When teenagers act out it is hard not to lose your cool. We know first hand! But if you really want them to learn and make new choices, it is important to be able to have productive conversations with them. This means leaving your emotional reactivity at the door. We are not suggesting you fake this. It has to be genuine. So if you are upset, it is time to take care of yourself, and then when you are feeling more open-hearted and level-headed you can begin the conversation with your teen.
We all know what it feels like when someone comes at us from an angry place. It is easy to become defensive and reactive in return. We tend to focus on their angry person's behavior and feel justified in our upset toward them rather than getting reflective about our own behavior. Teens are no different.
And don't confuse taking a long pause between the teen's behavior and your response to it as passive or letting them off the hook. See it as your wisdom guiding you to wait until you are ready to have a conversation that will not break rapport or trust. There may still be boundaries and natural consequences involved, but there will also be room for understanding, reflection, and working together to figure things out. Ultimately, what is most important is that the teen learns to listen to their own commonsense and wisdom. That is what they are going to need as their compass for navigating life.
Angus & Rohini Ross are “The Rewilders.” Listen to their podcast Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. Many couples don’t know how to navigate low moods, conflict, and emotional reactivity. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini love working with couples and helping them to reduce conflict and discord in their relationships by pointing them to their innate wisdom and wellbeing. They work with couples who are struggling and couples who would like to deepen the love and intimacy they already have. They co-facilitate a private couples' intensives retreat program that rewilds relationships back to their natural state of love.
Rohini is the author of the ebook Marriage, and they are co-founders of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilding Community. You can also follow Angus and Rohini Ross on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To learn more about their work visit: TheRewilders.org. Check out Rohini's latest blog post.