Parents of Teens.
Hello. I see you out there. You are hanging in. You have a tough job and I want to know that you are seen. I know you are struggling. The old joke about wishing they came with a manual was never more accurate than when they hit the teenage years. Whew. Potty training was a breeze in comparison.
I want to have a word with you about tough conversations.
I know we all wish that they would continue to listen to our word and our advice like it were the only possible options, ask no questions, and carry on knowing that they know all the answers because “My mom said so”. But alas no….that was swiped away from you like some backwards birthday gift that YOU got on their 13th birthday!
Your teens are trying to figure life out and they are getting influences and half truths (or no truths but stuff on their radar now) from school, social media, PG13 TV (not when I was 13…but times they are a changin’).
If your kids still think you are cool enough to ask you about some of these hard topics PLEASE don’t freak out in front of them. Freak out alone in your car parked 2 blocks away.
Seriously though. I know some of these topics make you uncomfortable. Either because they challenge your religious or moral compass, or because you honestly don’t know and don’t want to share that, because it makes you feels squirm inside and you would rather barf, or because you have NEVER talked about that on your own and were left to silently figure it out for yourself.
TERRIFYING. I know. I see you.
Take a deep breath.
Acknowledge your fear.
Steel yourself just a little.
Go have a barf if you need to.
THEN DO IT ANYWAY!
Here is the hard truth.
If you choose not to have the hard conversations with you kids and they stop asking you, you did not just win the raising a teen without conflict award. There is no confetti coming your way. No oversized trophy being delivered to your door for you to proudly display in your front window to show all the other parents that you won the mother of all prizes. Sorry that is not how it goes.
Your kids will still seek answers. They just won’t ask you.
- They will ask friends or older siblings of their friends (wise and experienced they seem to be).
- They will ask the internet (because the internet only ever tells us the truth).
- They will not ask the questions and just resort to the trial and error method. (If this was your method of choice…let’s recall how smoothly that went)
I think we can agree that this is maybe not the path we want them to go down. It may be easier for us, but not healthier for them.
If they stop coming to you because when they tell you something you don’t want to hear, or want to have an uncomfortable conversation, you freak out, they will stop coming to you about lots of things.
That little crack between you will grow slowly into a chasm.
One day you will wake up and wonder why you don’t really know anything important about your kid.
I want you to know your kids. I want them to share with you their wins and their losses. They need to feel safe to say the wrong thing and have the hard conversations with you to do that.
Take that deep breath,
Acknowledge that fear,
Steel yourself a little,
Have that quick barf.
Tell them you love them,
And have a hard conversation.
You got this. I know you do.
Have a Stellar Day,