There are so many reasons that connection and attachment with your child or teen is absolutely necessary. Today we will focus on one reason that will likely resonate with many parents of teens especially.
[reason: connection enables us to give input to our child that is actually received]
Parenting a teenager is no easy job. They are often no eager to take advice, hear wisdom, or simply to do what you want them to do.
But yet again... that's not always the case. It doesn't have to be that way. Now don't get me wrong, they will always be teenagers. They will still be going through the stage where they are figuring out who they are separate from their parents. However, there are moments, when they want to and will look to their safe attachment figures to help them figure out the hard times they are in.
There are two big problems that keep us from being able to be successful in the moments where our teens are looking for guidance.
1. We offer advice, solutions and input unsolicited on a regular basis, so they no longer want to hear it.
2. The connection with the parent is strained, thus no matter how wonderful the advice, it's hard to hear.
A wonderful podcast, TrueFace, put it this way, "Truth that is not trusted does not transform no matter how valuable that truth is." The reality is, we can not demand to be heard or have our thoughts considered. We must earn the right to be heard by our kids and teens. And we do that through creating and nurturing a trusting connection with our kids and teens.
This might be frustrating, as parents often feel that whole, "well I'm the parent, they need to listen and obey." True enough. But they can obey without actually hearing you and really internalizing your wisdom. That happens as a result of the connection in the relationship.
So our challenge to everyone who interacts with kids and teens is this- (through your trusting connection with your kid) earn the right to be heard.
By Bethany Noble-Lindsay - Contact her at Bethany@cultivatesandiego.com