A Teen's Mom Learning Lessons.
As a mother of a teen, it can be so wonderful & lovely but at the same time, it can also be frustrating & challenging. It's truly a bittersweet journey.
What I am learning is that what teens need most is to be HEARD. Like truly and wholeheartedly HEARD. My job as a parent is to *LISTEN* to my teen and provide what it is he needs in that moment. This is how I develop a solid and healthy mother/teen son relationship.
It's about being interested in what he is interested in. At least showing interest and caring about what he cares for.
It's allowing my teen to feel how he feels in the moment without criticizing him for feeling angry, mad, sad, overly excited... because this is what teens emotions are.. they are feeling an overpowered sense of emotions that sometimes they cannot easily identify but can easily self-express.
If my teen is angry, I ask him, "What will help you feel better and how can I support you?" If he responds, "I don't know I just feel angry,"...This is how I will support him: I provide him a choice of a couple healthy tools to release that anger. For example: I say to my son, "What are you feeling called to release your anger right now .... Do you want to go for a run to burn it out of you? Do you want to axe branches down and use your might to release? Do you want to go hit a ball with a bat? OR scream in a pillow?" And I'll let him choose but I'll also be standing alongside of him just in case he needs that extra encouragement and love from me. I want to show him I am there for him through it all so he doesn't have to go through all the emotions alone, although I know sometimes he prefers to be alone, this is when I give him his space, to show I support him in this way too.
Sometimes we as parents think we know what's best for our kids but really, sometimes they really know what's best for them. And this is where listening and being heard comes in.
Last night my son didn't seem himself and I allowed him to go through the motions of feeling how he was. I could tell he was frustrated and angry but I allowed him to share when he was ready. Finally, he came to me and said, "I've been feeling overwhelmed lately and would appreciate if we can settle down in having so much to do." I was so appreciative he felt comfortable to talk to me and tell me what it is he needed. Now it's on me to evaluate my own actions to accommodate to his needs so I am not overstimulating him. This is my role and job as a parent, to be there for him the way he needs.
It's little things like this matter. When our kids come to us and tell us what they need and we go against it, this is when they will
push themselves away and will feel they cannot trust and confide in us. When we provide our kids a safe space to open up and share and we follow through with what they need, they will feel safe, protected and that they can come to us when they need. This is what's important to me in my life as a parent... to give my son the support his body and heart is calling for him, to reassure him that he knows his body more than I do. This also builds his own independence of learning to trust himself too.
I just thought I'd share because I'm sure all of us parents are just doing the best we can with what we know and if I know one thing, I feel I am developing a strong and solid healthy relationship with my teen son by learning to listen to him and his needs.
This picture above was from over the summer.. I was just walking along and my teen son just came up and put his arm around me and held me walking down the street (while his dad secretly took the picture of us). This reassures me I'm doing something right as a mother♡
Believe in yourself and you can Kreate What U Want.