On Parenting Teenagers (Part 4 of 4)

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Check Your Ego at the Door

As our children grow in independence and responsibility, and as they explore new, adult behaviors, we must also adopt new—sometimes uncomfortable—behaviors with them. The discomfort comes from swallowing our pride and submitting to their new-found power and knowledge. Conclusion #4: Check your ego at the door. Examples include:

  • Apologizing (unconditionally) to your child for losing your temper
  • Completing a chore, assigned to you, that your child discovered to be overdue
  • Slowing down when your child catches you driving over the speed limit
  • Speaking with greater sensitivity about a cause or issue your child is passionate about
  • Letting your child or someone else get credit for knowledge, wisdom, or instruction that actually came from you
  • Refraining from saying, "I told you so!" when your prediction proves correct
  • Admitting that one of your decisions or conclusions was a mistake

I firmly believe that such bruises to your ego are well worth the positive example they set for your teenager. The empowerment children feel from such experiences will serve them well in all kinds of challenging situations. As Arnold H. Glasow said, "A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, and a little less than his share of the credit."

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Updated at: 2016-02-23 04:18:38 UTC