Are You Having Fun With Your Teenager? At first glance some of you may think this is a trick question! It isn’t. I ask the question for several reasons.
The first is because so many of the parents who contact me for coaching are overloaded with stress and anxiety in an attempt to cope with their teenage children.
Many parents feel their relationship is no longer enjoyable…
They are not having any fun!
The second is something that happened recently and took me by surprise… As many of you know, I host a parent discussion group on Face Book, “Awakened Parenting Discussion Forum” where each week I post a new topic to provide parents with a place to learn and share their ideas and concerns.
Last week’s topic was, “From a parenting perspective what age do you enjoy the most?” Several people posted a variety of ages they most enjoyed and I commented that my favorite is 5-6 yr olds who are full of curious questions, phenomenal ideas and amazing conversations.
The surprise came from all of the private messages and emails this discussion topic produced. My in-box was overflowing with messages from parents saying this topic raised many uncomfortable feelings and angst because their relationship with their children (pre-teens or teens) feels bogged down by every feeling imaginable... but enjoyment and fun are not on the list.
Some shared how they just hoped and prayed the teen years would simply hurry up and be over, others said they were biting their tongues and biding their time and one parent even confided they are contemplating sending their teenage daughter to live with a distant relative because she was being so disruptive to the other children in the family.
What began as a “fun” topic turned into an area requiring serious attention. Too many parents of teens are so out of connection with their children that the idea of actually enjoying them is out of the question.
Our children go through many transitional times as they develop; each with their own unique value and the teen years are no different. Certainly there are challenges at every age but there is also joy and fun… even during the teen years.
This generation of parents is not the first to feel the helpless and hopeless emotions that accompany this disconnect. This parent/teen disconnect is not new.
We have all heard the saying “When the student is ready,
the teacher will appear.” In this case the students are asking, therefore the teacher is called to respond!
Over 40 years ago I first experienced the seeds to a “process” used by my parents to help one of my younger sisters get her life on a more positive track during her teen years. She was making choices that were not conducive to the cooperative life style my parents had created in our home. I remember it as a real testing of the waters so to speak!
What seemed to be the most upsetting for my parents was the disconnect that resulted from my sister’s "heels dug in" attitude to be uncooperative. She was simply determined to test the level of control she had over her life at that point.
I remember the final straw on one Saturday night when she told my parents she had been invited to a friend’s house for a pool party. My parents agreed and asked her to please call to let them know she had arrived safely…the party was 2 towns away. She agreed. After the first hour came and went and they didn’t receive a call from her, they began to worry.
When they called her friend’s house no one answered. (These were the days before cell phones!) Being really concerned at this point, it was decided that my father would drive there to be sure everything was okay.
When he arrived my sister’s friend’s parents were just pulling into their driveway. There was no one else there, obviously no pool party. My father learned that the pool party had been canceled because of a family emergency which meant there would be no one there to chaperon.
Of course my father’s concern at that point was where was my sister? Even though these were the days prior to cell phones, there were pay phones at every corner and my parents were emphatic that we always carry a dime in case we needed to call home! No that isn’t a typo…you really could make a call for only 10 cents!
The fact that my sister did not call to let my parents know that she did in fact get to her friend’s house safely was pretty much minimized when they learned that she had decided to go to yet another town to see a movie without checking in!
The next day was a long day of discussions between my parents and my sister.
But what happened at the end of the day changed the relationship between her and my parents, improved my sister’s attitude and eventually restored our home to a co-operative environment.
My parents managed to reach an agreement with my sister that spelled out a way for everyone to move forward in a positive and constructive way that honored and respected everyone.
In the last 25 years I have used the core elements of this same process combined with what I have learned in my formal education and through my own experiences as a mother and grandmother to help families who were faced with a deteriorating relationship with their teen. I have seen amazing transformations as a result.
I know first-hand that the value of this process is immeasurable, therefore, for quite some time I have been diligently working to transform this process into e-Book format in order to provide it to all parents in an easily accessible way and at an affordable price.
In light of these recent circumstances, and the many requests for help that filled my in-box in less than 48 hours, I had a wonderful idea.
Although this time tested process, “The C.P.R. Program for Parents & Teens: Conflict Prevention/Resolution Formula” is not quite ready for publication, in order to best serve you, I am sharing an excerpt with you now to provide you with several key elements that when applied will provide immediate assistance to help you remove a common block that creates a divide in the parent/teen relationship.
The complete comprehensive program, “The C.P.R. Program for Parents & Teens: Conflict Prevention/Resolution Formula” provides parents with the skills, tools and strategies to help them align and connect with their teens in a way that creates an atmosphere of “team work” to resolve conflicts rather than a divisive atmosphere of “opposite sides”.
In addition it also offers parents of younger children the necessary skills and tools to establish a solid foundation for a mutually respectful and cooperative environment in order to prevent many of the emotionally turbulent times parents and their teens encounter.
Begin Today to effectively change the dynamics of your
relationship with your children.