Before you skip past, thinking ‘oh, that’s not happening to my teen’ or ‘wow, that parent really needs some help’, read on.
“As a child of the system, including adoption where I was worse off than where I started, I endured physical abuse, emotional manipulation, and sexual molestation. I worked hard to heal and grow, providing my own children with the emotional health and stability I never had.
Somewhere along the line I got off track with my daughter. I forgot the anguish of losing my first love, being cheated on, desperately wanting to be free and acting out as a teen. My daughter was falling fast into a dark place – sneaking out, lying, pot smoking, police waking me in the night, and a laundry list of poor decisions.
She was crying out for love and attention to escape the pain and had lost herself.
Then I remembered being 15, feeling misunderstood by the world. Everyone focusing on the bad and how I’d fail so I started hiding from even my closest friends, numbing from life. I was telling my daughter who to NOT to be, rather than encouraging her to find herself.
That day I changed.
I looked hard inside myself to heal my wounds and not hold them over my daughter’s head. I saw her self-destructive behaviour as a cry for help, not defiance against me. She needed me to show compassion and empathy with boundaries, not be the judge, jury, and authority figure constantly comparing her life to mine.
She looked at me the first few times like I was an alien!!
The change didn’t happen overnight. She still lied and hid things but when I approached her with empathy, respect, making an effort to understand instead of reacting she started to open up.
I stopped talking at her, trying to instill fear from all I’d experienced, and she started sharing her beliefs and asking questions. We built trust as she accepted natural consequences without me constantly having to create consequences for her (like taking her phone!!). It’s okay to make a mistake and apologize, sharing the learning and what’ll be different next time.
Fast forward 7 months – my daughter comes to me daily, asking me questions about what she’s feeling or thinking or situations. We have respectful boundaries with each other and take a break rather than letting conflict grow. She asks me to take her and her friends to do things and we talk about all sorts of things!
We’re not perfect my any means but we’re both so much happier now.
I’m so grateful for that day I started actually listening to Aly’s videos and using the tools she shares to help understand and connect with my teen.”
Want to know what Lacey’s daughter thinks.
(She personally thanked me during a Live session in my program!)
“In the beginning when everything happened I felt unwanted, like I had to hide from life and wasn’t allowed an opinion on anything. I thought it was all my moms fault and in retrospect it wasn’t. we’ve both worked on so much and I feel so welcomed in our home. I’m very happy everything has changed because we’d probably have no relationship if she hadn’t told me she was trying communicate and do things differently”
You can create a respectful, honest relationship with your teen too, no matter where you start from.
On January 24th, I’m launching The Empowered Parent Mastermind, my 8-week program based on all my learning and experience to walk you through the powerful and proven tools and strategies to end the arguing, nagging and stressful silences to start reconnecting now. Click below to register NOW!