It’s tough on you because it’s tough on them!
The emotional pain that older children can cause parents can be difficult to comprehend unless you have experienced it.
The personal attacks, the feelings that your own child despises you and the undermining of your confidence as a parent, a woman, a man – in your own home, can take its toll.
Normally left with the feeling of ‘helplessness’, many parents feel embarrassed to even raise their child’s behaviour as an issue.
But those feelings are real.
Those words hurt and they should be acknowledged.
We, as humans are designed to question – so of course the questions about our own abilities as a parent.
They of course, push to the forefront – if faced with sharp words, from a sharp teenage tongue, day in and day out.
However, the starting point of many of my conversations with parents, is to..
..move away from the personal.
If we begin to understand the level of stress that young people are under – then we are able to take the first tiny step back from the situation - and view it with more objectivity.
This is not to say we excuse their behaviour.
Nor do we ignore it - without addressing it at some point. That time will come – and needs to come if we are to support them I managing their emotions.
But in the moment of their venom and rage, or in the aftermath, when you are tending to your open wounds, take a step back and think on this...
Only what is inside of them, can come out!
So, if it’s ugly and angry, that’s how they are feeling.
If their words and thoughts are confused – they are likely to be feeling confused.
When they point the finger at you – it’s likely to be themselves they want to point the finger at.
This is not to say you are to immediately dismiss the thoughts they have about you – there may be something in their words, that you do have to take account of – or that they may have misinterpreted.
But, more often than not – if you can rationally see that it isn’t you – then it’s likely to be their pain that you are seeing and feeling.
Take that step back, take a breath, and then see what positive step forward you can take in response to their pain.
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