“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates

Are you a parent that suffers from a ‘god-complex’: So stubborn to admit the possibility of your faults or failure? Acting so arrogantly that you completely ignore your teen’s feelings and tend to make the mistake that you know what it’s like to be a modern teenager? Pretending to always know best even when you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about? Does this sound familiar to you? Well, then brace yourself because I’m about to burst your bubble! And it might not be a soft landing!

A close relationship with your teen starts with a paradigm shift when our children hits puberty, because oh boy, teenage years are a completely different ballgame! You fool yourself by thinking that nothing will change when your child becomes a teenager. BIG mistake, because it will be something you have never experienced before!

And with three teens in the house, I can so relate to that! Even though I miss the god-complex factor, that doesn’t mean big teen problems skipped our house! My youngest teenager challenged my parenting skills to the max by testing my authority over and over again. The hormonal periods were like mood swing battlefields and as she had no interest in school, me making her do her schoolwork changed into big power struggles. Sadly enough all this resulted at some point into a huge physical fight.

When the dust settled, I felt like a failure, was confused and didn’t understand where things went wrong. I felt frustrated -my youngest baby I carried for nine months and nurtured for so many years- suddenly turned into an enemy. It broke my heart and I promised myself that this would never occur again. No matter how mean or rebellious she would be.

Keeping this promise was hard work though! Many times I was about to react on her behavior and ready to argue with her.  But I forced myself to take a few deep breaths and instead leave the scene to address the issue later. I had to adjust my mindset drastically as my old way of thinking about positive parenting didn’t work with her. To me there was only one way to deal with this situation: Educating myself and putting what I’ve learned in practice.

Why is self-growth and self-education so important?

Never underestimate the power of learning, getting new insights and newly acquired knowledge. It can improve the quality of your life and relationship with your children and even though you haven’t thought about learning new skills, I’d like to share three reasons with you why you should never stop learning.

1. It boosts confidence

In case of a conflict with your teen, you will have the confidence to know there are different options on how to react on your teen’s behavior. Very often we tap into old thinking patterns and methods over and over again with exactly the same outcome. You get to know for example which battles are worth the fight and which ones will cost too much wasted energy. By reading books, finding online information or even asking good friends for advice you can create more harmony within your family.

2. You will become happier

Self reflection is the key to growth and people who are willing to keep on learning are able to transform their lives and become more successful with their families. There is nothing more fulfilling than achieving your goals like having an awesome relationship with your teen.

3. You will be a great teacher

Teaching your child about life doesn’t stop when they become a teenager. They won’t admit it, but this is the period where they need your advice and guidance more than ever and there’s no better feeling than when you feel useful. The best way to learn your new skills is teaching others, like your child, what you’ve learned. Not only will it affect them, but they also in turn will teach others.

They say that when you stop learning, you stop growing and as a parent you have the responsibility to walk alongside your child in this turbulent and difficult period. We can give them a solid foundation to grow on and it is rewarding to help them establish the right goals in life. Our teens often face a lot of worry, and knowing that you are willing to learn can help them to feel safe and grounded as they move on to their next chapter in life. I patiently worked hard on my new skills and it paid off. My relationship with my youngest teenager has grown ever since.

Well, this is my take on having a close and fulfilling relationship with your teen and please leave a comment to share your thoughts with us.

Let’s spread the #familyspirit!