Recently, a lot of my mail has been from moms who have shared that they have “told their daughter…” whatever the topic was about.. and the daughter is still, gasp, making the wrong choices/decisions, Dr. Jenn HOW COULD SHE??
I know. It’s tough when our daughter’s don’t “listen” to us. We know the dangers, we’ve lived through a lot of them. We want to save our daugther’s from making the same mistakes we made. But…
The BEST teachers are the ones who don’t shove their own wisdom down their student’s throats, but rather, they invite their students to find their own wisdom. Good parenting is about leading your child to the door of their OWN wisdom and encouraging them to put their hand on the door knob and turn, open the door and walk in.
Your children can’t live your truth, for the have their own. Your children can’t live your dreams. They have their own dreams. You get the point.
Parent’s who understand that their children have their own purpose, their own path and that they need to make their own mistakes, have the best chance at creating good relationships with their children.
“I told you so!” never endears your child to you.
Let your child make a few miss steps without the guilt trip.
Stop “talking at” your child. Learn to listen instead. Stop telling your child what to do. Lead them to the door of their own internal knowledge, and gently encourage them to turn the knob.
Turning towards you child, instead of talking at, lecturing, preaching etc., is far more helpful.
Remember when YOU were a teen? I bet you had to find out things on your own, didn’t you?
Let your teen find their own way. Just don’t abandon them. Be there, but be there as support, not shame, or not as the know it all of their lives.
Love is allowing your teen to find their own truth.