This was first published on ksl.com
I have a teenager who I am struggling to have a relationship with. She is making bad choices, which is making me overly controlling, and this is driving a wedge between us. I don’t feel that she respects me and is openly rude. I want to feel closer to her, but my questioning and trying to connect just makes her angry at me. She is almost 18, so I don’t have much more time with her in my home. I really want to repair our relationship. Do you have any advice on how?
You can build a stronger, more loving and respectful relationship with your teen and have more influence on her, if you will let go of your fears and expectations, and become a safer space of love, support and respect for her.
Sometimes instead of providing guidance and leadership we just create power struggles and our relationships become full of anger, punishment and fear. When we parent from fear we tend to be overly controlling too. This type of parenting quickly makes you the enemy and pushes your child toward their friends for support.
What your child needs from you is loving leadership. This is guidance with respect and it is more about empowering and encourageing them to be successful, than forcing them to do what you want.
Think about your relationship with your friends or coworkers. If you showed up in these relationships focused on control and getting these people to be the way you want them to be, these people wouldn’t like you either. Of course parenting is different and requires stewardship, teaching and guiding, but this can be done from a place of respect and love, and you will have more influence on your child when you have a safer relationship of mutual respect.
To be a loving leader parent you must remove the fears that cause you to be controlling, angry or critical, and you must change your parenting mindset to one of support and encouragement. Here are 8 steps to help you:
You can do this.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.