Module 13 â€“ Dealing with Parents .pdf
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Module 13 – Dealing with Parents/Guardians
Your parents play a key role in your personal development. In a perfect world, everyone would
have been given the gift of good, loving, supportive parents. Unfortunately, we live in an
imperfect world. It is important that you practice understanding and forgiveness, develop
patience, and realize that it is never too late for any of us to become a better person.
The parent/child relationship can develop in a number of ways. It’s necessary for you to assess
whether your parents are currently negative or positive factors in your development. Consider
the following questions and write your answers. Be as truthful and honest as you can.
Many teens don’t appreciate their parents until one day when they are older and have kids of
their own. This occurs primarily for two reasons. First, many of us do not realize how much our
parents do for us. We see them as controlling and domineering. Yet most parents are simply
trying to keep us safe and healthy.
Second, most of us don’t understand until we have children of our own just how often parents
are faced with new or unfamiliar circumstances and situations. As young children, many of us
believed that our parents had all the answers. As we grow older, most of us discover this is
not true, leading to disappointment, hurt, and anger.
When we have our own children, we realize that many times when our parents failed us,
they made the best decisions they could with the information they had at the time.
It may help you to realize your parents would generally prefer to not spend their time “bossing
you around.” Your parents would much prefer being able to trust you to make wise choices
that are in accordance with your family values. If you feel you’ve demonstrated an ability to
adhere to those values without much supervision from your parents, discuss the issue with
them. Help them identify their fears and hesitations. You both may be surprised at what you
As you honestly assess your parents and yourself, consider the matter of character. Put simply,
having strong character is about following your beliefs and values.
When you hear the words or phrase “he or she wasn’t raised that way,” the person is usually
referring to the values and morals with which that person was raised, and that they aren’t
engaging in activities aligned with their family’s ethical and moral structure. If you hear your
parents say this about you, you may want to consider the legitimacy of what they are saying.
If you want people to respect and admire you—especially people with strong character,
morals, and values—you might want to reconsider the choices you are making. Ask yourself if
your current behavior genuinely reflects the character and image you wish to have.
You may discover that many of the choices your parents make are directly related to the
values they want to instill in you. Some of the choices parents make may seem controlling
because they want to help you make smart and ethically sound choices.
All the parents in these scenarios are doing the best they can with the options available to
them to ensure a positive and safe environment for their children. Although you may feel
hurt, confused, or angry by some of these actions, it will help you to remember that your
parents are likely making the best decisions they can for your well-being, even if you don’t
agree with their choices.
It’s time to learn more about your parents. Remember that in addition to being your
parents, they are also people in their own right - with thoughts, feelings, and traits of their
own. The interview in the following section will help you better understand your parents both who they are as individuals, and within the context of your family.
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