, and I get to see first hand how crazy this can get. But he handles his relationships very well, and I have a few ideas why.
One of the questions I get the most from teenagers is "Why does my boyfriend lie to me so much?" Children lie for the same reasons adults do. Because they are afraid to tell the truth. Lying is an easy way to avoid the consequences of certain acts. The more assurance you give your child that it's OK to talk to you about anything, the less they need to lie. And you have to practice what you preach. Parents often tell their children to share what's going on in their lives, just to freak out when they hear something the parent doesn't like or can't relate to. Do this a couple of times, and the child will find it easier to lie than to upset the parent. Another reason for lying is that the child is not comfortable being who they are. They will lie to their friends to make themselves look more important. Building your child's self esteem early on will reduce the need to pretend to be someone else.
How teenagers handle relationships with others is directly related to how they view themselves. The more self respect the child has, the more respect he will give to others. Self respect in a child is developed by the parent...no one else. Teaching children that they are important, unique, powerful and special will give them the confidence to handle almost any situation, especially difficult ones like relationships. As adults, we have been through so many relationships and difficult situations, that we can easily forget how disorienting love can be. We don't have to fully understand what our child is going through, we just have to arm them with the tools to handle it. What they learn now will carry them through a lifetime of relationship situations.
Children also learn from what they see. TV, movies, songs and the media have an effect on how children behave, but none more so than what the parents do. Trying to cover up your relationship problems will teach your child that it's OK to lie. Making them aware of the mistakes you make creates a bond. They appreciate the idea that you think of them as equals and sharing your mistakes with them shows that you trust them and want them to learn from you...and they will do just that. Hiding things from your child will create distrust. If they are 5 years old, that's one thing. But if you think your 13 year old is too stupid to notice what's going on, you're making a big mistake. Children already have the adult they are going to be locked away inside them...just waiting to blossom. Treat them with respect. After all, you are the one who has made the mistakes. They might be able to teach you a thing or two.
How do you create an everlasting quality for your relationship today?
For nearly 20 years one man, Colin Martin, has searched for and found the number one secret to building an exceptional romantic relationship. The answer doesn't lie in the endless volumes of self help books and repetitive talk shows...but within yourself!
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