I was working with a young 17 year old girl with depression and a history of self-harming and she taught me such a valuable lesson in parenting that I want to share with as many parents as possible.
"My mum just doesn't get it. She always wants to fix me and tell me what to do to fix my problems. But sometimes she can't fix them. I just need to work them out from myself. Sometimes I don't need her to try and fix me or tell me what I am doing wrong. Sometimes I just want her to love me, cuddle me, sit on the bed together and watch a movie and say nothing....But she just doesn't get it."
WOW! What an eye opener that was for me. Now I don't have girls, but I certainly remember being a teenage girl and I remember my mum doing the same thing.
This is because as parents, we take on this 'fixer' role with our kids. We want to take away their pain. We want to help them and get them to the other side of our struggles. But sometimes we need to recognise that helping them to work through things themselves by just being there is just as valuable to them.
Sometimes they just need their soft place to fall and maybe even the place where they can get away from their problems.
How frustrating is it for women when they often try talking to a male and they don't listen. They just try and fix things. Women often feel unheard, not validated and unloved. This is often what parents unknowingly do for their kids too.
Teenagers are naturally trying to find their independence, so perhaps begin to ask your teenager what they need from you when they're experiencing something difficult. Perhaps ask them if they want your help to find the solution? That way you are giving them exactly what they need.
Remember that their problems do not mean their life is going wrong. It is simply an experience they are learning from and sometimes the experience is exactly what they need for their personal development.
Work WITH your child, not FOR them.
Letting your children find their wings...