Who are you parenting?
Being a parent comes with it's challenges. We love our children and want the best for the them. We don't get a how to book when they are entrusted to us. The responsibility of raising healthy productive individuals can be overwhelming. You are suppose to make the decisions that will shape their entire lives. One wrong move and who knows what will happen.
This sounds soooo dramatic but for some of us it's a reality. We want to make sure we are the major influence in our child's life to provide them with the shining example that will help them succeed.
But in the midst of trying to be the best parent that we can be we need to keep in mind that we need to insure that we parent each of our children according to who they are. Some of parent our child(ren) according to our needs as a child. We need to take into account what does our child need. They may not need what we needed. You may have been an independent child that need not need a lot supervision, but your child may need to be supervised due to lack of maturity.
We need to look at our children as individuals and not smaller extensions of ourselves. We may see similarities between ourselves and our children but they have their own personalities and viewpoints. They are growing and learning based on their environment. Remember many of our children do not know that phones had cords or that the answer machine was a separate entity from the phone. They have to deal with issues surrounding technology that we never had to consider. Bullying was something that may happen in school it did not follow most people into their homes. Because of the computer, bullying is never ending.
If you think I don't know what I'm talking about remember when you had to listen to the stories of when your parent was a child and what they had to endure and what it was like for them. The first thing you thought was "that was in the olden days" well now your children is the "olden days."
Look at your son/daughter, what their actions. Determine if they are in contrast to the values and morals you're trying to teach. Have a conversation with your son/daughter. This gives you the chance to see where their head is at. Talking can give a little insight what's occurring in their world, don't push your child too much where they shut down, a little nudging should be enough if your observant.
Pay attention to friends or changes in friends. Changes in associations will let you know when you might need to intervene. New friends can mean that things are changing. You determine if the change is good because they're dropping "trouble making friendships" or if they are now finding new responsible friends that work and are on honor roll.
Acknowledge their choices and impart a little wisdom; they're your responsibility until 18 years of age. Don't assume that they're your child and they no better or that they are so responsible so you don't have to worry about them skipping school or cheating on a test. Meet your child where they are in life and help mold them into responsible adults.