Kinsale Youth Support Services (KYSS), organized a talk by Liam Doocey, a professional youth worker and a qualified Life and Parent Coach, which was held in the Trident Hotel in Kinsale on 24th February last. It was very well attended, and there was some excellent feedback from those who attended. The presentation focused on: Building Resilience, a Challenge for Modern Ireland.
As he began, Liam outlined that there is no manual provided for parents, we have to learn on the job. Parents are sometimes too hard on themselves, it’s important to realise that we won’t always get things right. In the modern age of technology and social media usage, new issues have arisen. In the past, if a child was being bullied, it stopped at the school gate, whereas now, as a result of our connectivity bullying online can take place on a 24/7 basis, even when the child is within the safe confines of their own home.
Working with young people, we need to emphasise that in life, everyone will endure some level of hardship, and face setbacks. Indeed, life isn’t always fair, but that doesn’t mean we can’t recover from stressful situations. We can deal with our stress, and ‘bounce back’. We are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for, and it’s our reaction to stressful situations that define us. For parents, teenagers will always challenge the norms of society as they find their voice, and forge their own path in life. Unfortunately, we cannot protect them from everything in life that may be harmful, but we can reassure them that we can support them through difficult times.
Within the household, try to choose your battles; is it really that important to fight about loading the dishwasher, or tidying their bedroom? Perhaps it’s better to save your energy to deal with the bigger issues in life. As parents, we need to set boundaries for our children, they will benefit from them, and will thank you for it in the long run. In this regard, both parents need to be on the same page when it comes to issues, this can be challenging when co-parenting, or in blended family structures. Nevertheless, parents need to have discussions on their ‘red line’ issues, before the child will play one parent off against the other.
Never make idle threats for the sake of it, if you won’t’ follow through, don’t issue the ultimatum. It’s important that we lead by example, and ask yourself: what is my child learning from me and my words, actions, and attitudes. Remember, support is always available, and it’s ok for a parent not to know everything.
Take Care Help is There!
KYSS Youth Health Worker – Ger Rice 085 872579