Your fear of losing your teen to substance use is valid and real. The need to keep your teen safe takes over and drives you to one solution you likely know well.
‘We’ve made it clear those things aren’t allowed in our home and we’ve raised our teen to know better. We need to draw the line quickly, so they know we’re serious and that behaviour isn’t ok.’
That like trying to put out a fire by capturing the plume of smoke.
Authority, control, and compliance are behaviour modification tools that rely on fear of emotional or physical pain or fear of loss (grounding, taking phones, gaming, etc.), so you gain short term obedience. That approach guarantees greater defiance and disconnection, getting more of the exact thing you’re desperately trying to avoid.
Plus, this thinking assumes your teen took a wrong turn overnight, suddenly forgetting everything you’ve raised them to believe and value. The storm has been brewing under the surface and they masked it with one word answers and relative compliance to throw you off.
“Connection is a child’s deepest need and a parent’s highest influence.” Lelia Schott
Connection is the path to influence, not control or compliance. Emotional connection is likely what you’re trying to achieve but like me, you weren’t taught those skills from your parents or in school. Instead, you do more of what you know.
Your teen is trying to fill, cover or numb an emotional need and they don’t know how to ask for what they need, they just know the desperate pain of not having it. Their brains are more driven by emotions than ever and when they don’t get what they need at home, they’re going to get it elsewhere. This doesn’t mean you’re failing.
Emotional connection is an investment, not a math equation.
You can’t earn connection with your teen by buying them something or saying a few kind words. That’s transactional i.e., if I do this, then you’ll do this, and focuses on behaviour, not the emotion driving it.
Creating emotional connection to lead your teen through a behaviour correction is like investing your money for long term benefits. It’s consistent action over time that creates the change you both want (because your teen DOES want this).
“I don’t have time to wait, this is serious!”
I completely agree so let’s get started.
Register below for my FREE masterclass and learn my 3 pillars for creating an honest, connected relationship that lasts a lifetime, WITHOUT having to be a perfect parent.