Making Kids "Get It"Aug 01, 2023
What can I say so my kid will finally GET IT?
This was a question in a group call a few weeks ago. A mom was struggling with her sophomore sneaking out at night, vaping, and drinking (all the scary teen stuff, right?). No matter how often he gets caught or how much his mom reads him the riot act, he just doesn’t get the memo. “He shows no remorse, takes his lumps, and does it all again as soon as he gets the chance.” Unfortunately, my answer to her question had to be:
“Nothing. There is nothing you can say to make him get it.”
Why? Because to us, ‘getting it’ means seeing things the way we do, and there is NOTHING we can say that gives kids an adult perspective. Let’s stop expecting kids to see the world through mild-aged eyes!
Instead, I teach parents to connect with kids on their wavelength and create age-appropriate containers where they figure out life lessons through experiences at their level.
When families’ communication, boundaries, and enforcement:
- Fit into kids’ worldviews,
- Honor kids’ emotions and experiences,
- Allow for kids to have undeveloped empathy, perspective, and values,
Behavior grows and changes - not because the kids finally ‘get it’ the way we do, but because they ‘get it’ their own way - it matters to them within their framework of values, feelings, and priorities.
For example, we would love for teens to say no to drugs because they care about their future careers, worry about health impacts, and place value on following the law. Ha! Not likely.
But they might make that smart choice if vaping means missing out on a concert, for example. AND they are even more likely to make that smart choice when they have the concert boundary PLUS a neutral conversation that invites introspection about their thoughts on vaping (neutral, meaning the chat is not about convincing them of anything!).
How much time do you spend trying to cram big lessons into your kid’s head?
How awesome would it be to let that sh*t go and trust that decision-making based on their own childish rubric is enough? What a joy! This is what I teach my clients every day, and I am ready to help you live it too. Set up a free Discovery Call so we can get this show on the road!!!
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