To be able to atune with our teenagers we need to enter silence and stillness.
It is extremely important to be present in our conversations and in their activities. For teenagers, their thermostat is very attuned to us. They can feel our energy immediately, not even saying a word; they know if you are mad, sad, angry, or worried.
Teenagers are serious challenges for parents. We have to pay attention now. If we don’t, it will be hard to recover later. If we made a mistake between connection and correction, out teens will shut us off.
When we are parenting teens, we don’t have much time to have the leisure of a childhood. It is my humble advice, start practicing staying in silence. These are the last few years of our children’s childhood. They are the most crucial for connection. Their ability to discern our authenticity is heightened. Retaliation can be strong. They don’t pay attention to us, they become rebellious, they want to hang out with their friends and not with us.
Our control is over. We cannot dominate them with our superiority. They may become anxious, depressed, not talkative. These are responses to our narcissistic ways. Wake up for whatever the mistakes you make. You have to work hard to maintain this connection. You have to discipline your ego.
The more you “slept” in their childhood, unaware of who you are, they are going to wake up in a rude way. Teenagehood is an exagerated toddlerhood. The teens know our game. Impulse control, inability for good judgements, emotions, and gratification of internal needs are typical of this stage. Their brain is still under construction, as Dan Sieguel explains. You have childhood mingling with adulthood. This is a powerful and confusing age, for the child and the parent.
In this time, as a parent, you have to let go, give some permision, make some transactions and negotiations.
The question is “should I trust?” or “should I not trust?”
“Should I let go?”
“Should I surrender?”
If you listen to your ego, you will immediately create a disconnection. Listen to your ego and feel the ego. Talk to your ego and tell it “I will not listen to you, because this will create a big disconnection with my child.”
The ego will tell you to tell the kid “you promise me this, and then do that. You are not following your word.”
And other shameful things like:
“I will never trust you again.”
“I will take your phone from you.”
“I am always so good to you, I do not know why yo do this?”
At this time, you challenge yourself not to listen to your ego. We are going to try to empatize with your kids and try to understand your kid.
How do we dismantle our ego with our teens?
The teen that trusts you wants to listen to you. Our teenagers are triggered by their own circumstances and exhausted by their own social negotiations constantly under siege by their brain and bodies that are constantly changing.
They are confused by it, overwhelmed by it. They are not obnoxious or distracted because of us. Their body and brains are constantly changing and their social engagements can be turbulent, experimental. They are not triggering you…you are triggering them.
Ask yourself are you going to trigger them more?
If you trigger them more, they are going to shut down, to lessen their load. Can you lessen their load? If you don’t pay attention to your ego, that voice of control, this ego with your adolescent is heightened, is more desperate for control, you can see your control sliding. This is directly linked to your own experience as an adolescent, your issues of not being good enough or not belonging, or worth, your sense of inadequacy, of being controlled by your parents.
Our ego is going to be in overdrive. The more controlled we were as adolescents, the more controling we will try to be, even more than when they were children.
When we see our kids feel rejected, we feel rejected too because is not just a little kid rejecting your kid now…it is a 16 years old. We are challenged to see the abundance of your child, to show up in the highest way. We need to come with an opened heart, with clean energy.
Enter the space of your child, connect, surrender, release and ease.
You have the power to make the decision, you won’t live your life thinking of their future, you won’t truncate their childhood giving her more responsibility than she needs.
At times they will be lazy, clumsy and I would wonder if my child would ever grow up, but I would ease into that anger rather than get by it. The same child that would have his first surge of dopamine when he smokes marijuana for the first time or think that they could use cocaine, is the same child that you wish stay more childish and be your baby more. Before you hurdle them into adulthood, ask yourself the price you want to pay because maybe that is a price…you don’t want to pay yet.
Expect five basic life skills: Bathing, brushing their teeth, be able to study for a test, put the effort, do their average homework, get ready to go to school, connect with some friends on a weekly basis, and interact with you in a daily basis. Every instance with your child is going to be about how you engage, what energy you bring.
If you are in a daily struggle chances are you are unconscious. This is about how you engage as a parent, how do you interact with them, what fears are you operating at, what control issues you have?
Conscious parenting is all about you, and how you were as a teenager. If you remember yourself as a teenager, you may remember how vain you were, self-obsessed, how everything was about fitting it and finding your sense of self. How desperately you wanted to be seen and not judged, micromanaging your sense of future.
Step your way back from center stage. You should not be the highlight of their lives. Are you ready to let them be autonomous, say yes with conditions? Find a way to negotiate for things to be win-win.
Empathize with their confusion over who they really are and if it is more important than the group. But they naturally to want to be part of the group, too. You are going to grieve, but then you are going to celebrate. You cannot rob them of their time, we need to step aside and empowered them. You want to be your teenager’s best ally….as a conscious parent.