Mums and Dads probably never really fully understand love until they’ve survived their kids’ progress through adolescence.
What do you say when you find out your daughter has wagged school and hitched a ride with a truckie to Canberra so she can deliver a speech outside parliament house deploring the government’s stance on climate change. Some might agree with her stance, but they obviously aren’t the worried parents of a young missing teen.
Or watching the T.V. News, you see your student son being forcibly taken to a police paddy wagon. He’d never shown any interest in fish before, so you really wonder at his need for a violent stance at a ‘save the whale’ rally.
There are times when parents must feel like putting a sign up at the front gate that says, “Maturing teenagers – Proceed with caution”.
It seems that through this turbulent period, the best parents can do for their adolescents is to always continue to be there for them and to love them, hard though it might seem.
The kids will probably act as if they don’t want to know you, but there is no doubt it will pay off in the long run. Unconditional love – it’s when you give totally of yourself for those you love and get precious little in return.
Parents’ frustrations with their teens probably won’t prove fatal, but it is essential we persist in loving our kids through the good and the difficult times. When they eventually mature and have children of their own, they will realise the value of your unconditional love and understand the significance of your concerns.
I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.