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Getting Them to Run Toward Home

Getting Them to Run Toward Home
We were right in the middle of one of those things, one of those moments when a teenager tells you something you didn’t know a minute ago and your peaceful night is suddenly not so peaceful.
“Mom, but here’s the good thing. I knew I could drive home and tell you instead of feeling like driving away off a cliff somewhere.”
When you are a parent of a teenager there are always THINGS. Things that they do or say that go way awry and make you stop and think….just why?!?!
And even in that moment which was a little dark and even a little scary it was also just flat out beautiful.
This kid came running toward home instead of away from it.
Isn’t this just what we want? We want them to come to us and yet so often we let that fear parent them away from us.
When we listen to the fear…they could have been hurt! Or killed! Or they could have failed! Or messed up their lives! Do you not know this teenager? ALL OF THE BAD THINGS FEEL REALLY CLOSE SO I’M EVEN GOING TO YELL A LITTLE!
I’m a fabulous yeller by the way, ask anyone.
That yelling and fear spilling and asking them what were you thinking?? (they weren’t) Or are you trying to mess up your whole life? (they aren’t) Or are you trying to kill us, we were worried sick! (they aren’t again, it just feels that way)…all of this pushes them right away from us.
Sometimes I think I can see my words actually pushing them backward, they grow smaller and quieter and they just wait us out and maybe mumble a sorry and certainly go to their rooms.
Then they try to make sure they never, ever get that reaction from us again. So when bad things happen, away from us they go.
And it is in those moments they need us the absolute most.
I have been trying to shut down that voice of fear. To take a deep breath and to think about what is the next thing I can do to keep my kid with me and their mental health intact.
How can we keep connected in the moments they need us the most?
No problem right? Easy peasy you say?
Hardest thing I’ve ever done I answer and I fail on the regular.
But it is 1000% worth it when my kid says they feel like when they have messed up in some way shape or form they come home and they lean on us, even when things are bad and scary.
We want our kids to come to us, all of the times. It is up to us to make sure they feel like they can.
May be a black-and-white image of 1 person, standing, snow and tree
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Kristy Cambron, Esther, the Dolly Mama and 2.6K others

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