(Inside: Do you feel like you are butting heads with your teen? This one powerful phrase could be a game changer. Read on…)
Do you know those moments when we’re butting heads with our teens?
That’s where I was at.
Rocky versus Creed, my teen and I faced off two firm stances on our own who-was-right stance.
“Mom, you just always panic and yell, and it’s distracting.”
We sat in the gym parking lot, my son (15 hours into his permit driving hours) at the wheel. On the way there, our car drifted to the right lane, wheels straddling the line, no shoulder check, driver unaware.
I panic-yelled, “You are in the right lane!”
To which my teen thought I meant “Move to the right lane.” Again, no shoulder check, he veered right.
“No, stay in the left lane where you started!”
More tense words.
We finally pulled into the parking lot by the skin of our teeth and sat shell-shocked on opposing sides, annoyed with each other.
My-teen-doesn’t-listen versus my-mom-keeps-yelling-so-I-can’t-think-while-driving.
The thing is, we’d been here before. We went through a long season where we conflicted over every itty-bitty thing, my strong-willed child not landing far from the tree. But we’d worked hard at routines and communication and hadn’t been in that friction for two years.
However, right then, it seemed like we were back.
It felt yucky.
And PTSD-ish. My body tensed and fear crept in that we were starting to digress with my son’s mad statement, “Mom, you just always panic and yell, and it’s distracting.”
Connect with your teen over these 400+ conversation starters.
Then a calm overcame me, cool wind carrying the annoyance away.
“You’re right,” I answered.
“As we continue driving for your 50 required hours, I will handle myself better. But know, as you’re learning to drive, I’M ALSO LEARNING to teach you to drive. WE’RE BOTH LEARNING. I’ve never been here before with you in parenting.”
I could see he was hearing me.
I continued, “As your mom, haven’t I always tried to do what’s best for you? I will try to be calmer, but please also trust me and listen, so everyone on the road stays safe. And remember, WE’RE BOTH LEARNING.”
Sometimes in parenting, we say all the wrong things. Then there are moments when our words work.
“WE’RE BOTH LEARNING,”
My son’s view of the trees zoomed out so he could see the whole my-mom-is-trying forest. Growth and maturity.
“WE’RE BOTH LEARNING.” I found a new parenting phrase that clicked with my big kids. Growth and maturity.
Then, we went into the gym, worked out, and he drove us both home…
With great success.
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.