Having the hard talks with your teens

As the mom of 4 adult children and 2 teens I’ve seen my fair share of ” hard talks”

You know the ones other people’s children go through ….never your kids. Heaven forbid your child ever did that !

Yip! Those ones.

Now, in my first child stupidity, I obviously believed there would never be any hard times.

We would talk openly of course in my dream parenting and rationally work out a solution. I could plan and layout her concerns and questions like a life skills syllabus and poof ! Just like that she would be a well adjusted adult.

The reality is far from true as we entered her teens and encountered bullies, boyfriends and social media etiquette.

And that’s the exact moment I realised no one mom on this planet ever has their shit together.

Behind every closed door is a teenager hating on their parent and doing things you swore your precious new born bundle would never do.

From small transgressions like lying to harder things like smoking weed…our kids experience life and test their boundaries.

It’s our reactions that make a difference to how they cope with their mistakes.

We can either scare them and guilt them into behaving or we can remain calm and guide them to make the right choices.

From experience, allowing your child to make the right choice teaches them coping skills, equips them with the emotional tools to make a mistake and fix it.

These are vital skills in a society hell bent on trying to raise social media standard perfect kids.

So how do you have the hard talks with your kids?

1. Remain calm

Regardless of what your child tells you stay calm. Now hearing your 15 year old just had sex is enough to make you want to throttle them and the partner not to mention put the fear of aids and stds in your mind but if you react with anger you will stop your child from trusting you to guide them.

2. Do not take their mistake personally

Honestly even the child from the most religious, morally correct home will test their boundaries.

Our kids are bombarded daily by pressures to try things way beyond their age and emotional mentality. If they not watching it on tv, having it sung in their ears or go to school with it , they are exposed to it on their phones.

You did the best you could. Repeate after me ….”This is not about you….this is about helping your child function in the world around them. ”

3. Listen

They speaking to you, as much as you most likely do not want the details, because they trust you. Listen! They don’t need a lecture they need a shoulder.

4. Parent!

And here I mean do the right thing.

Give your child the information they need. Explain the dangers and consequences.

If they’ve done something that they need to fix make them own up and fix it.

This is your space to lecture, flip out, cry and ask your child if they being the best person they can be.

5. Put the ball in their court

They were stupid enough to do or try whatever it was that got them into trouble. You’ve heard their side. You’ve told them about the consequences and given them the correct knowledge on the situation so now ask them how they going to fix this.

This is important. A child who expects his parents to bail him out will grow up to be self entitled and never have the coping skills to grow. He will continue to make mistake after mistake and you the parent would have enabled that.

Ask your child how they will fix this problem, guide if they really have no clue.

6. Remind them that you are dissapointed by their behaviour but love them regardless

Our kids, even the big ones, need to know we have their backs but they also need to know when we disapprove of their choices. They need to hear us say these words.

In conclusion

My kids are pretty open with me and I can often be heard telling my boys not to be that open thanks .

A regular reply back from them is but you told us to always be honest with you and yes I did. I also always reminded them that if I did not know their side of a story honestly I could never help them or stand up for them.

But these conversations started long before I had teenagers in the house. They started when my 6 and 7 year olds stole the Easter stickers from church one Sunday and I, a youth leader nearly died of embarrassment.

It’s only through mistakes that we learn and it’s only through guidance that we grow !

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