If you give up the desire to control your teen, you will have a powerful impact in their life!
“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.”
~ Jane D. Hull
“Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.”
~ Carl Jung
Control is Impossible
This is a really hard one for parents, even myself. We have this natural desire to control our teens.
Think back a decade or so, when our teens were young kids and smaller, we could control a lot of aspects of their lives. When we asked them to get in the car, if they said “No,” we could simply pick them up and strap them in a car seat. We were in control. Mission accomplished: kid and car and securely strapped in with no chance of escape.
Now, if your teen is anything like mine, it’d be nearly impossible for me to force him into a car or prevent his escape.
As much as we think we want to control our teens, the extreme measures that it would require, are laughable.
I often ask clients to explore just what it would take to control their teens. Every answer has been extreme, from tying their teens to a chair, or medically sedating them, ultimately every parent agrees that not only is it to extreme to control their teen, but that that they don’t actually want to control them.
Control Kills Connection
When we try to control our teens, we are trying to connect with them where we want them instead of where they are.
This is an example of trying to connect with a teen that doesn’t actually exist.
This results in a weak connection with our teen.
Think about it, as an adult and a parent, how do you feel towards people who tell you that you’re not good enough, or that you need to fix x, y and z?
When we try to control our teens, we’re basically telling them, “You’re not good enough to handle life, so I’ll take it from here.”
This creates feelings of distrust and resentment on both sides of the relationship.
What’s the Difference In IMPACT vs. CONTROL?
Impact is inward focused on the only thing we can control, ourselves.
Impact is focused on OUR impact. The impact that WE want to have and leave behind.
Whereas control is focusing on our teen, something definitely outside of our control.
Rather than focusing on our own result, our impact, we try to focus on our teen’s results, their choices.
Having an impact means that we show up intentionally to parent in a way that is inline with our purpose and vision for OURSELVES. I have an impact as a dad by intentionally teaching and coaching. I’m not doing it to change my teen or my kids, I’m doing it so that I am consistent with my purpose and vision as a dad.
The Action’s the Same, But The Intention Changes EVERYTHING!
In a recent coaching call my client said, “Well, I’d do the exact same action, but my intention changes my result. It changes EVERYTHING!”
BINGO! This IS it!
Often times parents will ground and take away privileges in response to a teens behavior, and usually it’s with the intention of changing the teen’s behavior. The only problem is that they are focusing on getting a result that it out of their control, their teen changing their behavior.
What if you grounded your teen, or took away privileges, but you were doing it to teach a lesson to fulfill your role as a parent? All of a sudden, your focus is on you teaching a lesson rather than changing your teen.
Rather than taking the car away to punish them into changing, what if you took the care away to help teach them responsibility. If they learn responsibility, great! If not, it’s no big deal, you’ll continue teaching and supporting them.
Control is Temporary, IMPACT is Eternal.
Your days of controlling your kids is temporary. As they grow, develop, and mature, they need to develop more and more control over their own lives.
In order for them to learn how to control their life, they need you to give up control.
By doing this, though, you will have a much deeper and profound impact on their life.
I want to invite you to stop focusing on control and start focusing on your impact!
Do you want to work with me 1-on-1?
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