Much of what we deal with from the age of 5 upwards, and in the teenage years, has come from a time before then. How is it possible to know what is really at the heart of the issues that life presents to us? From babies to primary years and then again from adolescents to young adults, issues may not be as distinct as we believe.
Our emotions will drive the shape of the way we deal with our challenges.
For those of you with single parents, that one person will have sacrificed everything for you.
Through good and bad, do they back you up in whatever you do and whatever you don't choose to do? When you don't get the backup you want, are you able to look inside to see why not?
Why is it that people will often say "you are so like your father!" or similar? What is it that they are really seeing?
Babies, totally dependent on adults for survival, grow to not only become physically and mentally functional, but to become aware of people around them, and of how others do or do not cope with their feelings.
Throughout our lives, our ability to feel fully open to others around us, opens up new and happier opportunities.
At a time when much of life is simply presented to us as 'you get what you're given', how do we teach ourselves to have confidence to learn? After this, at around 10 years of age, we are making up our minds if adulthood is for us.
Here, believe it or not, you will be needing assistance to set clear objectives and plan to achieve goals, particularly with decisions regarding future career prospects and employment. Many of you will actively seek out parents of friends, sports coaches, Scout or Guide leaders, adults at school, youth workers, grandparents or others to assist you.
If you are fortunate, then interested adults outside your families will make themselves available to you to deal with areas of conflict. Parents will be asking and demanding that you do certain things or behave properly which is not what you will want to hear. Holding grudges as a result, with them or others, will make life hard work and unpleasant.
Now is the time to talk things through and strive to establish a relationship based on mutual trust and respect with your parents. This effort develops your sense of personal power at home and in the community. It will be well rewarded and relieve you of unease further down the track. It will particularly help when making important decisions about your future.
Some of you will feel as though your parents have unrealistically high expectations of you, whilst other parents will be unable to listen to what you want to do for a career. It may be a good time to talk to them about whether their own wants and dreams were met at this age.
Often you will find that late adolescence is when you can begin to value your parents once again.
If you want to achieve your potential, be aware that a homework routine will be fundamental to your success. Also, you may not want to get into a situation where you are grounded for life or find yourself threatened in any way.
Swearing at parents and siblings can bring out the worst in families. They will want you to adopt better behaviour and you may not find yourself in the mood. How you respond here will determine how you respond to others outside the family who may appear to bulldoze your life.
Make time to spend with your parents while you watch TV or surf the net. Let them know what you find fun, amusing and interesting and enjoy the time you spend with them. (It really isn't a lot of time).
The hot issue here is independence. Having people to phone, or call upon to come and help us whenever help is needed, is essential. This is where distinct choices are made and parents can only hope they are the right ones.
It is important to gain assistance in setting clear plans and goals for the future.
How do you deal with the reactions of adults who disagree with you or want to make you wrong? You might want to find time to talk things over and get support from other parents, or others such as coaches, neighbours, friends, family members and yes, even teachers. (They have all been there).
At this time, you may want to be aware of what parents need. The biggest thing for them to adjust to is the changes in their children. They build up expectations and routines by the time their children are 12 or 13 but when children change, life nudges them to change their ways and attitudes too. We can help each other to do this by voicing what we feel when we react or over-react.
Do you indulge in high risk-taking behaviours? Do you know why? Sometimes parents inadvertently create a culture of entitlement and fail to set limits or boundaries for their children. If we could free our energy from danger, we would understand that the need for safety is central to achieving extraordinary things.
Make time to be with your parents while they watch TV or surf the net, and avoid holding grudges. Seek fulfilment in every situation for your time with them is now limited!
We are often blind to the ways we do things over and over (our patterns and our thoughts), yet they are likely to be obvious to others. Your Life Patterns assists you to gain insights into the patterns or games that run you, your peers and parents. It will highlight what you do that prevents you from fully experiencing quality time with them.