Parenting teens can be a daunting task, much like limbing a rock with one hand tied behind your back. Always feeling at the end of your rope.
From the common argument, to the all out fight, parents often feel they are in the losing end. But pausing for a moment and considering where they are in this process can help parents deal with this challenging phase. So what do we do after this realization?
Be Mindful. When tensions are high, it’s had to think straight. The best thing to do is walk away from the commotion. Part of being mindful is knowing ourselves and knowing when to take pause.
Pause. Take a few deep breaths and attempt to put off the discussion until later. If delaying the topic is impossible, perhaps take a 5 minute break to get a clear head before continuing. Knowing ahead of time that certain things are more likely to trigger emotions can help you be prepared to walk away if necessary.
Listen. When emotions run high we tend to talk over one another . Stop. Breathe. Listen. What is your child saying?
Apologize. When we are angry we are more likely to say things we can regret later on. If you did say something you regret, let your child know you are sorry. It is so important for our children to know that we do make mistakes and we aren’t perfect even though we are adults. Telling them this allows our children the ability to forgive their own mistakes and learn how to apologize also.
Think about it for moment. Most of us went through a similar time where we felt our parents didn’t understand us. Most of us didn’t appreciate all that our parents did for us until we became adults ourselves. Taking the time to recognize this and see the world from our child’s eyes can help us approach them with more compassion and mindfulness.
This does not mean things won’t be hard. Most of the time the decisions we face as parents are not easy. “We are caught in an internal struggle of being consumed with fierce love for our children and utter exasperation. We have our energy depleted, our patience pushed to the limits. We are broken open again and again until we think we can’t be broken again. We find strength we didn’t know we had and love like we didn’t know existed.” says Dana Gornall from The Elephant Journal.
Please share your parenting advice.