Parents of teenagers!
Stressed? Frequently? Especially when they ask “what became of that cute snuggle-bundle who utterly adored me as ‘the best mummy/daddy in the whole wide world’?”
And they recall those sincere pre-pubescent promises of “I’ll never smoke/stay out late/take drugs …”
However, all too soon these babies become teenagers! And the shock of this new era can feel like a personal loss of (unrealistic) hopes and dreams. And as the teen’s biological programming shifts a gear, the little darlings start taking unprecedented risks, pushing boundaries, and even contemplating how they no longer ‘fit’ the family nest.
At this point, there may be tension! Because despite parents’ best intentions, their expertise and ‘guidance’ can now create volcanic eruptions of molten emotions.
Stress can occur from a simple thought like “s/he ‘should’ do x, y, z …” and drama so often follows frustration, when the teen doesn’t follow parental wisdom.
But spare a thought for the teenager too; teen times can feel both exhilarating and frightening as everything (from body to bestie) changes as a new transitional map is in the making.
While it is best not to allow these differences to build sticky or stormy relationships, sometimes it just happens. My advice in these situations is simple, stay focused on the long game – a rewarding future relationship and happy family.
Perfect Storm – a metaphor for parents
To survive any storm a ship needs to remain stable while the crew focuses on tasks that navigate the weather conditions. At all times, the Captain must keep clear sight of all working parts (people and things), s/he must also keep sight of the destination.
To excel as a Captain, it is always best to maintain a calm, steady self-managed emotional state.
In this metaphor, teens have shifted from being happy crew, to feeling like unwilling passengers (or prisoners!). A good Captain, stays focused on the whole, bigger picture and visualises the vessel arriving safely at its destination.
Destination – a technique for parents
While navigating this type of storm, as a Captain, it can be useful to stop and reflect on where you started (love) and where you are going (love).
Imagine, 20+ years from now, a happy family gathering where all memories of the choppy seas of teendom, have long subsided.
As you stop and look beyond any of today’s storms, you see that far-away radiant land, don’t you?
See that future you immersed in joyous fun with your future family, probably looking back and laughing at this current state of affairs. Do this and you now have created a more resourceful emotional state to handle your day.
Note: Parents are always asking for advice, coaching or training in how to ‘manage’ their teens and NLP is a perfect technology for influencing with integrity (the art of great parenting). Yet I have to add, that when we work with teenagers directly, we often find they themselves become stable ships for their parents! And with so many teenagers now doing our Happy Brain programmes (as an introduction to NLP), look out for the new super spreaders of next-generation thinking!