Parenting A Teen Is A Dance: Play Good Music

parenting teenagers from difficult beginnings Apr 26, 2024

1. Sit still, be present, and don’t “future trip” about what your child is going to be like down the road. Just because they yell, “I hate you” today, doesn’t mean they will tomorrow. Just because your teen smoked a joint today, doesn’t mean they are going to make poor decisions forever.

2. You need to be the secure, steady, loving force in your family. Do I ever know how hard that is. You are their safe space, so it is important for you to consistently love them even when you don’t like what they have done. You are their model for how to be loving with children while they learn who they are. Perfection is not human and not required. Let your kids recover from their mistakes and try very hard not to hold their mistakes against them for too long. You can’t regain trust after poor judgement by withholding trust. Try again, within reason.
3. Just because you give them a little rope, doesn’t mean you should give them the whole length of it. Instead, communicate, connect, and collaborate together. Own your mistakes, so they can own theirs. It’s okay to change your mind, just tell them why you came to your decision to change your mind.
4. Isn’t it so great when you hear that your kids are great at school, even when they aren’t so great at home? What that means is that your example and your teachings are getting in and they are practicing it all at school. I know it is frustrating and even annoying, but teens are.
5. If your child has internet access, and you are notclosely monitoring it, uh, you have no idea what is going on. Always monitor. They are kids. Be strict online and a little less protective in real life.
Developmentally, your teen is individuating, which means pushing you and your ideas away to some extent. It’s okay, they will come back around to everything you taught them if you teach it in a balanced way. They just need maturity. For kids who have experienced trauma, maturity comes mid to late twenties. That is the norm.
Your Love Matters
P. S. For an easy to read parent pick me up, get Ce's book, Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents. If you're looking for a quick pick-me-up or a gift for someone you love, visit our Love Matters Swag Store! And, did you know Ce has a new podcast? Yep, you can subscribe to it here: UnMuted Love Podcast with Ce Eshelman. For a comprehensive therapeutic parenting program, check out the Love Matters Parenting Society.  Coming soon: Love+ Self-Care App.  Woot!

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