By Jason Gibson
One of the toughest things for your teenager is to clearly see what you see when you make a choice that goes against their wishes.
It usually starts when you say, “You cannot go to . . . ” or “You must . . . ” If you are not intentional about what you say next, conversations like this can quickly spin into an argument or a power struggle. Unlike when your teen was much younger, it is critical to help them see the “why” behind “what” you decided.
The best way to navigate this is to talk to your teen about “parent vision” before you have to use it. Parent vision is your unique ability to see something in a situation that your teenager does not see. The moment of disagreement is not the best time to first share why you are uniquely qualified to make this decision (and cause their subsequent short-term misery). In the moment of conflict, your teen will only be focused on why they have to do or not do something that goes against their desires.
The video below is a great way to start this conversation about your parent vision. Grab your teen, watch the video together, and talk through the discussion points below.
There will be times that I see things that you aren’t able to . . . yet.
The word “yet” is the critical component of parent vision. You are more than just guiding your teenager to avoid dangerous decisions; you are also helping them learn to see it on their own in the future. It is worth the extra time to talk through the decision that you made. If emotions are high, then have the conversation at a later time, when everyone is ready to talk.
My desire is for your best, not for your ruin.
It is easy to feel like the great fun destroyer, when you’re in the moment. So let your teenager know that your heart is for their best before a situation like this arises. When something is on the line, it is not the best time to introduce this not-so-fun side of caring for the first time.
There will be times that you see things that I may not.
Times are changing faster than ever, and there are different struggles that today’s teens encounter when compared to what we did growing up. There will be times that our teenagers will see things that we do not. So rather than ignoring this reality, talk about it and set some guidelines about how and when to have these discussions.