Your 15-year-old daughter skips classes, does not hand in homework and is close to failing. As a parent you keep saving her. You talk, explain, beg, plead, ground, threaten bribe and basically do almost anything to get her to change her attitude about school. Basically you keep rescuing her. But the problem is that she simply does not change. What should you do? How do you empower your teenager ?
Of course this topic is based on a teen that is emotionally well rounded but simply does not believe completing high school is necessary.
1- Remember your power and empower your teenager
You have already taught your teen everything she needs to know about being an upstanding citizen. At this stage in her life, she is searching for her identity, her hormones are raging (no wonder she won’t listen, her body is screaming right now), and she thinks she knows everything, even better than you!
Let her be.
As difficult as it may seem, allow her to fail.
Nothing you do will change things. She is on her journey of self-discovery and has to learn the hard way.
2- Find your peace
Your daughter is your most prized treasure. Protect your relationship with her. After all, what would you prefer, your daughter to have great marks and hate you and turn to unhealthy addictive behaviors in order to numb her pain? Or is it wiser to allow her to make her mistakes where she will learn huge life long lessons, maintain a healthy relationship with you and protect her self-esteem?
3- Love her unconditionally
She needs to know that if she falls and needs a place to land and retreat, you will be there for her to feel safe and reflect. She will also understand that you will not save, fix or enable her anymore. In most cases when you do this you will empower your teenager and see a shift in her behaviour.
4- If she falls…
Tell her: “You made a mistake, yes, but you are not a mistake”. She needs to understand that her behaviour is the ‘doing’ which may have been a mistake. Empower your teenager to know that her ‘being’ is not a mistake since it is her essence and not her behaviour.
5- Ask her
a) How do you feel now, in this moment?
b) What would you like for yourself?
c) What can you do differently?
You can empower your teenager to understand her feelings and make positive decisions about her life.
How have you reacted when your teen did not have want to be responsible for their schoolwork?
To receive more support in parenting your teenagers to become empowered and responsible individuals, please contact Therapy With Carol now.