All You Need is (Unconditional) Love

Over the holiday I was visiting with another parent of two G/T teens. One is off to college now, and one is still in high school. She shared with me that for her older child she was always going on about about getting homework done, getting college prep/apps/essays done, etc. She felt that their relationship had suffered a bit because of the intense parental support. With the younger child she had backed off and she thought the end result was better. 

I have ruminated on this since that conversation. I definitely fall along the more intensive parenting side of the continuum. My spouse, fortunately, is a bit on the other side, so we can kind of balance each other, though we by no means have it down to perfection.

But what is a parent to do? With no prodding and guidance, the typical 16-year-old will just plug in and check out. With too much, your teen will shut you out and possibly do just the opposite to spite you. It is unfortunate that in our society, students must pay the closest attention and detail to their education when they are least motivated to do so. It is a recipe for conflict at the least. I do not have an easy answer for this. Find a support system (I prefer a mom’s happy hour 🙂 )? Seek counseling? Read a book on it? Any or all of these things might help.

All parents really want is for their child to be happy. We may think a path to happiness starts with a great education, then a great job, then a family. It might, but that is not the whole picture. Above and beyond my daily query of “Has the homework been finished, and what projects are looming in the future?” my son needs love and acceptance, no matter what. Even when he fails to do his chores, does not turn in his homework, etc. So I will heed the advice of my friend and lighten up. Send your teen a special Valentine. Give them a big hug, and tell them you love them.

See you at the General PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.

Angela Standridge
CVHS PTO President

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