I saw a father walking with his two little girls and getting close to some slippery ice. He went to grab the hand of his youngest, maybe two years old, because it’s slippery ice and he’s trying to help her, right? And assertively and confidently, keeping her eye on her steps, she said, “I’m okay”. And she didn’t fall.
How often do you do this with your teen?
You see them doing something that logically you know they could get hurt, emotionally, physically, whatever. You go to reach out to them with help, and they don’t want it. In that moment, you feel hurt and rejected, and maybe you internalize it, or maybe you unconsciously take it out on them as anger that builds into resentment.
You’re no longer the expert.
Parenting your young child was about teaching human basics – getting dressed, eating with utensils, tidying up, basic manners, using the toilet, personal hygiene, etc. You’re the expert in their life and they asked you questions about everything!
What you didn’t realize is your expert status was temporary. You’ve been lulled into thinking they’ll always want your input or help and one day, you get the hand 🖐🏻. Enter puberty, when it all comes crashing down and your tween’s flexing their independence muscle all over the place!
“I don’t want your help!”
‘What do you mean you don’t want my help?! I’m your expert, remember?’ Loving your teen means being there when you think they might need you and being brave enough to let them say, “I’m okay”. It’s about offering your help and not insisting on it.
Teenagers are wired for risky decision making and so even if you’re the best parent in the world, they’re going to make choices that don’t align with your values and preferences. Loving your teen means being there when you think they might need you, and being brave enough to let them say, “I’m okay”.
Have you joined my FREE Facebook group yet? It’s the place to share topics like this with other parents just like you. Parenting is hard enough; you don’t have to do it alone. And in case you haven’t heard it lately, you’re doing a great job!