Your teenager’s function is to “turn against” you.  Don’t take this so personally.  It’s the leaving-the-nest stage.  You are the parent.  Relax into your destiny.  Your function is never to turn against your teenager.

— Hugh Prather, Spiritual Notes to Myself, p. 70

An Ancient Glory

Our aim is not to keep our child’s ego from getting mad at us — we are not anxiously building a relationship with our child.  And certainly we are not building a child.  We are gently brushing away the dust from an ancient glory, so that we both may stare in awe at what God has already made.

— Hugh Prather, Spiritual Notes to Myself, p. 65

Guiding Children

Every child will try out an unhappy approach to life from time to time.  We must be wise and not let this go too far.  Don’t react impulsively; act from your quiet knowledge of this child.  You are the advocate for his inner strength.  You step in and say no because you see that now he can do better.  From your intuition and calm perception, you see that he has learned all he can from the mistake and now can use a firm hand to guide him.

— Hugh Prather, Spiritual Notes to Myself, p. 64

Empowering Children

The greatest leverage parents have to help and guide children is to form strong, resentment-free emotional bonds with them, based on value, mutual respect, and empowerment.

Empowerment gives someone the right and the confidence to offer solutions to problems that respect the best interests of all involved.  In other words, it activates Core Value and motivations to improve, appreciate, connect, and protect.

The trick in empowering children is to get them to come up with solutions that work for them and you.  When they come up with the solutions, you avoid power struggles, resentment, and hostility.  Most people, including children, like to cooperate, but hate to submit.

Steven Stosny, Manual of the Core Value Workshop, p. 51