As you read this article, I am only 2 hours from Unrest – a 2 hour drive in the dessert heat from Syria (a country who’s unrest is being observed by the world). What am I doing here? Preparing to talk with middle school students, high school students, and their parents tomorrow night in Southern Turkey. What does my location have to do with you? Good question. What unrest are you 2 hours from? What needed conversation with your child have you been avoiding or procrastinating with starting? Ask yourself, “What discussion with my child scares me?” The answer is the discussion you need to have today.
Why hurry? Because you can never be too early to a helpful and needed conversation with your child. When I’m across the world preparing to speak to middle school students, high school students, and their parents, I fully realize the NEED TO BE THERE because I am not able to physically be there for my own family. When you can’t physically be there (and you won’t always be able to physically be in the presence of your child), you appreciate how much you wish you COULD be there. Don’t wait for that moment of “could.” Create a MOMENT of NOW!
Not sure now is the right time? Here are common consequences of WAITING:
- Wait til your child is out with friends late one night and you see a story on TV about “The Danger for Teens Today.” You suddenly begin to worry. Should you have talked to your child and given them the tools to handle those dangers? Yes. What about his or her first date? I don’t mean the one you know about. I’m talking about the time he or she meets someone at a friend’s house informally (BECAUSE they like each other). What decisions will your child make? If you have NOT been having healthy positive discussion before that time, their friends are liking feeding them unhealthy misperceptions on experimenting with intimacy. Or are you going to wait until your child tells you he or she is dating or start talking now?
- What you don’t know CAN hurt you! Think about how foolish the old statement, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” is as a parent. If being ignorant isn’t going to hurt you, it is going to hurt your child. Won’t that hurt you? Don’t be foolish. Educate with an upbeat and positive approach.
Yes, I’ve said “positive” more than once in this article. Being “positive” is one of the key factors to education sticking in a child’s mind. Scare tactics only make your child NOT want to talk with you in the future. If you spread fear, your child is likely to fear discussions with you. If you are “old school” and thinking “My child fearing me is healthy,” what decisions will your child make when he/she is no longer under your watch (becomes an adult)? A sudden urge of freedom from your fear may lead your child into very dangerous decision-making.
Tell your child today. Remember to add to the conversation how much you LOVE your child. Yes, I know many parents today tell their child, “I love you” on a daily basis (which is great). When you say it today, look your child in the eyes. Connect. Help the moment stick.
You don’t need to be 2 hours from unrest. You can choose to moments away from giving your child and you more peace and happiness!