Do My Parents Still Love Me?

Puberty is certainly a confusing time for both the teen and parents. I have a friend who made it a point to talk to her child regularly in preparation for puberty. But, when her daughter turned 13, my friend said that they could not talk together as before. Something unknown was blocking their efforts. I told her my favorite version of puberty. ” The angel of death flies in the 12 year old’s bedroom the night before she turns 13 and injects something in her bloodstream to make her irritable. Then the angel flies into the parent’s bedroom and injects both parents with the same agent. When parents and child awake the next morning, all three are strangely irritable.” I’m sure this is just somebody’s imagination run wild, but it seems like that is what happens. It did when I turned thirteen.

My father and I had a marvelous relationship when I was a child. He would take me fishing and hunting. We would work in the garden together planting and gathering, talking all the while almost like friends. Then I turned 13. What happened? I was confused. He and I no longer knew what to say to each other. My mother couldn’t explain it. It got worse from there until I wondered if he had stopped loving me. That was a horribly lonely and sad feeling. I cried myself to sleep more nights than I like to remember. Our communication never improved much over the years.

If I had only known then what I know now and if we could have found a family counselor if one had been available in that small country village, our history could have been oh so different. But I learned from my own tragic childhood to make it better for parents and teens today. I teach parent and teen a new way of communication. The key is that it is new for both. The teen sees the parent struggle to learn the skills just as the parent witnesses the same in the teen. In six hours over six weeks of practice both parent and teen form a bond of love that time will not break. Neither will ever wonder again if the other loves him or not.

Lane A Stokes, LPC 404-487-1956 [email protected]