Live with intent, take time, have patience and gain a new perspective. See how having a relationship with your teen can change both of your lives. Say goodbye to status-quo.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Don't Assume

What I hear most often that makes me crazy is parents complaining that their teenager does certain things, and they say it like it's acceptable. For instance: slamming the door on their parent, or saying "I hate you" to the parent; things like that.
Or accepting that their daughter is hormonal and just living with the mood swings and crabbiness. Although, I admit, that is somewhat uncontrollable, but it's the WAY we deal with it as parents that can make ALL the difference.

I believe in my heart of hearts, soul of souls that the number ONE way to handle our teenagers is by BEING PRESENT IN THEIR LIVES. Developing a RELATIONSHIP with them.
Cultivating a safe, encouraging, supportive atmosphere for them in the home.

Building such a relationship takes time, effort, and intention, and a lot of patience. Like most relationships whether it be a spouse or friendship. It doesn't happen over night and it's not always easy.

Most parents are busy too; they have spouses, jobs, friendships, pets, houses, cars, lots of things that need tending to and that need their attention. And I do realize that lots of parents live in "survival mode"; there are situations where they are just trying to put food on the table, or there are multiple children in the home, and the parent/s are treading water. I totally get that.
But I think living with intent, and purpose toward your life and child, any parent can do this. We are so quick to have a million excuses or reasons to explain why we aren't able to parent the way we want, or we just assume our teen is "just this way".

Well I don't accept that and neither should you.
Be bold enough to do what appears to be the harder choice. Do something
that is an investment not only to your child, but to their children one day.

Our teens NEED US. I will accept my daughter's mood swings, I will accept her distance, I will accept, her boyfriends.
But that doesn't mean I won't work out those things WITH her.

I wouldn't let her slam the door in my face or tell her she hates me without addressing it with her. I would not yell at her for doing it, and I wouldn't necesserily punish her. My first goal would be to find out these 5 little questions.
By that I mean asking myself as a parent these tough questions that do take time to answer.
I won't assume that just because she's in her teens that that is acceptable.
I also wouldn't assume that it's her fault for doing it. I would actually take responsibility for it myself.
Sound crazy does it? Well my daughter is a teen but still a child nonetheless. The responsibility does not fall on a child. Yes they have certain responsibilities, but it doesn't fall on my daughter to be try to raise herself, which is what I believe happens when the parent doesn't take responsibility or the time to "deal" with unacceptable behavior. There is always something behind that behavior and it's our job as parents to find out the source.

I think if you are walking with your teenager from a very young age, and approaching a relationship style way with her, there would be no door slamming or awful words of "I hate you".

In my blog I hope to offer a different way to approach your children. A way that helps them and us. A way that takes intent and work, but the rewards are enormous.
This doesn't mean it's going to be perfect and smooth along the way, that isn't the case in any relationship.

Don't settle on the assumptions of the "typical teen" behavior, I'm not.

1 comment:

  1. Great start Gina! I can't imagine what it would have been like to have someone ask me why I was mad, instead of yelling at me for "acting out."

    I hope you can build a healthy community here with lots of loving parents who give and receive good advice. xo