In this house, we have four teenagers. I remember being a teenager. Seems like it should all just jive well.
Really we do pretty good.
But here is one thing that I realized to a new degree about a year ago and that I try to keep in mind more now; always follow up on talks that end quietly.
I had assumed that some talks that ended quietly, had ended that way because we reached an understanding. Nope. My teens had thought they understood me; but they hadn’t. And the impression they left with was not at all what I meant. This misunderstanding happens the most when it comes to whatever aspect of life that teenager is dealing with. If they are stressed about school, and I talk to them about school; they are already more defensive. And they will most likely interpret what I am saying incorrectly.
There are marketing studies out there about repetition. It is something like a message has to be heard somewhere around 8 times for a person to hear it. In this house, it doesn’t always have to be 8. But, I guess the issue at hand isn’t directly being heard; it is being heard incorrectly.
Anyway, tonight I am thankful for this deeper revelation with my teens. There was a discussion just days ago, where I followed up with my teen about a half hour after our talk. And yep, it felt to my teenage kiddo like I was saying things personally negative. And that wasn’t what I meant! So we talked it out some more. And the teenage kiddo knows how much I love and support, but still am cautious about some things. It was good.