I hope enjoy the video excerpt from recent event “Jill’s Show” when a mother asked for help with parenting her teen daughter.
I myself have a teen of the same age (born 2005) along with an older child (born 2002).
The advice that came through here was also something I practice as well, with great results.
Every teen is unique. Every parent is unique. Therefore, each situation warrants its own response.
When a child is not a harm to themselves or others, giving them some energetic space to be moody and volatile in their level of warmth and closeness can work very well.
Part of a teen’s developing a sense of self that is separate from parents involves pushing away from the parent they are closest to or the parent they feel the most like.
When that parent isn’t fighting the developing distance, but respecting it with love, patience, respect and compassion it allows the relationship to re-form sooner, and sometimes with even more closeness.
That relationship can be so challenging but it can be made much smoother with a better sense of self and a better sense of other.
One of the worst things a parent can do is take their teenager’s natural rejection personally… it isn’t about you so try to not to make it about you.
Is that hard? Yessssss. For sure. Especially for those of us that love being our loving, caring selves, especially with our children. It can happen so suddenly that it can take the parent off guard, wondering “What happened to my sweet little girl, and why is she being so mean, especially to me?” It truly isn’t personal.
The teenager is transitioning into another form of themselves with the help of surging hormones, confusing social dynamics, often make it difficult to like or even tolerate themselves, let alone be nice when they don’t feel like it. If your daughter is a people pleaser she may have used every ounce of nice she can muster at school for teachers that are going to grade her for not only academic performance but also that lovely subjective assessment of “attitude.” For home and family, that nice can seem like it is literally run out, with none left to offer. If the teenager lives in a healthy environment with balanced emotions and loving parents, they can literally safe to be grumpy, moody, noncommunicative and downright rude.
All that aside, it can still hurt, so deeply. Make a space for that hurt, because it is real.
There are times for those of us that are positive spirits that our teenage children can treat us worse than an enemy, which we may not even have lol.
It isn’t rationale, it isn’t deserved (assuming there is no abuse or neglect going on of course, which is a different matter).
It doesn’t make sense, to the parent or to the child.
And that is another tip: make space within your self that this doesn’t make sense, that you don’t deserve it and pray it’ll pass sooner rather than later.
Try and create other outlets, that you can control better than your teenager and their hormones. Activities and hobbies for your love and for self-love, to better ease the hurt and rejection suddenly coming your way, from someone you love the most in this world.
For any parent with varying layers of insecurity, your child’s hormonal transitions will likely have you regularly turning into a person you don’t like, feeling very little control over it when it happens.
I have my own layers of insecurities but via my own work and teachings, I also have created layers of self love and grace and space for deeper insights that help me feel more control over who and what I am, including amidst my children’s hormonal adjustments in puberty.
It is possible but you may need to create new layers of yourself to a) like yourself through these tougher parenting seasons and b) be the parent you want to be for your child.
I heard the amazing Gabby Reece on Joe Rogan’s podcast #1277 (video curiously no longer on youtube but here in audio and here in transcript) sometime in I think 2019 sharing stories of the hard times picking her up one of her daughters who is similar in age to ours. My heart went out. She described feeling all zen right up until the pick up from school of their then young teen daughter and all her zen went right out the window. It happens to even Gabby Reece, for anyone that needs that confirmation.
Again not all teens are the same and not all parents are the same and some don’t go through this tension and heartache during puberty. For those that are or have, I hope this helps.
You can get through it. And if you need support, please get it. I love to help others in creating and being a version of themselves they like, love at levels of amazingness they usually can’t envision on their own. I am super good at offering other perspectives, the deeper layers and the wider layers that help us see things in an upgraded fashion. I then provide strategies and ideas for how to handle it differently the next time it comes up. Counseling and therapy can help in these tougher times, too, including for a safe space for venting and for the bigger perspective, which our emotional layers can often miss.
Prayers for all the parents and all the teens and young adults out there.
Hugs and love,