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Parent/Teen Forgiveness

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Forgiveness:  The Key to Good Parent/Teen Relationships

The song says "try a little forgiveness" and when it comes to the relationship between parents and teens, you need more than a little forgiveness:  you need a lot.

Because we live together as a family, we are constantly offending each other.  They offend us when they defy our rules or instructions and we offend them when we hand out the consequences for their infractions, even when the consequences are justified. Sadly, we also make mistakes as parents and need our teen's forgiveness for those, too.

There are two important factors to creating a forgiving environment in your home.  The first is to forgive your teen quickly when they mess up.  In this case forgiveness does not mean any consequences.  Instead, it means that you won't keep bringing up past infractions.  In other words, once the matter has been dealt with, let it go.   Encourage your teen to let go of it, too.

The other important factor in forgiveness lies in admitting you are wrong, and asking your teen to forgive you when you mess up.  Believe me when I say that I know how hard this is.  I don't like admitting I'm wrong any better than anyone else.  However, there are numerous benefits to admitting to your teen that you make mistakes.  The first is that it makes it easier for him to admit when he knows he has made a mistake.  Also, it makes you more credible when you feel you are correct and stand your ground on an issue.  Your teen knows that if you were wrong you would admit it, so if you are maintaining that you are right, you just might be.

Forgiveness is a skill that becomes stronger with practice.  The good news is that within the context of family life, you will have plenty of opportunities to practice.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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