Waiting for them to “grow up”!

In the parent training that I deliver, I ask participants to identify silly wee things that trigger arguments in the home. The group is divided into two smaller groups, one taking the parent perspective and the other the young person (Child’s) perspective. Funnily enough this seems to be a very easy exercise for both sides and responses have been consistent and similar right across the board on both sides.
This highlights and reinforces that relationship conflict is very much a normal part of family life and for the most part these ‘triggers’ are dealt with and life goes on. We know however that if not addressed appropriately these triggers can escalate into something that is destructive and in some cases violent.
In one of my reflective moments I saw the activity potentially focussing on the negative aspects of the young person, more so than the parents, the latter rationalising their behaviour as justified responses to the young person’s behaviour, which may or may not be justified, however this an area for debate for another time. The point I am trying to highlight is the awareness to the development needs of the young person and the importance of not waiting for them to ‘grow up’, they are growing up before your very eyes! Being proactive as a parent by dealing with the here and now but also preparing the environment for the next stage or transition in the young person life, and there will be many whatever they maybe, such as moving to higher education, puberty, relationships, and so on. Parents as well as the young person need to facilitate a change that allows their relationship to be maintained and understood the key is communication, communicating in such a way that it is open, positively challenging and supportive. Parents, in general want the best for their children, children want to be acknowledged, praised and encouraged, and we all want to be loved and to know we are loved by those closest to us, in this context people can thrive and grow.

This is very relevant to professional working with children too.

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Thank you for this Amy. I totally agree all those that work with young people need to keep this mind releasing how influential they can be on a young person life , in some cases more so than the parents.

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