As a child or a teenager, it may sometimes feel like your parents live in a whole different world than yours. Maybe they can’t understand the things you like, your beliefs, why you make the friends that you do, or why you struggle with certain things that they didn’t when they were your age. In addition to personality differences, this is often because of a generational gap between a parent and their child.
Whether or not we are aware of it, we often avoid completing an important task or assignment because we are worried that it will be too difficult for us. We may put off that big assignment because we are worried that creativity and focus will not come easily, or that it may end up being too much for us to handle. Therefore, in trying to save ourselves from the stress and potential ‘failure’ of starting now, we wait until a later time when the urgency outweighs the fear.
Many parents worry that their child’s imaginary friend is an unhealthy coping mechanism, ungrounded in reality, that will affect them negatively for the rest of their life. However, most children are or will be aware that their imaginary friend is not real.
No teen is immune to mental health struggles or other issues that can act as driving factors towards a suicide attempt. As a parent, even if you believe that you know everything about your child and what they go through daily, it isn’t usually obvious that they’re in pain or desperately in need of support.
What is your inner voice like? Does it judge you even when others don’t? Does it criticize everything you do? Does it tell you you’re not good enough? Does it try to convince you that other people secretly don’t like you? Though it seems like it isn’t a big deal, some of the most powerful words are the words we say to ourselves.
Does your child cry often and/or have difficulty moving past their emotions? Do they frequently get overwhelmed? Do they often struggle with trying not to cry when criticized or scolded? If the answer is yes for most or all of these, your child may be emotionally sensitive.
Emotional intelligence usually involves four abilities: a person’s self-awareness, their ability to self-manage, their social awareness, and their ability to manage relationships effectively. An emotionally intelligent child can perceive how their actions might make someone feel, they can show sympathy towards those feelings, grasp social cues, listen actively, and understand or accept the perspectives of other people.
Sometimes, out of impatience, frustration or anger, especially with children and teens, parents/guardians can let their emotions influence the language they use. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”…right?