Togetherness with my teen felt like an impossible dream for me.
I really had no clue how this could ever happen because they just seemed to be so far away.
Distant would have been a better description of our relationship.
Even when we were in the same room.
Even if we were talking.
The gap between us felt too large to ever be able to cross.
Where do our young people go when they’re not with us?
It feels as if their lives are consumed by the influences of school, social media, friendship dramas, and sports. Some of these we have a say in, and some of these we don’t.
What if we, as parents, aren’t meant to have a say? Apart from safety boundaries, the rest is not ours to control.
How does that sit for you?
Can you make that leap?
It feels so counter-intuitive: to be less involved will surely mean we’ll have less influence.
It will mean our kids will be in charge of whether they participate or not, of setting their own agendas and goals, and being responsible for the choices they make.
While we still hold the boundaries of safety.
Is that such a bad thing?
Letting go of the tightly held reins that restricted my teens turned out to be the key. It felt scary – but it wasn’t – it was just different.
It was different because now my teens had self-responsibility for their freedom.
Which led to deeper communication within our relationship as they shared, negotiated, and learned.
And I listened, responded, and guided.
Did I know it would work out?
I had no guarantee. Then again … do we ever?
I could only trust this pathway that felt so different would work.
Some of the bumps I had anticipated happened. We learned from those ones.
Other disasters I predicted (to myself) were only ever a figment of my imagination: phew!
What I got instead were learning opportunities disguised as challenges. For me and my teens.
What we also got was being on the same page.
Click here to work with me if this is a place you’d like to be at with your adolescents too.