Parenting Teenagers

Start By Taking One Step Forward

shifting your mindset Mar 03, 2022

Sometimes as a parent you can find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Your teenager is out of control. They don’t listen. They don’t help. And they don’t appreciate anything that you do for them. On top of this, there are the demands of your job and a seemingly endless list of tasks that need to be done in order to maintain your home. If you ever feel this way, you are not alone. In my role as a family enrichment coach, I hear stories like this on a regular basis. Typically, they end with the parent saying, “I just don’t know what to do.”


While every family dynamic is different, the answer is the same: Acknowledge where you are and look for an opportunity to take one step toward being more love based. I like to use the idea of a continuum. There are 1,440 minutes every day. Each day, we spend some of those minutes engaging with the world from a love-based mindset and we spend some of the time engaging from a fear-based mindset. If the vast majority of your day is spent fear based, you will find difficulty everywhere. However, if you can start to shift a few of those minutes from a fearful perspective to a loving perspective, you will experience a sense of hope for the future. 


Here are a few examples of how you could start:


Take a look at a typical day and identify a regular transition that seems to always be a struggle. Maybe it is getting everyone out the door for school in the morning. Or when you walk into the house after work. Next, find a time when you can reflect. You could take a walk or sit with a cup of coffee before everyone else gets up. Then ask these questions: 


  • If I am coming from a love-based mindset, how else could I look at this transition?
  • In an ideal world, how would this transition go?
  • What are the opportunities for growth?
  • What can we do to make this work better?


With these thoughts in mind, come up with an intention statement. Here is an example:


My intention is to make our morning routine peaceful and nurturing for (names of your children). My goal is to have them go off to school feeling loved and ready to make the most of their day. 


Next, find a “good” time to acknowledge your concerns with your children and share the essence of your intention statement with them. Then ask for their input with the same questions you ask yourself. Listen to their ideas with an open mind and develop a plan together.


Finally, each time you are about to start the transition, take two minutes to repeat your intention statement and ground yourself in a love-based mindset. 


Acknowledge and celebrate each time the transition goes better. By taking one step forward in just one area, you will rediscover a sense of hope. Then if you can stack a few “good” days in a row, you will feel momentum toward the goal of a peaceful and loving home.

Jim White

Family Enrichment Coach





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