Adult Conversation

5841008-close-up-side-view-of-a-young-woman-wearing-a-sun-hat-and-texting-on-her-cell-phone-horizontal-formaThis was the first 4th of July that we had no kids. It was a quiet 4th, but I had conversations with both my kids throughout the day.

Conversation is the glue between people, the essential element in a strong relationship. Many parents fall into the trap of thinking that in a conversation with their children, it is their job to talk and their children’s job to listen. Actually, conversation is a mutual effort of talking and listening.

The teenage brain is actually different from the adult brain. In teens, the prefrontal cortex — the area of the brain involved in decision-making, planning, social interaction and self-awareness — is still developing, making teens more prone to both risk-taking and embarrassment. I guess my children’s prefrontal cortex is becoming more mature.

In the last few months, conversations with my children have evolved. Maybe it’s because they’re not always home now, or maybe they feel more confident having a conversation through texting. In any case, the conversation has become “Adult Conversation.” Conversations about life, initiated by them.

I guess you could consider “whether or not to get a tattoo” an adult conversation. Or “why you decided to skip your summer jazz class today” an adult conversation.

Maybe texting camouflages the fact that I’m their mother, but what I really think is happening, is that my children have developed a comfort of coming to me for “life advice.” I think I have evolved as well. I realize that my children are no longer kids. They have their own feelings, thoughts, and opinions that need to be respected, regardless of what I think. I listen instead of lecture, I try not to judge, I let them develop their own solutions even if I don’t agree, I don’t monopolize the conversation, I’m honest, I praise them, and I ask them what they would say to their own children.

They’re still naive about life, but then again, aren’t we all?. . . that’s why parenting never ends.

(Courtesy of http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/teenage-brain1.htm)

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