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Is Connection Really Possible?

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Primary Blog/Is Connection Really Possible?

Is Connection Really Possible?

I recently met with a client who wanted desperately to improve his relationship with his 16-year-old son. He described their relationship as "challenging." Can you relate?

Not long ago I was in the hallway at church after our Sunday meetings, chatting casually for a few minutes with a couple of men as we waited to gather our children from their prospective classes. Somehow we landed on the topic of teenagers. Two of us had teens, and one of us didn't. The one whose family consisted only of younger children mentioned he was terrified of the teenage years, saying that parenthood was already challenging enough; he couldn't imagine trying to navigate through the adolescent years. I think this is a common fear for many parents.

And then they actually have teens.

And it's wonderful.

And not-so-wonderful.

All at the same time.

So, how does one improve that connection with their child? Let me ask you this? What is the prevailing feeling that accompanies your child's name? Joy? Peace? Excitement? Contentment? Or is it possibly discouragement? Contempt? Frustration? Maybe even anger?

Now for the hard question: What is the sentence you most often say in your mind when you think of your teen(s)? Is it about their unkempt bedroom? Is it about their lack of effort or their low grades? Does it have something to do with their inability to meet your standards in some way?

If so, don't worry. You're perfectly normal. Be gentle with yourself as you discover the reality of your thoughts and feelings. Don't judge them (this is the hard part, guys). Just be curious about them. Why is this your sentence? Why do you feel this way most of the time?

That WHY question can be very powerful!

When you think you may have figured that out, it's time to ask yourself how you want to feel. If you want to be "more connected," how would your mental sentence need to change? What might get you closer to where you want to be? Sometimes it's a pretty big jump to think of going where you are now to where you want to be, but you can think of the rungs on a ladder and just take that next step. Maybe you can't jump right to love and understanding, but what if you could lean into compassion just a little bit? Compassion for yourself, and compassion for your teen? What then? How does that change things?

The truth is that connections really is possible! And it starts with you. It's not complicated, but it does take mindfulness. And the willingness to fail and then fail again and just keep trying. That is the path to success--for you and your teen.

Will it be easy? Probably not. But hey, you already knew that. So don't worry . . . keep trying.

You got this!

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Hi, I'm
Lori Conger

Certified Life Coach at
You Got This

Ever wish you were the perfect mom? What does that even mean to you? And what if you are "perfect" already because you are you. And motherhood is messy and crazy, right?

‚ÄčAs a mother of five, I know all about messy! I also know how to find the perfect in it all so I can thrive and be who I want to be.