Parents may still be important, but parental viewpoints are exposed to greater scrutiny as our children grow and receive input from others who may have widely divergent views and values from our own. Teachers, peers, friends' parents, the "culture" (television, social media, what the accepted norms are), etc. all impact our young people - their worldview, what they think, how they approach life. Without our realizing it, they can become people we no longer really know.
Older children and teens can internalize things as they digest new information and test it against what they've been taught at home. They may feel that Mom and Dad won't respond well to challenges or questions. No matter how open you think you are, if you hold very strong opinions or have a tendency to overreact, their withholding may be unfortunate but legitimately self-protecting.
Knowing your child as s/he grows older requires keeping an open mind and an open door for communication. That means being willing to discuss alternate ideas, admit what you don't know (but are prepared to investigate) and encourage critical thinking. No one should accept someone else's assessment of truth without checking it out for her/himself. That's just going along for the ride.
We've talked about communication a little bit already (communicate, hear, inquire) and finding out who our young adults are requires plunging the depths. But there are some fairly basic things you should also 'know' about your child that are not too hard to find out:
- who are his/her best friends?
- what is his/her favourite colour?
- what is his/her favourite meal?
- who is his/her favourite musical artist?
- what is his/her favourite book?
- where is his/her favourite place in the world?
- what is s/he passionate about?
The letter K is brought to you by the A to Z Blogging Challenge that takes place each April. Join us anytime you like!