Therapy and Counseling Center
for teens & adults in Newton, Sparta, Vernon
and Sussex County New Jersey
MA, LPC, NCC
973 . 300 . 5338
In other articles, I discuss the importance of respect, trust and humor as well as how to handle a variety of issues to help make the parenting of your teens truly rewarding and enjoyable rather than a matter of survival.
I believe the best way to ensure that your child will not grow up feeling unworthy, unacceptable and unloved is to give him or her respect, acceptance and understanding, NOW.
I'm sure most parents would say "of course" if I were to ask them if they have
unconditional love for their teens.
But is unconditional love always "unconditional?"
Unconditional love does NOT mean accepting uncritically your children's disrespect, manipulative or antisocial behavior. This calls for appropriate corrective action discussed in previous segments which, by its nature, is "conditional."
But unconditional love DOES come in many forms. Here are a few:
Unconditional love DOES mean recognizing the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior and responding in such a way that even when they are unhappy with that response, your teens know their parents are listening to them and understand them.
Unconditional love DOES mean not overreacting to their minor misbehavior.
Unconditional love DOES mean respecting your teen as you would want them to respect you.
And unconditional love DOES mean understanding that your teens have the right to appropriately express their feelings, even if they disagree with yours.