Born and bred a British, Shamima, 16, is all about creativity and self-expression. She wishes to pursue a career in Medicine and pursue her interests in poetry, fashion, writing and maybe in the distant future, property development.
[shouts] ‘I am not you and I will never be like you!!!’
As teens, we want to be as individual and as different from our parents as possible. Some of the things they do, say or the beliefs that they hold seem to make no sense whatsoever. Teens are tearing their hair out thinking, ‘They should do things the way we want!’. Why? Well surely a teen must know how best to parent a teen. We all believe that we would make better parents. Although my own views contradict that of the above, there are some key points I feel is essential for effective parenting.
7 Promises from a Super-Mum!
1. I would listen:
Teens have a lot to say, regardless of whether they express those things or not. Unfortunately no one has the time or the energy to really listen to the challenged mind of a restless and confused teenager. I believe this leads to teens who are aggressively expressive (firing their views at people whether they like it or not) and solitary teens who are mute and mentally removed from their surroundings. By listening, not only would I be able to track the subtle shifts in my ever changing teen but it will make them feel important ( which they obviously are), their views valued and make them generally more open people.
2. I would grow with them:
Teens change rapidly in a short space of time, they may be obsessed with i.e. Vampire Diaries one minute and completely hate another. Likewise they may have never shown interest in Victoria Beckham’s handbag range, and all of a sudden they’re browsing Net-a-Porter. Exhausting as it is, you need to keep up with them.
3. I would be accepting and acknowledging:
A lot of parents get upset or confused when they realise their teen is not the same anymore, and that in turn upsets the teen. We just want to be accepted for who we are and who we are slowly becoming. Personally, I think teens keep shifting from one thing from another because they’re gradually discovering who they are, through experiences and mistakes, and learning to accept themselves. We need parents to understand that, help us were they can and accept us.
4. I would provide every means for them to exercise their strengths:
It is generally extremely appreciated and beneficial when parents help us to help ourselves. There are a lot of things we would like to do, we just don’t know what opportunities there are or/and how to access them.
5. I would support their ambitions and feed their interests:
It helps both communication and relationship where parents show interest in their teen’s ambitions and interests. It makes us feel supported and backed up and maybe even fuel us to do better. They make much better parent-teen time activities than the strange things that parents pick up from the internet.
6. I would teach them to appreciate the little things in life:
Things like ‘a tidy room’ and ‘sparkling worktops’ to ‘a pretty garden’ and ‘tea and telly’ make life just that bit nicer. Teens need to learn to see some good in everything, the key to happiness.
7. I would make even the most taxing of tasks fun.
Chore time can be ‘something that we do together and make it fun and easier for each other’. I’d pick a specific day so we both know it’s coming, have music on and treats to keep us going because unfortunately however fantastic a parent I can I be, there is no avoiding it
… among many other things.
Parents try, we can tell, they just don’t execute them effectively enough.
On dwelling on the pretty picture of a possible future, I thought about the earlier years, it struck me that I may be just that bit firmer. It surprised me considering I always thought my parents pretty firm.
- · I would put ‘need to do’ before ‘want to do’.
- · Manners, manners, manners!
- · Healthier food choices
- · Earlier bedtimes
- · A lightly scheduled day
- · Emphasise on cleanliness, hygiene etc
- · Learn to do things independently…
Who would have thought?!
But there was a bigger surprise yet to come. On comparing my ‘ideal parenting’ with that of my parents I made an unexpected revelation. I realised that I was agreeing with a lot of their principles, in fact, I would emphasise on many of them, if a little differently.
Perhaps, under the surface, we are more like our parents than we thought possible.