Focus on what’s NOT being said by teenagers
During my first aid training (many years ago!), the first thing we learned was that if faced with multiple casualties; we check the quiet ones first. They are the ones who may not be breathing or conscious. If someone can shout, they’re alive.
I was inspired to write this blog by my nail technician (she’s also a friend and a very amazing businesswoman! as well as being an ESFJ). Her son is due to start high school next September and like many parents, she’s worried. Will he suddenly morph from her blue eyed angel into a dirty, drug addicted, self harming, bully?
Of course, nothing is guaranteed in life, but we can take an educated guess. His parents are both business people and both accomplished in their chosen fields BUT, their overriding mantra above all else is FAMILY COMES FIRST! both of their children are taught that hard work pays off but that love and support underpin everything that can make a person successful. Sounds like the perfect combination…but
As parents you should always be vigilant of what your child is NOT telling you. Tales of dramatic events in school, like in life; always make the headlines. Thankfully, the reason for this is that they are rare. So, stories about so and so telling a teacher to f**k off or someone self harming because their boyfriend cheated on them do not define a school or, indeed, a high school experience.
What can define these experiences are hurtful comments made by others, a broken friendship, a bad relationship with a teacher or even the child’s personality type.
For example, if my friend’s son is an extrovert like her, the chances are he will enjoy the busy hustle and bustle of school more so than if he is an introvert which could leave him exhausted at the end of the day and in need of some alone time to re-charge.
So, what do we do as parents then? the only thing we can do…
Trust – in ourselves that we have done the best job we could
Trust – in our children and let them have the space to learn and make mistakes like we did
Listen – to ourselves. We are the best judge of how our child is doing. Look for changes in behaviour which are outside the realms of stroppy teenage angst.
Listen – to our children. Follow these tips
- Don’t judge – you were there once
- Don’t interrogate – try doing an activity together or talk in the car to avoid intense eye contact, they’ll just switch off
- Ask them what they want you to do. It may be nothing, they may just want to talk. If you let them, they’ll do it again.
- Respect their wishes – this is one of the biggest complaints from teenagers. they are human and deserve respect just like we do
Hang in there! You can do it! And so can they!
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