How to protect your teens with self-care
No matter how great a parent you may be, you can only do so much by yourself.
Kids are complex, and their relationship with their mom can grow or break depending on how strong your connection is to them. While this is the good news, it is also the bad news: Moms must be ready to support their teens in their own way, both when they need it, and when they don’t.
The positive side
While it’s normal for there to be times when it’s not easy, as the mother of a teenager, you can do a lot to make things easier for them. By getting in touch with your child, and sending an encouraging message, you are teaching them to open up to you. And that’s a skill you can easily teach your kids. It will show them that your affection is based on genuine care, not on wanting something in return.
What better way to show your teenagers that you care? You can make dinner and say, “Here’s how I put my broccoli in the pan. And here’s how I garnish it with a few cherry tomatoes.” This kind of nurturing is a wonderful way to build a relationship.
The inevitable side
Even though you’re nurturing their relationship with you, you are in a tough spot: you’re becoming a parent, even if you don’t think you are at the moment. But when you know that you’re making an attempt, they may feel more secure in your company, or they may be even more comforted by your visible presence in their lives.
The best part about it is that they see you as their ally, a person who can help them when they need it, but who also cares enough to listen to them when they need it. They get to see that you care about them, but you still love them equally, which is a great lesson in itself.
This kind of interdependent relationship between a teen and their parent is one you could really tap into, as well as understand. If you feel that one of you is doing too much, or too little, you can encourage them to tell you, as well as offering them help in a practical way. If you think that one of them is putting on airs, or that they’re just pretending to be happy, you can tell them how genuine they are.
If you don’t know how to be parents, we have a warning: research shows that the chances of your teen staying on the straight and narrow are less than 50%. So be prepared to fail, and then try again.