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20 Reasons Why Having Young Parents Can Add Meaning To Your Life

20 Reasons Why Having Young Parents Can Add Meaning To Your Life

For most people, becoming a parent is a life-changing experience. No matter who you are and how old you are, it’s a significant time when you learn the power of unconditional love, selflessness, laughter and how to make time for those who matter.

I know this because I’m 26 and I have three young children. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the experiences I’ve had as a parent. In fact, my husband and I believe that becoming parents at an early stage of our lives has always benefited us, and our kids, in so many ways.

Here are the 20 reasons why having young parents can add meaning to your life.

1. They take you on their own learning journey

I was 18 years old when I had my first child. Although my husband and I were already talking about babies, we were not emotionally and mentally ready to have children yet. We were still in the process of learning who we were and what was important to us. But becoming parents has helped us to grow as people. It has given us more confidence, taught us to care less what other people think, to appreciate the important things in life.

Young parents may not always have the financial stability that older parents have, or the life experience, but we are always learning. We are always giving it our everything. We are always showing our children that no matter what age or stage you are at in life, you always have the potential to learn something new.

2. They make mistakes

Over the past 8 years, my husband and I have become much more patient and understanding parents. We weren’t always like that. At the beginning, we struggled to put on the first diaper, our children’s diets weren’t as healthy as they could be, and we were so focused on routines that we didn’t just enjoy being a parent.

Having children young means that we may not always know what the right thing to do is. But that’s okay.

I’ve always admitted my mistakes, and I’ve always taught my kids that it’s okay to get things wrong. My kids are learning that it’s okay not to be perfect.

3. They always strive to become better

I used to be someone who was too shy to ask questions. Someone who never put their hand up in class. I had a really low self-esteem and lacked confidence. Becoming a parent changed all that for me. I learnt that it takes a lot of courage to speak up. That there’s no shame in asking for help.

Young parents know that others think they’re not ‘up to the job’. They know that people doubt their capabilities. But they absolutely love their children and they are determined to do what’s best for them.

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4. They show you that life is filled with ups and downs

Our family has gone through many different challenges. We’ve moved house several times, we’ve overcome family difficulties, we’ve encountered other personal problems. But we have survived.

Young parents know that difficult times can come and go, but sticking by each other is what’s important.

5. They have an optimistic view of life

As a 26 year old, I am very hopeful about my future. I believe that I still have my whole life ahead of me. I have many more dreams, goals and achievements to strive for. I have places to see, people to meet, lessons to learn.

When raising my three young girls, this approach helps to encourage them to believe that anything is possible. That life is full of so many opportunities. That your life can be whatever you want it to be.

6. They remind you to laugh

My husband and I often do a lot of laughing around our kids. We believe that life can be so stressful and that this is why it’s important to see the lighter side of it. Laughter really is the best medicine.

Having young parents means that you can often bounce back easier. That you can find the humour in every situation.

7. They like being silly and playful with you

Our girls love to hang off their Daddy’s legs like monkeys. They also like to tickle him and chase him around the house. I love sipping on tea with my girls and pretending we’re all having a picnic. Young parents often love to chase their kids around, to crawl around with them in an indoor play ground, to sing along with them in the car. We know that we can be silly at times, but it’s always worth it when our reward is our child’s laughter.

8. They share their hobbies and interests with you

My husband and I first met in a car club. He still loves to tinker with cars and my interest still exists as well. Our girls have a passion for cars too. Sharing our hobbies and interests with our kids shows them that as well as being parents, we’re individuals with our own likes and dislikes.

Young parents want their kids to know that they didn’t ‘mess up’ their life. In fact, they’ve completed their life.

9. They can relate to how you’re feeling

I still have very vivid memories of my childhood. Memories of the activities I did, who I spent time with, and the times when I got upset.

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Although young parents are often seen to have less emotional maturity, they can still imagine how their child would be feeling. They can think back to their own childhood and use that as a starting point. For many young parents, it really doesn’t feel too long ago a time.

10. They show you that it’s okay to cry

My children have seen me cry, and I know there’s no shame in that. I want my kids to know that we all feel down sometimes and it’s much better to let it out. That strength comes from acknowledging how you feel, as opposed to bottling it up inside.

Young parents might be going through a lot of hardship, and struggling to keep their emotions intact. But by crying it out, they’re showing their kids that they’re only human.

11. They don’t let others’ negative opinions rule their life

As a young mother, I’ve been confronted with a lot of criticism and judgement. I’ve had strangers make snide comments. I’ve had my parenting ability questioned because I’m “too young to understand what’s best for your child.”

But I’ve had to have confidence in my abilities. I’ve had to remember everything I’ve done for my kids. All the trouble my first child had breastfeeding and the fact that I persevered. The hundreds of specialist appointments I’ve attended for my girls. All the time I’ve spent rushing back and forth for my kids, determined to do what’s right by them.

Young parents may be given so much unsolicited advice, but they remain strong and do what’s best for their family. They teach their kids that you have to do what’s right for you, not somebody else. That your own happiness is what’s most important.

12. They want you to be less judgemental of others

Being met with all this negativity hasn’t turned me into a bitter person. It’s helped me to raise my children to be kind, to respect others, and not to judge.

Young parents are often judged, so the last thing they want is to do that to someone else.

13. They learn forgiveness through you

I’ve never had the best relationship with my mom. We’ve always clashed due to our personality differences.

But after becoming a mother at 18, I realized all the sacrifices that my mom made to raise my siblings and me. It gave me the strength to forgive her for all the painful things that happened in the past.

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Young parents may have had a difficult relationship with their own parents, but they want their kids to know their grandparents. They want their kids to understand their own identity and to have a greater sense of family.

14. They want you to never give up on your dreams

When I became a mother for the first time, I put my college studies on hold. I chose to stay at home and be there for my daughter. But I never gave up on my dreams. I never gave up my ambitious nature. I never gave on my passion for helping others through psychology and personal development. I now study and work from home.

Young parents do put many of their dreams on hold. They’ve made sacrifices along the way. But they’ve also proven that if they dream hard enough, their dreams can still come true. They want you to know that you shouldn’t give up either.

15. They teach you the importance of self-love

For the first 5 years of parenting, I hardly ever did anything for myself. I was so determined to give the kids my full attention, I dismissed my own needs. But now, I’ll buy things for myself. I take a bit more pride in my appearance. I don’t always say ‘yes’ to please everyone.

Young parents may be stereotyped to be more ‘selfish’, but we just don’t want to completely forget what matters to us. We know that a child deserves a mother who is happy with who they are.

16. They share practical advice with you

When my husband and I had our first child, we’d only moved out recently. We weren’t cooking healthy dinners, we were struggling to keep on top of the housework, and had financial difficulties. But as our circumstances improved, so did our skills.

Young parents are still learning to juggle the responsibilities of being an adult, as well as a parent. But as they’re learning, they’re able to share it with their kids along the way too.

17. They believe in second chances

I have been a stay at home mother. I have worked from home. I have studied from home. My life never stopped because I had children. It simply changed.

Young parents know that sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way that you expected it to, but not to feel discouraged. They want their children to know that you can always get right back up again.

18. They teach you the meaning of unconditional love

All parents make sacrifices. They put their careers on hold. They stop going out as often and don’t remember the last time they had a good night’s sleep.

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Young parents may have to sacrifice just a bit more, but they’re not wishing things were different. Those sacrifices have just deepened their love for you.

19. They teach you to cherish the moment

My husband and I want our kids to value working hard, but we also want them to enjoy life too. We want them to spend hours at a playground just because it’s fun. We want them to dress up in costumes and pretend to be whatever it is that they want to be. We want them to experience life, try new things, step outside their comfort zone.

Being a young mother, I want to make these ‘extra years’ count.

20. They’re proud that their lives are more meaningful now

Throughout the past 8 years, my husband and I have been met with a lot of confusion and surprise. “Why would you want children so early?” people would ask. But for both of us, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s a quote that sums up perfectly how I feel:

“Being a young mom means that we met a little early, but it also means I get to love you a little longer. Some people said that my life ended when I had a baby but my life had just begun. You didn’t take away from my future, you gave me a new one.” – titaa

I am sure that many other young parents can relate to the love that I feel for my kids.

And how much more meaningful they have made my life.

Featured photo credit: Takmeomeo via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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