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.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Relationship Means Relating

1. The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
2. A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other.

This is what the actual definition of RELATIONSHIP means. If you look at the beginning of the word you see RELATE. I think parenting teens can be a lot simpler than we make it, so I wanted to blog about something that appears pretty basic and simple, but it's actually super challenging.
I'm not arguing that it can be very tough, especially with the hormone changes are kids are going through, but if we keep the focus on RELATIONSHIP I think it can make things a lot smoother.

Looking further into the knowledge of what relationship MEANS also helps.
For me, knowing the exact definitions of words has always helped me act on the words better. It's easier for me to know what to DO when I know what the word means exactly. Maybe that's the kind of learner I am, but I'm confident others could benefit from it too.

For example, most of us know what the word 'Relationship' means technically. But how are we handling the knowledge of the definition? I mean if I KNOW an apple has fiber and is good for my health with all its other benefits, am I just going to "sit" on that knowledge? Maybe. But I'd be much wiser to actually DO something about that knowledge.

I want to use the definition I have for relationship to my advantage and to help with my parenting. This means I have to be ACTIVE in responding to what I know the word MEANS. It might sound so elementary, but I'm telling you, it has helped me so much.

Just yesterday my daughter and I had a little argument when we were coming home from a family Easter gathering. She sighed out loud about a little disagreement my husband and I were having. I found it rude, and I took it VERY personal. I felt like over all I annoyed her, but in reality, she was annoyed at the back and forth between my husband and I. Which is valid, I totally understand that. But I couldn't shake the feelings that arose in me when she let out that sigh.

The three of us pulled in the driveway and we had plans to take the dogs for a walk. If I would have continued on based off of what I felt like doing, I wouldn't have said another word.
It's so common for people to think "Let's drop it", because they don't think they can resolve it or they don't "feel" like it because it takes work. But I have a different suggestion.
Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone and revisit the issue later, that I can swallow, but leaving it alone and not reconciling it, I think is destructive to the soul and unhealthy.

So as we went on our walk, I continued with my daughter trying to find resolve. My Husband was very uncomfortable and wanted it to end like yesterday!
He kept asking us to drop it because he didn't want to ruin our walk. I understood his frustration, but I couldn't not be reconciled with my daughter, and I want her to learn that it's work to work through conflict and it takes effort, and it's inconvenient, and it's trying-but see, my point is that our relationship wouldn't be REAL if we didn't get to the bottom of what we were arguing about, (And there is a "bottom" to everything).
We'd go on with our day and a day would turn into a week and a week would turn into a month. By being persistent and asking her questions, and allowing her to ask me questions, it sort of pushed both of us to finding resolve. Not only do I need to relate to her, but she needs to relate to me! With a little time and a lot of effort, we WERE able to get to the bottom of it!

If we keep in relationship by relating to one another, we keep things authentic and we keep things real. But if we don't? We are just piling on unresolved issues and hurts. I'd rather be uncomfortable for let's say 15 or so minutes, and get to the bottom of things (the heart of the issue), than pretend or "think" I'm better off forgetting about it and at the surface things seem OK, but at the core, the issue is STILL there.

Maybe think about what relationship really MEANS; it's definition is its definition, you can't argue that. So then I encourage you, if you aren't already, to keep striving toward that. Get to the root issues of your conflict and misunderstandings.

It was painful to go through it yesterday with my daughter, but within the half hour, it was resolved and we BOTH were on the same page and we BOTH understood each other, and we BOTH were reconciled. THAT is worth the 30 minutes of frustration, anger, and discomfort any day.

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