Basic rule of thumb: EMOTIONS overrule logic EVERY TIME. But you probably remember that from your dating or courting days… 😁 [I had a college prof who said “love is finding someone to confirm your misconceptions.”]
Now, remind yourself of the tsunami of emotions coursing through your teen’s head all day, every day!!
· Dating – ‘does s/he like me, or even know I exist?’
· ‘Do my peers think I’m cool?’
· ‘Do I care/ should I care? What if they don’t?’
· ‘And when I get home – those parents harassing me all day, every day.’
· ‘And my teachers – don’t they know I don’t care about this subject – I’ll never use it – and anyway – you’re a lousy teacher.’
And all of this, ultimately, while your teen is trying to build and save that fragile self-image that’s growing and even re-shrinking every day.
What’s a parent to do? First – patience [you knew that]. But then, support. And as I’ve said before – NEVER say “I know just how you feel” – you will shut them down EVERY time.
BTW – I’m not suggesting parents be wusses – simply empathize. The more you empathize, the stronger your relationship will become – allowing for FAR GREATER impact and influence in situations in which you may NEED to be stronger – perhaps like excess phone time, addictions to things like gaming – or worse, even ‘hanging out’ with the wrong people.
When you’re attempting to understand, it’s always good to have a RELEVANT story from your past that you can use [fictional is OK but not preferred].
So – the next time your teen begins to act a little irrational or unreasonable or over-angry or over-reactive, pause, take a breath, try to understand – and buckle in!
Oh, one more great tool - to re-establish control of any conversation – ASK a QUESTION!