Help, I’m a Parent

I receive so many queries and read so many posts about parents struggling with their teenagers. They want to control their behaviour like little children yet expect them to behave like adults.

Let’s talk about messy rooms. Parents often want their teens to keep their rooms tidy, thinking it shows responsibility. But for teens, a messy room might be their way of expressing themselves. They might feel annoyed when their parents keep telling them to clean up, thinking it’s too much control.

It’s like this: Parents see a messy room as laziness, while teens see it as a way to be themselves. This difference in thinking can lead to arguments.

But, if both parents and teens talk openly about it, they can understand each other better. Parents can learn why their teen likes a messy room, and teens can see why it’s important to their parents. Then, they can find a solution together that works for everyone.

It’s important to PAUSE and reassess:

  • Pause to observe your child’s behaviour and emotions
  • Assess the underlying needs driving the behaviour
  • Engage to Connect and not to Correct
  • Understand your own emotions and triggers
  • Support your child with empathy and compassion

Teenagers are adults in the making. They are not little children anymore, and they are not adults yet.

Just like Learner drivers, we ought to see them as carrying the “L” to adulthood. This is an important time where it’s essential to provide strong leadership to help them navigate their transition from adolescence to adulthood so that it can become a time for them to develop healthy assertiveness instead of criticising them and punishing them, which will ignite a damaged self-esteem.

Many troubled REALationships suffer from this dynamic, where one person tries to control the other’s behaviour to fit their own expectations.

REALationships is a term that emphasises authenticity, understanding, and effective communication within relationships. It’s about being REAL with ourselves and others, acknowledging our own needs, perceptions, and behaviours, and recognising those of the people around us.

In the context of parent-teen dynamics, REALationships highlight the importance of authenticity and mutual respect between parents and their teenage children. It starts with understanding WHO we are and how our Behavioural Blueprints shape our interactions.

As parents, it’s common to perceive the problem as solely the children, but in REALity, both parties need to take responsibility for their role in any disagreement or conflict. As the parent, with more life experience, and being responsible for your “Learner Adult”, your leadership plays a crucial role in shaping the outcome.

So, if you are facing challenging time with your teenager, it’s vital to approach these situations with unconditional love and understanding. Instead of focusing solely on controlling their behaviour, consider how you can support them in developing healthy coping mechanisms and decision-making skills. By fostering open communication, setting healthy boundaries, and providing guidance rather than criticism or punishment, you can help them navigate this crucial phase of their development with confidence and resilience. Remember, your role as a parent is not to dictate their actions but to empower them to become responsible, independent adults.

You got this.

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