Three Things That Are Working In Parenting Your Teen That Have Nothing To Do With Your Child
1. I lecture less and listen more:
Deliberately deciding to listen, to stay focused on what my teen is saying without interjecting my own ideas and solutions, has been powerful. Asking questions instead of giving answers has actually enabled a safer space for her to share. Regardless if I think the situation makes sense or is rational is actually irrelevant. Trying to see the world from where she sits, validating how it impacts her and listening to what she might think is a good idea or a way to move through it has sometimes been hard. Controlling my impulse to speak and exercising discernment in how to respond has been worth it.
2. I say I’m sorry (a lot.):
It’s been fascinating to watch the sixteen year old in me rise up on occasion when dealing with my teens. Sometimes I see my kids lack of reasoning or emotional tendencies as personal. It’s not. I’ve come to understand that I can expect it from time to time as they are developing. Also, remembering I am fully grown and my outbursts still occur on occasion without reason. And so I have surrendered my need to always be right, take a deep breath and apologize. My offense may not always be severe, but modeling humility and saying sorry creates an environment of repentance and forgiveness that we all could use a little more of.
3. I’m often uncomfortable:
- For a deeper dive on the mind of your teen, I encourage picking up the book,“Your Teenager Is Not Crazy.”
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