Monday, February 06, 2012

Your youth needs you.

"You're lucky. You're kids are grown up. They don't need you anymore," my sister says to me as we sit on the floor playing with her 2 year old. My other sister agrees; her kids are 4, and 6 months.
Excuse me? My kids are 13, 14 and 16. They don't need me?
"Well they can do so much for themselves," they protest.
That's true but they can't do everything for themselves. It is a mistake to think that once they're out of diapers they can 'go make their own lunch'- so to speak.
A youth needs as much support as a young child. I would say- perhaps even more. They need you to be there for them if not always physically, definitely emotionally.
When they come home from wherever they've been, they want a pair of eyes to SEE them, a pair of ears to HEAR them if they want to vent or to share their joy.

A youth needs you to help them achieve the small steps along the path to reaching their goals. This is especially true of the unschooled youth. It's still up to you to help your youth find opportunities and also for you to do some hand-holding. This might mean doing things that we might see as easy but for the youth, quite daunting. For example it might mean making that appointment they're a feeling too nervous to do on their own. It might  mean taking them somewhere where they need to go. It might mean helping them raise funds for a project they are working on.

You need to be there for your youth both physically and emotionally and your youth needs to know this.


Denise said...

This made me want to jump up and yell "YES!". It is a huge mistake to think that our youth don't need us, and we end up leaving them floundering... thanks for the post

rfs said...

Thanks Denise. While we hear a lot that we should give kids more freedom and opportunities as they grow, e don't hear how. How do we support our youth? comments welcome!

Pamela said...

I totally agree- youth still need us. I've always tried to make sure I was helping my kids be competent and able to do things for themselves, but they still want to know that I'm interested, that I'll listen and help them find ways to do things whenever I can. I think teens and tweens benefit from guidance and supportive relationships to go along with the freedom.

Simply Homeschooled said...

I think in many way's teenagers need their parents more than younger children in the emotional sense. I don't know about others but I am in my 40's and still need my mama! I call her daily!

rfs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rfs said...

My daughter is in highschool, grade 11. Last week 2 of her friends came close to ending their lives.
There really needs to be more support in place for kids- and I mean real life relationships, with real life caring adults.

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