Always Come After Me: A message for Parents with Teenagers

Dec 03, 2023

 

There is a story about a little girl who had a habit of running away. If anything happened that upset her, she would go to her mother and say, 'I am running away, Momma.' She would then go out into the front yard and sit by a big tree. After several minutes had passed, her mother would go outside to look for her. After finding the little girl in her usual spot, the mother would give her a big hug and invite her back into the house.

 

One day, after the little girl got upset and announced that she was running away, her mother became distracted and forgot to go look for her daughter. After some time had passed, the daughter came back into the house with a sad look on her face. She said, 'Momma, you forgot to come get me. Always come after me, Momma.' Her mother gave her a big hug and said she was sorry. More importantly, she never forgot those words. Always come after me, Momma.

 

This heartwarming story is a great reminder for all parents with teenagers (or pre-teens). During these years, there will be many times where your child is going to pull away from you and the family, in effect, running away. Today, I am going to encourage you to always go after them. The key is to keep your focus on reestablishing the connection. This is not about making them act in a certain way or controlling their behavior. The purpose of 'going after them' is to let them know that you value them, you see them for who they are, and that you love them unconditionally. A word of warning: there may be times where your child won't acknowledge your efforts or even times where it seems to make things worse. When this happens, remember the words of the little girl in this story... 'Always come after me, Momma.' Take a moment to ground yourself in a love-based mindset. View the circumstance through compassionate, forgiving, and grateful eyes, then ask yourself how can I let them know that I see them for who they are and love them unconditionally?

 

Take heart. I have heard many stories of young adults acknowledging that they were 'difficult' during their teenage years, but they really appreciated their parents always being there for them. In short... going after them.

 

Your Family Enrichment Coach,

Jim White

 

 

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