I also check in with her Blog too – Please Stop The Roller Coaster, and this week the subject of what can your teen teach you is one I had to share.
You’re probably pretty tuned in to your role as “teacher.” To teach your teenagers the skills, values and lessons you feel they need, you use every tactic available to you; you coach, advise, demonstrate, direct, cajole, arm-twist, model, lecture… and more. This is an important, vital even, part of your role as parent. But consider that maybe the reverse is true, too…maybe your child is here to teach you as well as learn from you. If this is true, how would that change your relationship? How might this alter the way you communicate? Would this change the way you look at your teen?
What are the things you have learned from your child? I’ve learned patience, creativity, and how to approach things differently at times. I’ve learned how to give space when all I really wanted to do was hold on to them tighter. I’ve learned to rely on faith that things will work out, even if I’m really not terribly confident.
I marvel at how looking at my daughter is in some ways like looking in a mirror for me. This is less true in regards to her wonderful qualities than it is when she is doing something that is annoying. When I’m not too caught up in the moment, I do have a little voice that points out there is a lesson here for me. More often than not it is because the behavior I’m witnessing that is irritating is behavior that I exhibit myself. Her behavior – and my response to it- can teach me a lot in those moments… but those are the most difficult moments in which to take in this lesson.
Try it. Try to focus on what your teen can teach you, even when you find yourself at odds with him. He’s treating you with disrespect? Perhaps that is a good time to practice a humorous way to redirect the interaction. She’s late for curfew and you’re worried sick? Perhaps here is where you get to practice the art of staying firm without expressing anger. She’s tactlessly treating her younger brother as though he is subordinate and stupid? She didn’t pick up this attitude, tone or manner from someone you know, did she? Truth be told, too often that nasty tone that comes out periodically around here sounds a little too familiar to me.
Ponder this question: What is my child teaching me? I’d love to hear about what you learn.
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