Let's all welcome Deaunna Evans a Super Moms coach and mentor! Her goal is to help moms eliminate the dreadful 3 D's from their children-defiant, disobedient and disrespectful behavior. Today she gives us an insight on how to get out of parenting purgatory. If you're anything like me, and I'm sure you are, you've been there before
Why Parents Should Give Their Child Permission to Fail
The following conversation is one that every parent should eavesdrop in on, that is if they want to raise rebellion free children and avoid potentially living years in *parenting purgatory. The following is what the proverbial fly on the wall would have overheard in our home the other night.
My husband and I were having a friendly conversation with our 15 year old son when he brought up the topic of a set of gaming headphones he intended to buy. He began describing their awesome features and enthusiastically exclaimed they could be cranked up to insane decibels levels! My husband counseled him to keep the volume at a safe human level, to which he gave the typical teenager response, “Well X, Y & Z friends all have these head phones and their parents …bla….bla…bla…if you have a child you can easily fill in the blanks here. To our credit, we resisted the urge to warp into a parent-child throw-down like our parents did when we were teenagers such as, “Well if X, Y & Z were to jump off a bridge, would you follow?” Instead the conversation went like this:
“Okay son, you can certainly go ahead and blow out your ear drums if you want to. It’s your body and you can treat it as you please. You’ll spend a few hours enjoying the insanely loud blasts and bombs, however, just so you know, you’ll need to be ready to live the next, oh say, 70 years half deaf. Let’s get in a little practice of what your life will be like, shall we? Okay first you’ll need to lean forward, then you’ll need to get this really puzzled- deer in the headlights- look on your face. Next you will mutter this word a couple of times… Huh?…Huh? You’ll probably want to go ahead and learn how to not take it personal when people get frustrated as heck with you when you are constantly saying “Huh” “Huh” over and over in the course of a 2 minute conversation.” By this time he was smiling and had a look of resignation in his eyes. We all had a good laugh and changed the subject.
How awesome was that! This conversation was humorous but more importantly it was void of the power struggle parents often unintentionally instigate. Neither parent nor teen was backed into a corner or forced to openly admit (save face) they were wrong. The outcome of this conversation reaffirms my notion that a parent should never ever, ever try and tell a tween/teenager that they CANNOT do something. Doing so just throws up a veritable irresistible challenge and serves only to give purpose to a teen’s life i.e. a chance to prove their parents wrong; you know, that’s what they live for;-)
By the time a child reaches the ripe old age of tweenager they can sense a parent throw-down like a toddler instinctively knows to start screaming for attention when mommy picks up a telephone. Simply put, wise parents will not issue throw-down’s. Even in the most extreme situations like, “I guess I’ll just pack my bags and leave,” a parent will calmly and without emotion say something like, “yeah…that is an option” and with an empathetic voice, assure the child that he will be missed. The child would then effectively talk himself out of it with “what about food or what about that” questions. (‘That’s an option’ ‘one liner’ example is suggested by the professionals at Love and Logic- a great parenting site.)
Long story short, the gift of agency (freedom to choose) and make decisions about one’s own life rests at the core of human rights, i.e. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By giving your teen permission to self destruct or not, you effectively dismantle the teenage time bomb before it gets wired up much less starts ticking. If parents are not laying down the law and telling their child they cannot do something, there is no ‘cause’ to fight for or against, therefore no rebellious uprising. It really is a beautiful thing!
A parent’s responsibility is to not only teach their children, but model great values and principles, and help their child understand consequences associated with their choices. The tricky part is letting go and understanding that the child always has the last say in how he will pursue happiness and therefore own their own consequences.
It’s easy for me to go on record, because I have experienced this over and over with my children, to say that using the principle of agency wisely is the most effective tool in a parent’s toolbox for raising rebellion free children.
Oh, by the way, next time you catch yourself leaning over, with a “deer in the headlights” look on your face, repeating the word ‘huh’ over and over….remember this article and this powerful parenting tip! (lol) Happy Parenting!
*Parenting Purgatory (PP) –n-noun- a place of immense suffering where parents feel trapped, helpless, hopeless and even fearful in some instances. PP is brought about by children who are defiant, disobedient and disrespectful. Please Note: Parents who were once living in PP have been liberated with the help of Super Moms Coaching! Contact Deaunna Evans, The Super Moms Coach Mentor to get a FREE “Get Out of Jail PP FREE Card” Click Here to claim your complimentary parent strategizing session, From Lil’ Monster to Angels- or call 1-800-269-0283 or email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.supermomscoaching.net/
You can also find Deuanna on Twitter @SuperMomsCoach. She is a wonderful and insightful lady.