My daughter struggles with school and taking initiative.
She gets discouraged and recently she was complaining about a teacher. I’m working with Cynthia so I can be a better parent and so my kids will do things without being told or at least just being told once.
I received a text from my 17 year old daughter saying, “Get me out of here! My teacher totally overestimates me. She is driving me crazy.”
So I responded with advice to help her solve the problem, “Go find your counselor. See what is going on. See if you can have a conversation with her.”
Her complaining continued, “She accused me of being untrustworthy and I’m innocent.”
I continued with questioning, giving advice and sarcasm, “Did you explain?, Go talk to someone, and you’ll survive.” None of these made the situation better.
Luckily, I saw Cynthia right after this exchange.
Cynthia taught me how to respond so I could be the support my daughter needed to enable her to solve her own struggles. This would build her self-confidence and sense of taking responsibility. Her school challenges weren’t mine to solve.
As my daughter continued to share her frustrations, rather than telling her what to do, I responded with empathy.
I learned that she needed to vent her emotions so then she could move forward with problem solving on her own. I made empathetic and connecting comments such as, “Hmm, ““I’m so sad this is so hard for you”, and “this sounds frustrating.”
As a result, she soon resolved the problem with the teacher on her own and even has a good relationship with her now. She also improved in taking responsibility around the house.
I realized that by listening with care and without criticism or judgment, she could vent her stuck feelings.
Now, she believes she can solve her challenges with my support which has raised her self-esteem. What I thought was helping her grow was actually hindering her maturing. Thank you Cynthia
Note from Cynthia: This mom went from feeling stuck to feeling confident that she had the skills to successfully talk with her teenager in a way that felt supportive and kept the lines of communication open and trusting.
I can teach any parent who is willing to change how to build more successful and loving conversations with their children. Contact me, Cynthia Klein, at 650.679.8138. firstname.lastname@example.org, or see my website at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com.