How many times have you said the word “shouldn’t” when it comes to your teenager? He shouldn’t be so lazy. She shouldn’t be so messy. He shouldn’t waste time watching t.v. on a school night. She shouldn’t use her phone for hours. Before we realize it, we’re admonishing our kids for doing things that they “shouldn’t”, for acting in ways that they “shouldn’t”, for being who they “shouldn’t” be. Our expectations of who our children should be aren’t matching up to the reality of who they are. They aren’t fitting into the mold that we’ve created for them. And subconsciously we see them as dough that we can and should mold, whereas they see themselves as individuals with their own hopes and dreams. By continually comparing them to our vision of who we think they should be, we set them up for failure, inhibit our ability to interact with them positively and empathetically, and create a home environment fertile to friction and tension. At times our relationship with our kids can seem like a turbulent roller coaster that’s hard to jump off of. If you’re the parent of a teenager, this is probably a roller coaster that you’re familiar with. If you're looking to jump off that roller coaster, this is the post for you.
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