Against some common belief you do have a choice with parenting your teenager: You can either fight all day or just laugh together, have a blast and still get your point across.
Option #2 is working amazingly well whenever I have my daughter around.
There are opportunities to pick a fight each day but I don’t even see them any longer. Since I don’t hold grudges she pretty much can’t do so either. She knows I’d make a fool out of her and eventually she’d end up laughing about herself.
Yes, we do have great conversation as well. She shares and listens to what I have to say. I can’t force these moments, though. I just have to be fully present once they arive.
Open communication with an almost 14 year old? What more can you ask for?
If your teen knows which buttons to push he/she will do it – unless you don’t even feed into it at all and your child eventually gives up.
How did I get here?
I’ve tried to played hardass at times but it made both our lives miserable. And I also made a fool of myself. It just was no fun at all.
It is not easy to turn things around if you are in the battle stands with your kids. They might think you are kissing up or are on some hidden agenda when you are nice to them all out of the sudden.
There is a parallel with social media: It has to be authentic or it won’t work. It takes time to (re)build trust. And this “new” relationship needs to grow organically. It is not an easy route and takes energy and focus. Plus you can’t take yourself too serious.
All of this only works when you are in a truly loving and compassionate place with your child.
She is a teen after all. You never know what comes next. I might have to revise this post by the end of the day. I am just kidding. She’ll get into trouble. We’ll deal with it when it happens and that’s just it.
I wish everything in life would be that easy.
This post is clearly simplistic and on the lighter side. It merely describes where we are at. I typed this as a Facebook note first and then it turned into this. I could write a book about my awesome daughter but which parent couldn’t? Let’s just hope it is a comedy rather than a psycho thriller ;-)
If you’ve been reading this blog you know that I am co-parenting my step daughter with my ex wife. Talking about how to get this right is a whole other story. My ex Rashin is a great sport and that certainly makes things easier for all three of us. More about that subject at a later time…