Parenting on Purpose


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Many of us like to show others we care about them through the affection we offer. This may be particularly true with our children.

It’s generally really easy to show young children affection as they are open and willing to give hugs, kisses, be close to us and receive it all in return. Many kids are extremely enthusiastic with their affection toward their parents.

This affinity toward your affection can take a drastic nosedive once your child reaches the teen years. Have you experienced this? Does this mean the end of love with your child, as you knew it? Certainly not, but it sure can feel this way sometimes.

As you may be aware, the teen years are the years of self-discovery, of exploring and beginning the process of deciding who it is they will become. It’s one of life’s natural processes and the more at ease we are with it; the better everyone has the capacity to feel. In the teen years, this process of exploring can mean a time of rejection from your child. When everything you thought you knew about them and how you relate is challenged.

It can start gradually or happen in a day; when your child decides that the affection you’ve always shown them is now not ok. This may be particularly true in front of their friends. The initial tendency may be to have your feelings hurt if you aren’t prepared for what’s happening. A new mindset, choice and intention can help you experience this period of time without stress.

There are many aspects to keep in mind when your teen rejects affection, which will help in your own process:

~ Acknowledge to yourself that it’s normal if your teen doesn’t want affection. Resist the temptation to be offended.

~ Intend that you will be patient with your child and let them have their emotional space to grow and explore.

~ Show affection to others in the presence of your teen. Help them see that affection is still normal in the family.

~ Continue to show your love for them in other ways, respecting it may not involve hugs or kisses for a time. Be available to support them as you always have.

~ Ask them if you can give them a hug. So often we have the tendency to ask others for a hug. Permission from your teen can go a long way in their comfort level.

Know in time your teen will come full circle and be ready for affection once again. Their love for you hasn’t diminished, and the more patience and respect you show them at this time in their lives, the more potential there is to move through these processes quickly and with ease.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.



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