I have two teenagers in my home. Some days are great and I feel I’m ‘nailing it’ as a parent, and other days, not so much. This year I am experiencing one teenager completing the HSC, a world-wide pandemic, which has meant my husband has had to change jobs, and the juggle between remote learning and face-to-face teaching! All of which make it feel that the days of ‘failing it’ often seem to outweigh the days of ‘nailing it’.
My work days are also filled with teenagers who are trying their best to juggle school, home life and pandemic situations. The world seems to be constantly changing and I have found myself asking, ‘How do I help these teenagers in my life? When do I ‘push’ them a bit and give some ‘tough love’ and when do I just be there for them, listen and comfort them?’
While scrolling through Facebook, I came across a blog article on co-regulation. The phrase that grabbed my attention was, “At every stage of development and into adulthood, there are times when emotions are completely overwhelming and we need support and calming from another person”. The author, The Therapist Parent, goes on to explain that co-regulation is not only about attaching with your baby, or how trauma may affect a child’s ability to regulate their emotions, but it is life-long and needed in every stage of development. She outlines 5 steps to assist us in helping our children and teenagers when they are overwhelmed and need a warm, calm response. You can read the blog here. The Therapist Parent website and Facebook page offer practical skills and strategies and is a great source of reference for useful tips.
Another useful website I found was Hey Sigmund. This has numerous articles on parenting and many other helpful issues. I haven’t read them all, but I did find the one on Parenting an Adolescent: 11 Insights that will make a difference very useful. I especially found this quote at the end of the article very relevant. I couldn’t sum it up any better!
“As you continue to navigate your teen through adolescence, know that whatever you’re experiencing, you’re not alone. Your relationship with your teen won’t be the same when you both come out of it as it was when you both went into it, but that’s the thing about adolescence – they’ll learn from you, you’ll learn from them, and at the end of it all, two different people will emerge. By understanding the changes and by being a strong, nurturing, loving presence, your teen will thrive and the adult that emerges will be an amazing one.”
Be encouraged as you continue on your parenting journey and please reach out to us if we can assist you in any way.
Senior School Support Coordinator