Home > Faith, Parents, Teens, Youth Workers > Infants and teens part 2 – Thoughts from the past

Infants and teens part 2 – Thoughts from the past

part two: As I mentioned yesterday, these are some thoughts from about two years ago that I’ve been thinking about lately and thought a new audience may appreciate them as well.

I’ve begun to realize how similar infants and toddlers are to teens.  It may seem strange but in part one I talked about loving them and how they don’t always know it or love back.  Talking with my wife today, I realized another one.  Makenna (my 21 month old) is having a really tough time understanding the difference between “no” and “wait”  Whenever we tell her to wait she gets just as upset as she does when we tell her no.  Youth do the exact same thing.  It’s just with more important things.  Makenna hears us say wait but doesn’t understand why she can’t just do it right now.  Her mental capacity isn’t to the point of comprehending these things.  It’s the same with youth.  There are lots of things that youth need to wait for but they hear wait as “no”.  Whether movies, alcohol, physicality in relationships, clothes, dating… the list goes on and on.  Having gone through the stage already, we understand the value of waiting.  As I tried to explain why Makenna couldn’t have a snack before a meal, I realized that she looked at me with the “Are you still talking?” face.  She didn’t care or know how to understand what I was saying.

Then why do they listen when we say no?  Is it because we are the authoritarian ruler who will crush them if we say no? Or is it because they just know they should.  Maybe it’s because they are learning bit by bit that we do have their best interests in mind.  Who knows… maybe it’s a little of all three.  I realize that I am in the beginning stages of the parenting thing with a 21 month old and a 6 day old but having had students get honest with me I think that students are more apt to agree if there is an attempt on the part of the parent to get the student’s input and talk about decisions.  We’re trying with Makenna to give her two choices in basic decisions like what to eat and what to wear or what DVD to watch.  She does have some ownership in what happens to her but there is still my responsibility to protect, challenge, reaffirm and develop my children.

I am seeing that having my own children is giving me the experience I need to relate better to teens and their culture.  I know this sounds strange but I am seeing so many correlations that are opening my eyes to the world of teens today.

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Categories: Faith, Parents, Teens, Youth Workers
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