As a therapist and parenting coach for moms of teens and preteens, I often hear parents express their frustrations when it comes to communicating with their children. It can be challenging to navigate this stage of parenting, especially when emotions run high. The good news is, you don't have to do it alone.
One of the most effective tools I recommend to parents is mastering the pause. So often in life, we are hijacked by our emotions. They take over and we react. This is especially true when it comes to parenting. When our teens push our buttons, it's easy to react impulsively, without considering the long-term consequences of our actions.
That's where mastering the pause comes in. When we pause, we take a moment to collect ourselves and think about how we want to respond. We can choose to respond from a place of calm and intention, rather than reacting from a place of anger or frustration.
Taking a breath and pausing allows us to create space for ourselves. It gives us a moment to assess the situation and think about how we want to show up in the next minute. It allows us to choose our response, rather than simply reacting.
The benefits of mastering the pause are numerous. By taking a moment to pause, we can:
But, like any new habit, mastering the pause takes practice. It's not always easy to pause in the moment, especially when our emotions are running high. That's why I recommend starting small.
Choose one situation each day where you can practice the pause. Maybe it's when your teen talks back or when they don't follow through on a chore. Whatever the situation, take a moment to pause and collect yourself before responding.
With practice, you'll find that pausing becomes easier and more natural. You'll begin to notice a shift in your interactions with your teen. You'll feel more in control, and your relationships with your children will become stronger.
If you're struggling to navigate the challenges of parenting a teen or preteen, I'm here to help. As a therapist and parenting coach, I work with parents to develop healthy communication skills, set boundaries, and create stronger relationships with their children. Together, we can work to master the pause and create a more positive parenting experience for both you and your children.
Remember, you don't have to do this alone. With practice and support, you can become the calm, intentional parent you want to be.