Parenting is not an automatic, knee-jerk response. NO ONE just knows it. It’s not inherited nor pre-printed in your brain in the parents book of know-how!
Chances are that you’re parenting exactly as your parents did – or exactly the opposite!!
The world has changed IMMENSELY in the last 5 years, let alone 10 or 15 – when your teen was born.
And by today, your kids and their world and their chances to do incredible things HAVE CHANGED!!
So your plan of action must change also!!!!
– which presupposes that you PAUSE, and think
– don’t make it a knee-jerk reaction.
[Consider] - ‘Why did my teen do that or say that?’
All human behavior is successful [purposeful]. [Many people will disagree. They’re wrong]
There’s some gain, or self-image preservation that a teen “accomplishes” by their actions.
Example: If they don’t know how to do something and don’t want to admit it, avoiding it preserves their shaky self-image.
I’m sure you can see lots of other self-image protections in your teen’s actions – whether they’re belligerent or unkind or avoidant - those are self-image protections!!
Many years ago, I observed gifted kids who were academically strong and therefore had never been challenged in school/ classes. When they finally were, typically in college, they were emotionally defenseless – they had no strategy no mental resource available! It had never been developed! They simply didn’t know what to do – and their self-image was “under attack!”
So if your teen becomes defensive or belligerent or avoids doing something needed or requested or explained, this is a great time to [pause, think], then follow our ASK, DON’T TELL strategy.
ASK, DON’T TELL means stop telling, reverse your paradigm, and begin gently asking clarifying questions.
Teens are TIRED of being TOLD. So by shifting to an ASKING, information-seeking mode, not sermonizing or “teaching” – you’ll get further AND strengthen your relationship!
BTW – Discovery learning – leading them to their own revelations – is THE most powerful means of learning!
SO – was there information here you can use? When?
Got your information-seeking, non-accusatory questions? Prior thought and preparation is what makes anyone a champion!!