#034 Are YOU Driving Your Teen Away?

When we try to change or fix our teens, we only push them away!

“Quit fixing and start believing in others. [ . . .] You can give them the benefit of your experiences but you can’t give them experience. They need their own experiences and lessons to develop.”
~ Marcia Reynolds Psy.D.

Why Do We “Need” to Fix Others?

I want to start out by saying that human beings are fixers!

We love to fix things!

As parents, many of us have come to believe that it is our job to fix our teens. Coupled with our years of experience and all our time, love and resources invested on our kids, we think we have the duty and right to change and fix our teens.

When we try to fix or change our teens, what it really means is that we think there is something wrong with them and that they are not good enough.

Our teens often feel like there is something wrong with them and that they are not good enough.

As parents we often feel shame, embarrassment, frustration when we think that our teen “should be . . . “

How This Often Looks In The Model

Believe it or not, this is the #1 problem that parents come to me for help with. Their teen is “pulling away,” or “We’re not close anymore. We just don’t like each other,” or “I can’t watch them throw their life away!”

Here’s a recent model with one of my clients:
Circumstance- Son’s friends smoke weed.
Thought- My son needs better friends or he’ll ruin his life.
Feeling- Fear
Action- Ban his friends from our house.
Result- I push my son away.

Circumstance- Daughter gets a D in math
Thought- She should be getting A’s in math.
Feeling- Frustration
Action- Ground her for a week.
Result- I’m trying to fix my daughter.

When we try to fix them, we’re actually pushing them away

Often times our teen adopt our thoughts and beliefs into their own models.

Circumstance- Friends smoke weed.
Thought- I need better friends or I’ll ruin my life.
Feeling- Fear
Action- Worry that my friends will ruin my life.
Result- Struggle making friends.

Circumstance- I got a D in math
Thought- I should be getting A’s in math.
Feeling- shame
Action- Negative self talk like, “I’m stupid.”
Result- Don’t try in classes.

Trying to fix our teens often has the opposite affect. In fact, trying to fix or change them often supports their suspicion that they are not good enough.

Here’s 2 Things You Can Do Instead

#1 Connect With Your Teen Right Where They Are!

I know it’s hard. We want our teens to have the best possible life. And, sometimes it’s hard to see how things will work out in the end when their current circumstances seem so bleak.

BUT, I promise things WILL work out for the best! ALWAYS!!

Every circumstance that you experience with your teen is an opportunity for connection.

Your teen has friends that smoke weed . . .

. . . Find a way to connect with them right there!

Your teen is struggling in school . . .

. . . Find a way to connect with them right there!

Rather than trying to fix them, connect with them.

Sure, you can invite them to change, but I promise connecting with them will have a more powerful impact in their life!

#2 Shift Your Focus to YOU!

I say this all the time, but be the change you want to see!

You can’t change your teen, but you CAN, 100%, change you.

Rather than focusing on what you want THEM to do differently, focus on what you want YOU to do differently.

This will empower you. This will help you reconnect with your teen.

Call to ACTION!

Get on a FREE consultation call with me today to see how you can stop pushing your teen away and start connecting with them right where they are.

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