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What do I want my children to be like as teenagers?

Posted on: February 9, 2011

I am reading The no-cry discipline solution by Elizabeth Pantley. (I’ll talk more about why in another post!)

During the introductory chapters to the book, Pantley points out that many parents do not look far enough ahead when they think about their children and what they would like for them (case in point – if I knew what it was like to live with a preschooler, I very probably would not have had two more babies before we even got there!!!)

Anyway, it made me realise that I haven’t really taken much time to identify the qualities and skills that I would like my kids to have as adolescents. Actually, it’s rather frightening to think of them in this way, as I have not long left adolescence myself. When my children reach adolescence, I will be about forty. I have never pictured myself as a forty-year-old. This is hard.

So I’ll fumble through:

– I would like them to be happy, confident, and to be comfortable with who they are.

– I would like them to be learning the skills they need in order to be self-sufficient (washing, cooking, cleaning, handling finances, etc.)

– I would like both Tom and I to have close relationships with each of them, and for them to know they can always come to us for help or advice.

– I would like them to have goals for their futures, and the motivation to work towards them (but in a balanced, healthy way!)

– I would like them to be respectful towards others, and for them to be respected in return.

– I would like them to be learning how to be self-aware, and conscious of how their actions affect themselves and others.

– I would like them to love and respect their bodies.

– I would like them to be aware of their privileged place in this world, and want to help to make this world a fairer place.

It’s a pretty ambitious list! But all parents want the world for their kids, don’t they?

3 Responses to "What do I want my children to be like as teenagers?"

I’ve been thinking about similar things, and wonder what I can do now to help Raleigh be the teenager (and adult…!) I want her to be. Think I need to read more. What is the book about?

Sorry, forgot to reply! I’ve just added a new post that talks more about the book. It wasn’t really about this topic, except to say that some of the habits we teach them now (like tidying up after themselves, or not!) will influence whether they do these things when they are older. So, in other words, don’t expect your teens to help around the house if you don’t teach them to do it now. I kind of broadened the topic in my musings… but you’re right, I wonder if there are some other books on this topic?

[…] I don’t know how noticeable it has been, but I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps lately. A combination of a number of stressors – being overworked, over tired and generally ‘over’ it all! However, a few things have me looking on the bright side again: Tom has cut back on overtime for a while; we have a holiday to the Gold Coast coming up; I spent much of last weekend out and about without kids, getting my hair done and catching up with my sister; and I read Elizabeth Pantley’s The no-cry discipline solution (which I’ve mentioned before). […]

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