Oh, these kids!


I love my children. Beyond any words combined can explain. More than my own life. But, I have been spending a lot more time with them lately. And it has allowed me to get to know them more than I did before. I will admit, because I was working so much, and they were away at an actual physical school building, we only spent a few hours together each day during the week. If that! If they had after school activities or plans, the time together would be even less.

My daughter, Jakiya, and my two year old granddaughter, Riri!

But now, with virtual school, working from home, everything pretty much shut down, and what is open not being too safe to venture to, we are spending a lot more time together. And, oh these kids! I love them but I do not like them sometimes. And I know they do not like me at times, too. Which is completely normal and healthy. If it were anything else, I would be worried. Who gets along ALL THE TIME? Who likes everyone, all the time. πŸ˜‚ I don’t. If you do, good on you. But, I do not. And my kids and I have conversations about this often. We have family meetings often, more often than they probably like! But healthy communication is important to me. Knowing that my kids feel heard, and that they have boundaries that deserve respect, is important to me. Knowing that I am not living in a dictatorship where what I say goes and nothing else matters, is also important to me. I grew up in a home where kids did not have an opinion, a voice, or their own feelings, and it hurt. It damaged.

But, I have three teenagers living in my home at the moment. My 11 year old and I have our battles, but not like my teenagers and I. They are not only learning themselves, learning and establishing their identities in the world and amongst their peers, they are going through puberty. Some of their feelings are out of their control. Not to mention, most teenagers are like babies. They want to eat, sleep, use the bathroom, and not much else. And then, there’s their independence. 17 year old’s are so close to being 18, so close to being what society in this country deems as an adult, that they can taste it, and in turn, sometimes rush to do adult things. I have had my battles with that. And I have won most of them. WE have won them.

HOW WE WON THE BATTLE OF MISCOMMUNICATION AND CHAOS

We decided as a family to be more intentional. The words we speak, the affirmations we use, the communication skills we exercise are how we won. We won the battles because we have individually, and collectively, made the decision to do better and be better. And let me tell you, when you work, it works! When you put in the effort to make better choices, self-evaluate, and change what you need to, things will get better. When you recognize your part in the flow, or lack thereof, of things, and do your work, internally, then you can show up better, and be better in all aspects of life. And it is a beautiful thing!

Have you ever had to stop and realize that you were the problem? I had to. Have you ever taken a step back, looked at the situations is your life, and realized that you were the common denominator? It stinks, huh? But it can also be beautiful, if you let it. If you allow it to be a lesson, to shift your spirit, and change your ways, you will see the reflection in the universe. You will blossom and flourish. Your children will , too. Your relationships will, too. You will see the atmosphere shift. Good things will happen.

If similar situations keep happening, from different cities or states, relationships, or jobs, perhaps the issue is not external. You may be the issue and you may be the one that needs healing. Allow the beautiful process of self-correction to take place and take you to a higher level of living.

I also make it a point to have family meetings, or check-ins. They are not on any particular schedule, but if I notice that something we or my kids have decided to do, and we aren’t sticking to it, we get together, and we’ll talk about it. We express our feelings, why we feel it is or is not working, and shift what we need to, or buckle down and get more disciplined and focused where we need to. If my kids want to call a meeting they can. It does not have to be just on my watch.

Checking in with your kids makes them feel heard and seen, validates their feelings, and ensures that they know their boundaries, needs, and wants no only matter but are important. It is crucial that my kids know that we are a team and we all have to be healthy and well, in all four dimensions, in order for this family to flourish. And if one hurts, we all hurt. If the flow is disrupted, we all feel it. So we can all do our part, individually and collectively, to make the flow easier and smoother!

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

THREE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP and COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR KIDS, IMMEDIATELY!

  1. Use the “I” statements: Often times, we do not realize that though correcting and guiding our children is necessary, the way in which we do it can cause feelings of disappointment and shame. It is important not to, “you” your kids to death with the ,” You should, should have, can’t you, why don’t you,…” and instead, build confidence and redirect with the, “I feel,” statements. try it! ” I feel ____ when____ because_____. I would rather_______!” TRUST ME IT WORKS!

  1. The next thing is to have open and honesty dialogue with your kids as much as you can and as age appropriate as you can, about real damn life: How often do we shelter our children but use the word “protect” instead? How often do we fail our children by not telling them the truth? And I mean the truth about it ALL, from the generational curses you are breaking or have broken, to the reason their bodies do certain things and feel certain things, to race and the way this society in particular looks at people of color and why. How often do we sugar coat life and then send our children out into the world, only to realize they were ill-prepared because of our “protection?” Talk to your kids about real shit, ok! They may come across my kids one day and their worlds will be rocked and rattled if they have never faced certain truths of life.
Watch this awesome quick video about how to talk to your kids about race.
  1. Allow your children to tell you how the words you use and how you parent them, truly makes them feel: Feedback is one of the best ways to correct ourselves, and see ourselves, but we have to be open to it and not have so much pride that we cannot see the big picture. Allowing our kids to be honest about how they feel when it comes to our parenting style, not only fosters healthy communication, it builds trust, it establishes a tight bond, and builds a solid foundation for the future. It shows your kids that their well-being truly matters, and that it is not all about what you say and think. It shows your kids that they are a vital member of the family and will be highly valuable contributors to society, and that they have the right and room to always advocate for themselves.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

This time quarantined together has been eye opening and so very needed for my family. I am grateful. In the midst of chaos, came calm. In the midst of a pandemic, came healing. And in the midst of a storm, came peace.

Realize that you are the captain of your life. You make the decisions about whether or not there will be good or bad in it. You make the decisions about whether what you want will manifest or not.

PUT IN THE WORK.

I hope this helps you navigate parenthood, especially with teenagers, a bit less insanely!

Categories: MotherhoodTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 comments

  1. I really like these tips! I believe in having real conversations and getting feedback so I’ll definitely try these with my son as he gets older. The I statements are great to use in relationships with a partner too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on communicating new ways!!!πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: