Parents, Give Your Teenager Freedom from YOU

After coaching my son’s basketball game today, he wanted to ride home with my wife.  We had drove separately to the game and he was not in a good mood after this big loss.  My wife and I decided to have him drive home with me so that he and I could talk.  Plus, if he was mad with me, we could solve it during the ride. 

Since he didn’t want to talk and he didn’t want to ride with me, what was I going to accomplish by "making him ride with me" other than showing him I could MAKE do it?  After all, he is 12 years old and appreciates a little space.  Within 30 seconds of driving, I pulled over and let him go home with my wife.  Why?  He deserves to have his wishes respected, especially a request that was of no harm to anyone.

If my EGO couldn’t take him not wanting to be with me at the time, the problem was my EGO (not him).  He drove home with my wife.  After we had been home for a little while, I came into the Family Room where he was watching the NFL playoffs.  Since he was relaxed, I chose this time to talk.  His time.  Our conversation was very productive and ended with smiles.

Today’s moments reminded me of one of the Golden Rules we share in the Help! My Teen is Dating DVD and Book Set: talk on your child’s time.  Show him/her respect and your child is much more likely to show some back.  While showing patience as a parent is not always easy, the rewards are worth the wait!

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