As a teen parent, we can get wrapped up in our teen’s words and find ourselves angry, hurt, yelling, and vengeful. But remember, so much of what others say isn’t about us, including our own family members. Maybe your teen is feeling left out, bored, or angry at the state of the world. Nothing you have control over. I mean, what parent wouldn’t wedge us out of this pandemic to offer their teen a summer of a lifetime if they could?
So keep quiet and breathe. Not obnoxious breathing but calming breaths. Listen to your teen, holding onto the notion this isn’t about you. And if they invite you to speak, use reflective listening. Meaning reflect back what you heard them say. You could start with something like, “Let me see if I’ve heard you right?” Or end with, “ Am I hearing you correctly?” And watch that tone parents. Don’t go picking a fight.
Lastly, if there is a point needing to be made, wait until later and go back to it. “Remember when we were taking about X earlier?…..”. Timing is important.
Yes parenting is an art in need of constant refinement. We don’t need to get it perfect. We just need to try our best. Sometimes our best is absolutely beautiful, and sometimes it’s not. That’s ok. Take a breath. Try again.