Hello parents, this one's for you.
Let them have some things that you are NOT involved in.
Your teenagers know that you want to be a part of their lives, and they totally wanna do some things with you…. BUT they don’t want you to be involved in ALL the things that they do. They wanna have some things that you do together and then want to have some things that they do by themselves. They want to feel a little independence from you. When you don’t give them a little space to be without you, when you don’t let them have some things that you are not so deeply in, they feel suffocated.
The impact of that feeling is that they don’t want to do ANYTHING with you. (even the things that deep down they really do want to do with you.)
They are seeking a time away.
They are looking for a break from being with you ALL THE TIME.
It is so great that you want to be involved in their lives.
It is great that you want to be the hockey coach.
It is great that you want to be the soccer coach.
It is great that you want to be on the parents committee.
It is great that you want to volunteer at the school.
We as adults in your kids' lives love all of those things!
I totally understand why you want to do all those things. Time is fleeting and your kids are going to grow up and you want to catch every single moment of them you can. You don’t want to miss a single minute of seeing them succeed, you want to be there when they struggle, you want to experience every emotion with them to guide them and protect them.
Don’t get me wrong, when they’re a little bit younger they loved this! It was awesome to have your mom at school or your dad as the hockey coach. It made you cool when your parents were the ones chaperoning the jelly bean dance… but once they hit the teenage years they want a little space from you. It no longer feels cool to have your parents hovering over every moment of your life.
I know, how unfair. Seemingly overnight you went from being the parent of the year to being seen as ‘hovering and suffocating’. You were not given any warning.
So parents. Still get involved. Still volunteer. Still there. But, if you can just step back a little and let them have some things that they do on their own you might find that your relationship with them, and the time that you do spend with them, just might be a little less strained, a little more genuine, and a lot more fun.