As I was coaching Beth, a mom of a 15-year-old daughter, I heard her amazing success story that I just had to relate to you today.
Beth found my book, Ally Parenting, online, read it, loved it, and contacted me for coaching on how to melt the wall that had developed between herself and her daughter. This is a specialty of mine so she knew I was the best parenting coach for her.
Whenever I coach a client, I ask them what their goals are for our time together. Here is what she said, “I would like to collaborate to solve problems with my children. I have a lot of anger and often feel that I’m walking on “egg shells”. …I want my children to know that I’m a safe, nonjudgmental space….”
When you have a teenager who’s angry with you, it can feel overwhelming and hurtful. Even with these feelings, Beth is determined to rebuild an injured relationship so they can solve challenges together of which homework is one of them.
The first step is to take full responsibility to change the dynamics. This means that the teen is not blamed. She is just being a teen and you are the adult who has a mature brain that can make new choices.
Beth, like many parents, realized that she had been using a negative and controlling parenting style to try and ensure her daughter’s success. Upon examination, even though she didn’t like how she was raised, Beth was still acting based on beliefs she had absorbed as a child. Her actions had pushed her daughter away and now Beth realized that she had to change.
The second step which is where Beth saw a melting in the wall, is when she asked her daughter for feedback on how she is blocking communication. Most parents are scared to become vulnerable because their teens might use this opportunity to tell them how bad they are. The dam may be broken and torrents of water come rushing out at them. Yikes!
However, I believe that the only way for teens to let down their guard is if you do it first. So, Beth approached her daughter and asked her what communication blocks Beth used with her.
Here is how the conversation went.
Mom: I’m working with a communication coach.
Teen: Oh, homework for me!
Mom: Actually, It’s homework for me and I would love your input.
So I started explaining and giving examples of the communication blocks.
Teen: (In a snarky tone). Yeah, you do that. Yeah, you do that, too. And that one.
Mom: If you’d be a little bit more gentle it’s easier for me to hear you.
And then when I gave her real-life examples, she really got soft.
Mom: Which two do you want me to work on because I can’t work on stopping all of them at once.
Teen: (In a gentle tone) I would like you to work on commanding and interrogating.
In the end, she felt really good giving me homework and letting me walk out with a good feeling about our interaction.
Parents don’t know how to start the process of melting the wall. As I listened to Beth, It was reconfirmed that being vulnerable and getting the teen’s feedback is a very positive first step to rebuilding a disconnected relationship. Do you have a parent-teen relationship that needs mending?
Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to download “The 7 Most Common Phrases Parents Say That Stop Kids From Listening”! You’ll also receive my weekly emails where you will learn how to transform annoying conflict into loving cooperation in your home.
Cynthia is available for private coaching sessions so you can quickly get the answers you need and make those much need changes right away. Click HERE for a complimentary 45-minute Fast-Track Clarity Session to learn what you can do now to create more harmony in your home.