You might not have tomorrow to say, “I love you.”
How many times are you upset or angry at your teens and just go to bed without telling them you love them because you are just beyond frustrated with them?
Sometimes your teen knows just what to say to get under your skin and push all the buttons that anger and upset you. The truth is, when they do this, they are upset or hurting which is why they are acting that way.
In these moments you have to step up and practice empathy. Our teens need to know they are safe and loved. They struggle with so many conflicting emotions as they grow and experience life. Sometimes, it is just too hard for them to deal with in the moment. It is in those moments they need us to tell them we love them the most. It may be hard for you to filter out the frustration and anger you are feeling, but it is your job as a parent to learn to practice empathy and make sure they know they are loved.
I am not suggesting allowing disrespect and poor behavior as an acceptable way for them to be. I am just saying that getting them to a place where you can talk about those behaviors and hand out the proper consequences is much more effective than being angry, yelling, dishing out punishment and disengaging from the situation.
Those behaviors mean something is going on with them and being empathetic and supportive will help you manage their emotions and frustrations and open up the door for communication.
Sometimes, it is alright to just let them vent and be angry and run to their room and slam the door. Give them the space they need for a few and then go check on them and tell them you love them and are there to talk when they are ready.
Empathy goes a long way, and you will never have regrets with your child, if you always tell them you love them before bed or before they leave the house.
Think about those parents who lost a child and just earlier the child left the house angry and upset. I cannot even imagine the pain and guilt that comes with that. Sadly, I have heard these stories more than once.
When we tell our kids we love them often, even in tenuous situations, they not only will appreciate the sentiment but they will model this behavior with those they love and you will have taught them a very important lesson.
CREDIT TO MARK CHERNOFF FOR THESE LESSONS – marcandangel.com