Getting Through the Tough Times

So, you’ve spent an enjoyable afternoon on a pleasant trip with your son or daughter who is going through a challenging period. (See www.raisingsmallsouls.com/tough-times for more information about creating a pleasant outing during a stressful time.)

What else can you do now to strengthen the parent/child bond and help him/her overcome the present problems?

Each child is a unique universe unto him/herself, and every situation must be considered on an individual basis. With that in mind, view the following suggestions as you would look at a spread of food in a cafeteria: take what appeals to you and leave the rest behind for consideration at another time.

Here’s some food for thought for you to bring up with your child:

“How about if you write a composition entitled ‘What Bothers Me’?”

“Do any of your friends share this kind of problem?”

“Suppose someone in your situation asked you for advice, how would you advise them?”

“How can I communicate with you better?”

“Could you figure out how this problem arose?”

“If you had a magic wand, what would you do now?”

Just remember that it might be difficult to develop this kind of confidence building at this stage. It should have been started long ago, by doing some of the above. If a parent had always been very strict with a child and suddenly wants that child to feel as an equal, it will be almost impossible.

Communications should be developed early on, by having the child participate in wise decision making, guiding him in the right direction and pointing out the possible problems if his questionable decision were to be followed. A feeling of friendship, but not being a pal, is very basic. This rule could and should be applied to any successful teacher-student relationship.

Comments

  1. These are great ideas Ellen. I like the composition idea…I was thinking that with a younger child who isn’t writing well, you could ask them to draw a picture of how they’re feeling.
    Thanks!

  2. I actually printed these out. These are great ideas! Thank you for the ideas. These will be of great use for years to come. 😉

    LadyPoet33

  3. Hi,

    Very nice and good suggestions. The only thing I wonder about is how a parent who has been strict would get to this point. You said that it was nearly impossible. Do you mean the first time you talk together or for a very long time? What suggestions do you have for a parent who has been very strict?

    • What I’ll do is to model on the behaviour which I would want the child to exiibht. Ie: Show her what questions she is to ask, what she should say and do. Most often they still misbehave in the same way as they do not know the alternative , and more acceptable behaviour, in the given situation.It does work as there are lesser incidences of my 2.5yr old melting down and misbehaving.

  4. Shelley Kreutzer says:

    I read an article on “What Men Want” a couple of weeks ago, (it was geared towards teenage girls)….a very good write up and very good advice (I wish I had read this as a teenager!) I cannot find it any longer. I failed to print it off for my teenage daughter, and now cannot find it any longer. Please help me find this article!! Thanks!
    Shelley

  5. I’d call my husband and I “strict” parents, in that we take a more authoritarian approach when the kids are very young. But at the same time, we’ve always had talks about all sorts of things and we’ve had fun times to foster our relationships with our children. Even though we’re strict, I don’t think any of the children would be surprised to hear one of us ask these questions or be hesitant to talk with us about it. Whenever we encourage them to solve their own problems by allowing them to talk them out, they eat it right up!

  6. Great suggestions. I was one of those children who was raised in a strict authoritarian home, example being when I was commanded something, if I asked why, the answer was, “because I said so”. Though my home was a home full of love and nurturing, that and many many more strict “I’m the parent your the child” strict parenting concepts has left a major gulf between my mother and both of her kids, and neither of us were able to have those conversations with her, though she tried over and over. We never made the jump from the controlled to the friend with her. I’ve tried to do it differently with my two children and with great results. Thanks for putting this in writing Ellen. It just really doesn’t hurt to loosen up a little. I’m 37 and wish I had the kind of relationship with my mother that my children of 9 and 11 already have with me.

  7. Tammy Noble says:

    I’m also confused by the part in this article that refers to “confidence building at this stage”, and the “impossible” part as well. What stage are you referring to? And please explain further why it would be “impossible” to change. Thank you. T.Noble

  8. I read all these great questions baaed on your article and I don’t see a responsee. I would be interested in seeing the answers to the questions above about strictness and impossible situations….

  9. One way you can start to get to the communication stage with your teen is, whether you are a strict parent or not, stop rescuing them when they make mistakes. When they come to you with a problem, try “Wow that’s a bummer! What are you going to do about it?” This puts the problem right back in their lap instead of yours. We are right in the middle of this with our teenage daughter and if we can make progress anyone can! Remember to listen not judge. Read “Parenting Teens with Love and Logic” by Jim Fay and Foster Cline!!!

  10. Mollie Cass says:

    I just read your suggestions about how to handle the tough times with teenagers. I am a single mom raising three boys (two teenagers and one 3rd grader), and have been feeling desparate. I work with children with sever emotional and behavioral challenges, yet felt at a loss how to begin dealing with the problems in my own home. I truly think these suggestions will help and am ready to try.
    thanks!

  11. “I read an article on “What Men Want” a couple of weeks ago, (it was geared towards teenage girls)….a very good write up and very good advice (I wish I had read this as a teenager!) I cannot find it any longer. I failed to print it off for my teenage daughter, and now cannot find it any longer. Please help me find this article!! Thanks!
    Shelley Kreutzer
    shelley.kreutzer@sasktel.sk.ca

    Did she get an answer. this sounds like an article that I would like to read.
    thanks.
    M

  12. I would like to see the folow up answers! 🙂

  13. Ana Rosa says:

    My daughter 18 she has ADD and in the last years of HS she has become very shy, probably because their classmates do not accept her because she is a little slow and very short for her age. She has a very close friend that has problems too to socialize, what can I do to help her?? She was in a 6 months therapy but there were no results.

  14. I rail when I see words like impossible. I follow the work of Wittgenstein and vygotsky that suggests that change is indeed possible at any stage. We can re-write our history.
    My parents were impossibly authoritarian, but I have forged good relationships with them by accepting where they came from – poor souls- and having what is possible with them. They were my teachers! For now my relationships with my children are kind and interactive. I am grateful for what they taught- albeit – the hard way.

  15. How do I track the responses? I tried but it didnt work. I want to know if there is an update to:

    “I read an article on “What Men Want” a couple of weeks ago, (it was geared towards teenage girls)….a very good write up and very good advice (I wish I had read this as a teenager!) I cannot find it any longer. I failed to print it off for my teenage daughter, and now cannot find it any longer. Please help me find this article!! Thanks! Shelley Kreutzer