Have you ever heard of the Blame Game?
It’s the nickname for the game we play in relationships where we go round and round fighting over who’s at fault. The Blame Game keeps us from focusing on the real issue at hand.
The Blame Game paralyzes relationships. The Blame Game wastes our time because it asks the wrong question. We should be asking, “What is the real problem and how can we solve it?” but we expend lots of energy seeking to discover who’s the culprit for the problem.
Parents believe that the discord in the house comes from the rebellion of the teenager. The teenager feels like they are rebelling because of the actions of the parent. The cycle keeps going until World War 3 breaks out.
Here are 3 ways to overcome the Blame Game today and move forward in your relationship with your teenager…
1) Accept Responsibility- Very rarely in any relationship does one party wear 100% of the blame. Even if your teenager is making crazy decisions, you will never get anywhere if you put all of the blame on them. If you are stuck in the Blame Game with your teenager it may be because one party or another is unwilling to accept any blame at all. When you choose to believe that they may have 80% of the blame but you own 20% of the blame, you are more willing to work on a solution than a guilty verdict.
2) Forgive Your Teenager- When you forgive your teenager you don’t just free them, but you free yourself. I know you love your teenager, but the truth is that they can still disappoint you. It’s not wrong to be disappointed in a decision your teenager made. You hoped they would be wiser or more courageous, but instead they turned out to be human and made a mistake. Your disappointment is not wrong, but it must be temporary. Forgiveness is a choice. It is not a choice to bless what they have done, but it is a choice to move on to re-building trust. Forgiveness is moving past the Blame Game to restoring the joy of your relationship.
3) Forgive Yourself- When you are willing to share the blame with your teenager, you are also free to share in the forgiveness. Even if your piece of the blame is very small it is still important to let yourself off the hook. The biggest issue facing parents of teenagers is Parent Guilt! The problem with Parent Guilt is that it paralyzes us to move forward and grow as a parent. Did you think you were going to be a perfect parent? NO WAY! So forgive yourself and move on to enjoy a relationship with your teenager that doesn’t get stuck on trying to figure out who is guilty and who is innocent.
Here is a Parentzilla Challenge! If you are in conflict with your teenager than tonight before you go to bed say something like this to them, “Let’s stop blaming each other and let’s focus on the problem. What do you think we can do to solve the problem?”
I am hoping that you might get to experience a break through and move past the negativity to enjoy connecting to the heart of your teenager!