Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience that comes with lots of expectations. It starts with saying goodbye to bachelorhood or spinsterhood to change of friends, interest and assumption of new honorable duties. Despite how challenging parental obligations are, it is rewarding and fulfilling if we partner with God and our children. Parent-child relationship is very vital in knowing what our Teens expectations from their parents are. This relationship can be compared to that of the government and the governed which is essential for good governance in the political arena.
Helping them to discover their God-given potentials
A Father bought a new pair of shoes and asked his wife to hide it secretly in their daughter’s wardrobe on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, the mother asked the daughter to wear her new shoes for Sunday service. At first, she was confused and wondered if she actually heard her well. ‘New shoes!, which new shoes?’ she asked skeptically. ‘The one in your wardrobe’ the mother calmly responded. She hurried into her room, searched her wardrobe thoroughly with her eyes flashing at different directions without blinking. ‘Oh my goodness’ she screamed as she spotted the black cover shoes hidden behind her dress. With shout of joy that knows no bounds she returned to her Mum smiling. ‘Thank you Mummy’ she said cheerfully. ‘You are welcome but go and thank you Dad also.’ The mother responded. She vanished into the living room and thanked her Dad with a warm hug. The above scenario is one of the obligations of every parent which is also their Teens Expectation: Potentials are in-born talents that lie latent in everyone waiting to be discovered and developed. In physics, Newton first law of motion states that ‘Every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it and for every action, there is an equal and opposite re-action.’ Action of an external force which in this case are parents will set the Teens abilities in motion if not accelerate it to gather momentum. If the young girl in the picture painted above wasn’t helped by her parents to discover the hidden pair of shoes in her wardrobe, she probably would have discovered it late. Early discovery should be the watch word when it comes to helping them discover their talents or natural abilities. Even adults are helped to achieve goals in life; in organizations, in governance and virtually in every sphere of life. ‘We all need somebody to lean on’ says the lyrics of a popular tune. If some adults who are struggling to discover their potential still need help, much more our darling Teens who depend on their parents to unlock theirs especially during their season of personality and identity crisis. I often them remark thus: ‘I want to be a Journalist, a Doctor, as well as a lawyer. In fact, I want to a pilot, a teacher, an Engineer; in fact, I want to be everything. Oh! No, I don’t know what I want to be.’ This is a clear case of confusion about career choice as a result of undiscovered potentials. If there is ever going to be a counseling on a career path, it is during their Teenage stage. The career choice must align with their natural abilities or refined abilities developed out of skill in order to have a round peg in a round hole. This will enhance maximum utility and job satisfaction. Choosing career is even more complicating for multiple-talented Teens. According to Ben Carson in his book titled ‘THINK BIG’ ‘if you recognize your talents, use them appropriately, and choose a field that uses those talents, you will rise to the top of your field.’ I absolutely agree with him. What is the essence of talents if they lie fallow and are wasted? Exploring your Teens talent takes a little work that starts with observation of these children as they grow. As you observe, you will also evaluate in other to have a proper assessment. This evaluation of your Teen has to be carried out with an open mind. Talents manifest in different shapes and sizes in every area of life. A review of the things the Teen enjoy doing regularly and is successful, good and popular at doing will be very vital clue in this evaluation exercise. It might also be carefulness to details or insight into funny things. It is not the child’s duty to please the parents but it is the duty of the parents to help the child harness and develop his or her potentials. Natural abilities manifest at early childhood but become easily visible during adolescence. Other Examples include ability to render help to others, ability to remain calm during moments that are terrifying to others. Even during challenging moment, talents are manifested. A clue at what they do before and after school, their favorite subjects, where they want to be in future will help to discover their natural abilities. Parents should endeavor to know their Teens strengths and focus on them. If there are other area of interest, by regular training and consistent practice, the skill acquired from such areas can be turned into talent even though there were not naturally there. The choices of wanting to be everything is a signal calling for parental attention to assist them to clarify things and help set them on a path otherwise, they will be tossed about from one discipline to another. When this confusion is sorted out, their career choices should be able to dwindle and their potentials will be well harnessed. After all, there is only one you and you have got one life to live.
Verbal expression of Love.
Love is a common term among all mortals. It originated from the immortal God Almighty; the creator of the universe. It is simply defined as a strong positive emotion of regard and affection. This strong positive emotion of affection and regard needs to be communicated to Teens verbally and in action. Surprised! Parents need to adjust to changing times and come on board because our Teens are digital generation with a digital mind set. The old breed of parents may ask: ‘but I feed them, cloth them, send them to school. What else do they want?’ oh yes those actions of ours are love in action but they still want you to reassure them verbally by just saying: I love you. You can’t imagine the magic these three words do in the life of a teen if it sincerely done in word and in deed. Our twenty first century children are very wise and they learn so fast. The Teens yearn for their parents’ love. It gives them a feeling of security and confidence. We recently organized a day out with Teens and during the interactive session on a topic titled ‘relationship with parents’, when an invited guest was rubbing mind with the Teens, they complained bitterly that their parents have never said I love you to them. It was as serious as someone who was left out during item seven.it was so disappointing; only three hands that were raised when the statistics was taken. Only Three out of over hundred Teens have been verbally communicated love by their parents. I wondered if we are still living in the Stone Age. That was so appalling. My fellow instructor who sat beside me simply asserted: ‘It all boils down that something is missing in the relationship we have with our children.’ Someone has to stand in the gap’ she concluded. One might ask: ‘Are we not Africans?’ of course we are but if that will enhance a cordial relationship between you and your Teens why not give it a trial and fill the gap that boyfriends and girlfriends are exploiting all because we want to remain old school or better still return back to 19th century. Afterwards, we start blaming them for being carried away by love which we denied them when we actually created the loopholes. Old school indeed but we feel flattered and good about ourselves when our spouse professes the three magic words to us. You might think it is a child’s play but it is a serious business. In one of our Sunday services, pastor Amos (pseudonym) told us a story of how a young gorgeously dressed woman walked into his office. ‘Does this one have a problem?’ The pastor pondered in his mind as she approached. Just as William Shakespeare said ‘There is no way to find the mind’s construction on the face.’ The cat was let out of the bag when she poured out her frustration. Her bitter complain was this: ‘pastor, since my husband married me, he has never said I love you to me’ the woman complained angrily. ‘Who bought you the Lexus jeep you drove in with?’ the pastor asked. ‘My husband’ the woman replied. ‘But I want him to tell me that he loves me’ the woman added. At the end of the sermon, ‘…and you don’t blame her’ the pastor concluded. It is beyond rhetoric that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. We all know that there are three kinds of love: Agape which is an unconditional selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications. For instance John 3:16 (for God so love the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life) we also have Philae which is a positive feeling of liking. Example is the love between friends and siblings like the love between David and Jonathan in the Bible and finally we have Eros which is sexual love and is found between spouses in addition to the other two.