She came barreling into my room a weeping mess! Are you hurt? No! Is your sister hurt? No! Is the dog hurt? Nooooo! Then somebody better be bleeding or dead for you to come in here and scare me like this! No, nobody was dead, but her boyfriend had just texted her and she thinks he might be about to break up with her!!!! Did he say that? No. Have you been fighting? No. She asked him what he was doing today and he said nothinggggg ! (that’s her sobbing out that last word) What in the world are you talking about? It was how he texted “nothing”! There was no winky face at the end!
Shellie Hochstetler, who has raised 4 wonderful teenagers, takes time to talk through the three best lines of communication that you can draw in your home today. This stuff can really make a difference, so ENJOY!
Communication is like Oxygen to a relationship. Bridge Builder #4 will breathe life into the relationship with your teenager. This month we will give some help Drawing the Lines of Communication in your home. This will be some great help to stop yelling and start talking to each other.
We spend most of our lives avoiding pain.
I get that.
Pain hurts. My natural instinct when I experience pain is to try to avoid it, medicate it, ignore it, or numb it.
Parents of Teenagers expend a ton of energy shielding, protecting, and guarding their teenager from pain. I don’t blame them for that. But no parent is strong enough to keep pain from their teenager forever.
I remember reading about children who were born without the ability to experience pain. My first reaction was, “That child is so blessed.”
Then I learned that those children would injure themselves and never know it. Imagine that. What must it be like to have a bone broken and never even know it?
You see pain is not all bad. Pain has a purpose in my life. Pain has purpose in your life. And pain can be a gift to your teenager.
Here are 27 Gifts that Pain has to offer…
1. The glorious realization that we are not in control of everything.
2. The recognition that we are hurt and need healing.
3. The understanding that we need others.
4. The cleansing power of tears.
5. The truth that tomorrow is not guaranteed so treasure today.
6. Being forced to leave what is comfortable and try something new.
7. An openness to new thoughts and ideas that were previously ignored.
8. Capturing the all important life lesson that our decisions have consequences.
10. Remembering the importance of family.
11. Being forced to live life one minute at a time.
12. A new understanding of what is really important.
13. We are forced to face our fear.
14. Developing a sensitivity to others in pain.
15. An opportunity to learn that there are no quick fixes to healing.
16. Being forced to ask for help.
17. The opportunity to discover who are your true friends.
18. Adventure. An adventure is filled with pain. An adventure without pain is called vacation.
19. An opportunity to discover that you have more strength in you than you ever imagined.
20. The strength of spirit that comes from surviving it.
21. The opportunity to acquire maturity.
22. The lesson that can be learned from our mistakes.
23. The all important understanding that the attempts to temporarily numb our pain typically only brings more pain.
24. The ability to identify what is wrong.
25. The passion to find a cure.
26. A new understanding of love’s power.
27. The opportunity to grow up.
Jeremy Lee encourages parents of teenagers every day at www.parentzilla.com. He lives in Nashville, TN with his wonderful wife, two amazing sons, and a crazy dog. You can follow him on twitter here and on facebook here.
As a parent of a teenager you might find yourself in a conversation that sounds like this:
Parent: “Do you have any homework tonight”
Parent: “What do you mean no? They don’t assign homework at school anymore?”
Teen: “I don’t know”
Parent: “Well from the look of your last report card…..”
And the battle begins.
Maybe your conflict is not over homework, but over grades on the last test, progress report or report card. Having a conversation about school work is really important. Good grades help your teen get into college, earn scholarships, and opens doors to many other opportunities. With such high stakes, there is so much pressure packed into these discussions that they can spiral out of control at any moment.
Remember that as your teen get’s older, you should be increasing independence without sacrificing accountability.
There are many practical ways to do this with academics, but let’s start with just a few.
1) Start the conversation early.
Rather than waiting to have a discussion about grades when they have become a problem, talk about them at the beginning of the school year, semester, or even 9 week grading periods. Take an honest look at where they are and make a plan for where they need to be. Planning dates to have a talk about grades ahead of time minimizes surprises, because everyone knows the conversation is coming.
2) Separate the “can’t do” from the “won’t do”.
It’s worth identifying if your teens academic struggles are from a genuine struggle in learning or a momentary lapse in motivation. You will treat each of those very differently.
3) Connect the “here and now” to the “long from tomorrow”.
Many times when teens are making decisions in regards to school work, they can be thinking about the here and now. This is in sharp contrast to us parents who have a keen awareness of what is lining up for years down the road. It is important to periodically have big picture conversations in which you talk with your teen about how they are doing now and what will that set them up for in the future. You might get a lot more interest from your teenager when the conversation is paired with a milkshake or other treat that you know they love.
With the school year now in full swing, let your teen know that not only are their grades important, but they are important too.
Jason Gibson draws from his experience as a parent, clinician, and researcher to deliver practical truths that are relevant to today’s family. His work has focused on supporting families and children in all walks of life including those who struggle with emotional, behavioral, and cognitive disorders. Currently, Jason is the director of the BabbCenter for Counseling in Nashville,TN. He has bachelor and master degrees from Appalachian State and Florida State and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Kentucky. He and his wife Julie have 3 kids with one on the way!