Table of contents:
- One of the most common reasons for contacting me is problems with a teenage child. And the most frequent request of parents I call “fix my child”: they are very surprised when I ask them to come to the first meeting by themselves, and not just pay for a consultation and send the teenager “for repair”
- What do you want?
- Trust and openness
- Transfer of responsibility
Video: Fix Me A Teenager! - Society
One of the most common reasons for contacting me is problems with a teenage child. And the most frequent request of parents I call “fix my child”: they are very surprised when I ask them to come to the first meeting by themselves, and not just pay for a consultation and send the teenager “for repair”
Even more dad and mom are surprised when, in the process of the first consultation, I inform you that first of all they need to work on themselves and relationships, and not their "out of hand" child.
What do you want?
The so-called formation of a request begins: we define a specific task that must be solved in working with me. Usually, at first, complaints sound like this: “… study has become / has become bad, rude, does not obey, friends are dearer than parents, sits all day, buried in a computer or phone, does not think about the future, we (parents) have completely ceased to be an authority - we punish, take away phone, we prohibit the computer, so such scandals suit … we did not behave like that! Is it difficult for him / her to break away from his game and fulfill our request ?!"
After half an hour of working with a psychologist, the request is formed approximately like this: “Let the son / daughter study well, obey, not be rude, sit at home in the evening, do not play computer games and do not use social networks. And let him love us too."
And only later, in the process of further work, parents remember that in fact their most important desire is the child's happiness.
And that this very happiness is not guaranteed by any excellent studies, or a good university, or exemplary behavior. And the fact that parents themselves grew up without computers and social networks was not a fact that determines their own "happiness."
Even "we did so much for you!" from the lips of their own parents did not force them in their time to devote their lives to “paying off debt” in the form of realizing their expectations. Fortunately. And then we recall the old Soviet film and the phrase from it, already emasculated over the years of use for any reason: "Happiness is when you are understood." And we comprehend it again. And then my clients come to understand that the requirements for a teenager with which they first entered my office are not so important.
Trust and openness
The most important thing is not to lose contact, to learn to be a friend to your child. This is the most reliable protection, the greatest help! Be not a punishing and imposing parent, but an offering, not indulgent, but understanding. This is not the same as forgiveness and permissiveness
Of course, the teenager still needs to be controlled and constrained. But not as an unreasonable kid anymore. Not just "because I said / said so", but talking to him as an adult and explaining why you are against this or that action, sharing your fears for him, his fate, discussing on equal terms the possible consequences of certain actions. And treating his arguments with understanding, even if they seem silly to you on a life-wide scale, they are no less important to him than your own to you.
This will give the child a feeling of a strong rear, allowing him to bravely fight for a place in the sun, teach him to be a friend and support for his future family, save him from the total feeling of loneliness that so often haunt teenagers, teach him honesty and openness.
Of course, successful study is a guarantee not only of the financial well-being of our children, but also of their personal fulfillment. It is very important. But not always, but only if the teenager himself understands this. And learning "from under the stick" will lose its significance in the child's life exactly at the moment when the parental "stick" becomes short for the grown up child. And then the chances that he himself will realize the value of education are negligible.
Parents are terrified by the thought that the child will miss part of the school curriculum. The good news is that you can always make up for it. The bad news is that it will only work if the parents have the wisdom and willpower to transfer responsibility and control over this area of the teen's life into his own, still not strong hands, in a timely manner. Otherwise, they will never get stronger.
Transfer of responsibility
Several years ago, the parents of a girl, a graduate school student, contacted me. To say that they were on the verge of a nervous breakdown is to say nothing: two months before the USE, she wrote all the trial tests for deuces. Because a smart, good girl, who always delighted her parents with excellent studies and dreamed of becoming a doctor since childhood, in the eleventh grade managed to skip half of her lessons, began to be rude and sit on social networks all night long.
Dad insisted on non-interference in studies, in a year of house arrest, with confiscation of a computer, smartphone and leaving home only for unskilled work, chosen by him: "Let her feel what awaits her!" Mom cried and offered to hire tutors for the money set aside for vacation. And the girl with an absent air told them: "I don't care."
As a result of our work with my parents, the denouement looked like this: in the evening they sat down with their daughter and calmly and succinctly told her that they understood that she was already big, that they could not force her to do something in any way and that she would have to out of this situation look for a way out yourself. Nobody will refuse her a "bowl of soup", but if she does not go to university, she will have to earn on her own for all other needs. And yes, they still love her very much, they are on her side, and their daughter is the most important thing in life for them. The girl snorted and went to her room.
Two hours later, she returned to her parents, pale and determined: “Give me another chance, please. I myself will not have time to catch up, I need tutors. In the summer I will go to work and return your money. " The parents agreed to pay the tutors exactly as long as they see that she is really doing everything possible to correct the situation.
For the next two months, my job was to comfort the sobbing parents in my office, whose hearts were breaking to look at their child: she slept three hours a day, overlaid with textbooks, did not have time to eat between school and tutors, to all the parents' suggestions she said, "I have no time to rest" …
Now she is an excellent student at one of the best medical universities in the country and is very grateful to her parents for those two months at the end of the eleventh grade: it was then that she first took control of her life into her own hands and coped!