On February 24th, I left for my first vacation in 2 years and some desperately needed time away. I never expected to see the headlines that evening after arriving at the resort.

Russia invades Ukraine.

I sat on the edge of the bed in shock and started to cry. There’s already so much sadness and pain in the world, like the laws in Texas and Florida, and now this. It all feels like too much when I feel drained, so what can I do?

A few days ago, Dr. Brené Brown sent an email with this quote from her mother that perfectly said what I needed to hear.

“Don’t look away. Don’t look down.
Don’t pretend not to see hurt.
Look people in the eye.
Even when their pain is overwhelming.
And when you’re hurting and in pain, find people who can look you in the eye.

We need to know we’re not alone—especially when we’re hurting.”

Hurt people, hurt people.

Hurt feelings left unheard turn to anger and when neither of those have a safe place to see the light, feel heard and witnessed, they grow, getting turned on others and spreading like a virus.

We need to feel seen and validated in our pain, not shunned, shamed, or stuff those feelings away because they’re ‘negative’ and uncomfortable for you or others to be with.

While on vacation I thought a lot about what I can do with what I’ve been given, and one word popped into my head.

“We need to know we’re not alone—especially when we’re hurting.” Dr. Brené Brown’s mom

Healthy relationships support us to be whole, healed people and I believe that starts at home. The gap between parents and teens has never been greater and teens are struggling more than ever.

Your teen is desperate to feel heard. They’re acting out and pushing back in defiance because they’re hurting and don’t know how to ask for what they need. Ok, they struggle to even know what they need in the first place. The hurt of the world is showing up in their social feed and they feel helpless and scared.

“Listening is balm for the spirit.” – Aly Pain

On March 15th, I’m starting a 10-day listening challenge to create intentional space for your teen (and you) to feel heard and seen. Why 10 days? Because that’s often how long it takes your teen to trust your words and actions before they start sharing anything.

When you experience feeling witnessed in a safe place by a trusted person, you’re more likely to process, heal from and release feelings before they build up and run you, or end up come out all over those close to you.

Listening is a simple, powerful, and free tool to witness your teen and create powerful connection. Listening without interruption, correction, judgement, or fixing.

I’ll be sharing more detail this week in my free Parenting Community on Facebook, and in my newsletter March 15th join my tribe here. If there’s one thing I know from the courageous parents in my programs, it’s that intentional action creates powerful, positive results.

Are you joining the listening challenge? Click below to jump in my free parenting community and watch for more details coming this week.

Let me in!

You’re not alone. We can make a difference starting at home.

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