Were you welcomed into Adulthood?
Did you receive a ceremony? Had a Mentor? Experienced a sense of belonging to your community as an equal member once you turned a certain age?
Most adults living today haven’t…
When I speak with Jewish folks who had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, they, too, feel that it was lacking. Most say that learning Hebrew was a task that didn’t relate to their life as an adolescent, and that although they felt honored by their synagogue’s community, their feelings at the time weren’t addressed. Nor were their bodily changes, their hormone fluctuations, their confusion, or their budding sexuality…
Most adults I speak with tell me that their parents, teachers, and extended community had no idea about what was really going on in their life during adolescence. Desperate acts such as excessive alcohol drinking, substance abuse, or shop lifting — have all gone unnoticed. Sexual advances from a boy on a date, or questions about sexual identity were not on the adults’ radar. Perhaps it is because these were all good students with high grades, that the adults surrounding them assumed all was well.
How can this happen?
How do parents believe that all is well in their adolescent child’s life while all the while their child feels internally tortured? Why do they think that even though their child doesn’t talk with them, everything is actually fine?
It’s not that we, adults, don’t think of our children. We do, excessively sometimes. We worry about them: about their lack of conversation with us, about their social life, about the grades they bring home, about their future career and prospects.
None of the above meets the adolescent where they are, or truly sees them!
The obsessive thoughts we run through our heads are, lets admit it, mostly about us… Why they wouldn’t talk to us? Are we bad parents? Have we done something wrong? Would they grow up to be professional/successful/married/divorced like us?
We are so busy worrying about how our adolescent child’s behavior reflects on us as parents, on our parenting skills, on our ability to raise young people that would mirror our values to the world, that we forget to see them…!
We mistake Worry for Care…
We confuse our self esteem with theirs, and miss seeing them in the process!
What can we do differently?
As always, we need to start with self exploration, with a deep inquiry into who we each were as an adolescent girl, an adolescent boy, what did we need then from our parents (as oppose to what we need now from our children).
Remember how misunderstood you felt by Mom or Dad? How distant they felt to you? Get into the skin of the adolescent you once were and find out what might have felt better at the time? What could have your Mom or Dad say or do, which would have given you a feeling of being seen, heard, and met?
Then, turn around and give this to your adolescent child!
You will be watering many fruit trees with one watering can!
Your own Inner Adolescent would be soothed in the process; You will stop worrying about your child and start making a real connection; Your child may start feeling seen and acknowledged, and may even begin to think of you as a cool parent! (and wasn’t this what you wanted all along?)
© 2012 DeAnna L’am, All Rights Reserved
It is my pleasure
to invite you to
RITES OF PASSAGE –
Girls to Womanhood
& Boys to Manhood
A 2-week virtual conference (to which you can listen from the comfort of your own phone) filled with exciting speakers, such as:
– Internationally acclaimed author & lecturer Marianne Williamson
– New York Times best seller author Michael Gurian
– Internationally renowned herbalist Susun Weed
And an array of speakers, each an expert in their field, who will share with you words of wisdom, inspirational guidance, and practical tools to apply with your Tweens & Teens right away!
Online Event Dates are:
Monday-Friday, February 6-10 & 13-17, 2012