Are You This Parent?

I just met with a 16-year-old young woman. She comes from a great home with parents who still love one another and their children. With her permission, I share the following.

She asked me a question: “How do I communicate with my parents in a respectful way while also honoring what I need?”

She proceeded to explain that the conflict between her and her parents is often met with phrases like, “I’m the parent. I have more experience. You need to respect me.”

She described feeling caged in. As the last child at home, she said she feels alone and like she is “doing this by herself.”

Her desire is to communicate her feelings and thoughts about different things and to be heard and validated. She also wants to respect her parents.

My heart went out to her. I have been that parent. I have been that parent that believed I knew exactly what my child needed. I have been that parent that believed I needed to have all of the answers for my children…and that meant they weren’t capable of figuring out their emotional needs. I would solve it. I would stop the uncomfortableness from even happening.

I have been that parent who was determined to “have it all figured out” because then that meant I was good enough.

Value. Identity.

The very thing I wanted (validation that I was good enough) would never, ever happen because VALUE CAN’T CHANGE.

I wish I could tell these parents who are really trying their best that:

  • their value can’t increase or decrease because of what their children do or don’t do;
  • they have a chance to do better with their last child than they may think they did with their other children;
  • their personal pain from their life’s experiences may be driving their responses to their daughter;
  • their daughter is really trying to communicate better and help things go better

My client asked me again, “How do I communicate with my parents in a respectful way while also honoring what I need?”

After guiding her through understanding more about what her dad specifically may believe about himself because of some of his life experiences, I asked her what she thought now.

“My dad probably feels like he’s not good enough. His responses to me may be a reflection of it.”

I asked, “And what do you want to do this next week with this understanding?”

“Remember that my dad may think he isn’t good enough; his responses are his responsibility; I will be empathetic with him and honor me; his responses may have more to do with what he thinks about himself and less to do with me.”

We ended the call. And I marveled at what had just happened. How I wish I had understood this years ago. And how grateful and humbled I feel to be able to guide youth to see what their parents may be experiencing.

Let’s end the “cancel” parents culture. Let’s seek to understand one another. Let’s get curious about what is really going on.

Child, youth, adult. Let’s do it together. We’re not alone.

It matters!

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Coach Mandy-Marie

Face, Replace, Embrace

Let's do this!

Hi!
I'm Coach Mandy-Marie

In 2010, I was overwhelmed with depression and stressed about what the future held. I knew there HAD to be answers.

I found them. These answers became solutions to facing my fears, replacing self-sabotage, and embracing my worth that have set me free to move through personal and parenting challenges. I’ve been teaching these solutions to clients for 10 years.

I want the same for you! 

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