Heather Roberts of Find YOU…Be YOU Counselling says the main rule for parenting is even when adolescents say ‘back off’ – parents keep connected with them.
The recently released National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health is based on interviews of 12,118 adolescents, grades seven through twelve. These teenagers report that connectedness with their parents in either dual-parent or single-parent families tops the list of protective factors for the teenagers health. Those teens who are in regular touch with their parents feel valued by them, are less likely to smoke, drink or experiment with drugs and early sex.
But what happens when your child rejects you?
How I can help
Here are ten rules that may help:–
• Be assertive, not aggressive.
• Stay in the now and don’t bring up past issues.
• Avoid a lecture; stay with the concrete, specific behavioural details.
• Use “I” messages.
• Be rigorously honest.
• Don’t argue over details.
• Don’t assign blame.
• Use active listening.
• Discuss one thing at a time.
• Go for a solution, not for being right, and hang on in there unless you are being abused.g:
Your child may hear your comments as a criticism.
• Kindly say, “You need more practice at accepting compliments.”
• Ask your child to listen for the caring in your compliment as you repeat the message. Use a quiet voice. Say, “I’m not sure you heard me. Please listen again. Listen for my love. Listen and believe what I’m saying.”
• Give your child a very gentle, loving, playful nudge on the arm and say, “I expect you to listen to me.”
• Say, “I don’t like that you don’t accept what I say in the spirit in which I give it. How come you made it critical when I didn’t mean it that way?”
• Touch the child gently and repeat the message.
“…it is his own hurt that gives the measure of his power to heal.”
Jung C.G.: The Practice of Psychotherapy par 239.