A parent was asking me about how to do peaceful parenting of a teen.
They are having a lot of conflicts with their kid and they have realized
that traditional parenting methods just aren’t working for them
The following are my suggestions:
My daughter is almost 18 years old.
The day she was born I looked into those pure sweet eyes and thought “one day you’ll be a teen and if I let the normal course of events play out you’ll hate me!!” So I set a plan from that day to create a relationship and a home environment where that wouldn’t happen!!
It was a conscious effort, day by day, to do this, but it’s always been worth it.
She knows that her father is the safest place in the world for her.
We’re best friends and very open with each other. I feel very blessed.
Yes she wanted to rebel and talk back as she grew, but never with me.
I was always her partner in all of her growing, not her obstacle.
I supported her rebellion; I encouraged her to find her own voice
And to express it fearlessly!
Here are a couple brief ideas that may help on your own journey to build a powerful relationship with your teenager.
1) Put your relationship with your kids first, before just about everything else!
Before any practical concern,
before any societal convention,
before any judgement of family and friends,
before discipline and order and
especially before obedience –
Put your relationship first!
When you start to think of life that way every decision changes.
2) Don’t demand (or even expect) obedience.
Yes I’m repeating this one!
Instead teach and encourage your kids to think and decide for things by themselves.
Be there to guide them as they learn to make decisions.
Teach them about pros and cons, about cost and reward, about risk and gain.
Teach them to balance their head and their heart,
but as much as possible let them make their own decisions.
And stand by them when they do, regardless of what decision they make.
3) Practice PROFOUND acceptance.
Let your kids always feel that you accept them no matter what they do or say.
This is a fundamental and very deep need in kids (and in us too I would say!)
The more they feel we accept them for who they are,
the more they will be their honest and authentic selves.
They won’t have to create a false self in order to try and get us to accept them.
This feeling of acceptance will make your kids feel deep trust and comfort with you.
When this happens the need for conflict doesn’t arise.
4) Be Patient
Be patient with your kid and yourself as you learn and grow
into the parent you want to be, and don’t give up.
Keep striving towards an ideal, be gentle with yourself, but never be satisfied.
Always try and be better today than you were yesterday and you’ll get there step by step.