- Have your teens actually name their feelings
- You’ve got to validate their feelings
- Some of the biggest things your kids are dealing with right now (during COVID-19 Crisis) is disappointment and limitations
- This is a chance to help our teams grow
Hi friends. Let’s see, it is Thursday and today on our, let’s talk, I’m with Susie Miller. We’re going to be talking about parenting teens in this Corona crisis. I made some notes here based on some questions I got. I want to cover a couple of things. Yesterday we talked a lot about kids and it was longer than I thought it would be, but hopefully it gave you some great value that you can use. Please share these if they give you value so other people can get them. So like I said, learning all this technology and figuring out where to share what, but I wanted to talk to you today about parenting teens in this Corona crisis because teens have really been hit hard with actually disappointment. I would say disappointment more than anything else and struggle and frustration. And so you may be noticing that your teens are a little bit more tense or truculent or terse.
Hey, how about that? For three teas, they might just be, you know, more surly, more removed. They may be more explosive, they may be acting out a little bit more, they may be more solid, they may be sticking in their rooms, they may not be smiling at all. That could be what your teen is like. Alternatively, your team could be bouncing off the walls, looking for activities in your, in your stuff all the time, wanting you to interact with them, wanting some help, wanting to talk, wanting, you know, all the things that they wanted when they were younger. And you’re kind of like, I don’t know what to do with this team. Most of what I’m hearing is teens who are kind of more withdrawn but in either place, part of what’s happening for your teens is a level of feelings and disappointment and frustration and fear that they don’t know how to name.
Okay. Think about what you’re feeling. Think about all the weight of everything that’s going on for you. All of the kind of anxiety that’s back here in your head. All of that is going on for your teens too. And they do not have the brain maturity to deal with it as well. They’re still coming into abstract thinking. As they get older, that’s when that part of their brain developed. So there tend to be more black and white and then there’s the whole hormone thing. They’re just you know, one big bundle of hormones and emotions and so they don’t actually have the same kind of control over their emotions and their feelings and their faculties as as we do as adults. And so, hi Jan, I’m so glad you’re here. And so one of the things I want to talk about with you is what to do to help them in this place.
So one of the first things you’re going to do, one of the same things I tell adults to do is help them name their feelings. Sit them down to the time when there’s not, I’m sorry, I’m chuckling cause my coffee makers being really loud in the background. Total ATD moment. Oh my goodness. Okay. Back it up again. Alright. Your teens, they’re struggling with their feelings and they don’t know how to name them. So one of the things you can do is help them name them. There is a feelings wheel. I will try to post a picture of it below. I’m actually, let me say this up front and I’ll say it at the end. There’s a resource I’m gonna share in the comments from my friend Mona Corwin who talks about has ways to talk to all your kids’ ages about coronavirus and help them with their feelings.
I will post a feelings wheel and I just found out about my friend Kent. Julianne is doing this incredible program for teens that’s kind of like a pay what you can. I think the lowest is $5, and I will post that later today. Those are two great resources that I think could really help. So be looking for those in my on this page and I’ll, I’ll post those later today. But let’s go back to what you can do while you’re waiting for those resources or right now in this very moment is you can name help your teens name their feelings. So get out of feelings word if you know Google it or look at a feelings document and say, Hey, what are these things that you’re feeling? Nothing. Okay. Just in the tone of voice that you said, nothing tells me you’re feeling something and you could let them know, Hey, we’re just gonna do this exercise because I want to help you get from where you are to a place where you’re more settled and our home can be more settled because I mean, teenagers can really kind of change the trajectory of a home with their hormones and their attitudes and they can cause issues with you and your spouse as well.
And we’ll cover that at the end here. But what you can just have them name their feelings. What are you feeling, you know, and no feelings your bad. Do that exercise that we’ve talked about. You know, they’re feeling angry, disappointed, frustrated. And here’s the thing I want you to do in those places, mamas and dads is validate their feelings. Of course you feel that way. Of course, that makes sense. You know, of course you’re struggling. Validate what they’re feeling because what we tend to want to do as moms and dads is fix it well. If you’re feeling angry, well or disappointed, well I know you know, what about if we do this or how about if you shift over here and before you can do that, you’ve got to name their field. You’ve got to validate their feelings. I remember one day our son came home from school and he’s very outgoing, very gregarious, and he said, I don’t have any friends.
And my very first response was, yes you do. Of course you do. And I started naming his friends totally blew that conversation. He was telling me about a feeling he had. I don’t have any friends, was something had happened at school. Something had happened in one of his conversations where he was feeling like he didn’t have friends. And so our first job is to help them name their feelings and then validate their feelings, validate their feelings so that they feel heard. You don’t have to agree with them. And one of the biggest things teens are dealing with right now is disappointment and limitations. And in their world, they’ve not had to deal with these things. And so part of what we’re helping them do is learn these new skills of, of talking about their feelings of dealing with disappointment, of being willing to be uncomfortable in this place of boredom or you know, not having friends around, no distractions, kind of the things that keep them and us to be quite honest going all that’s kind of been pushed aside and now we have to help them navigate what’s going on inside of them.
This is a chance to help our teams grow and in skills and people skills and emotional intelligence in relationship intelligence. And so, you know, sit down and have that hard conversation. Let me set you up for success. No teen is going to thank you for doing this. None of your teachers would be like, mom, thanks for helping me grow. No, no, no, no. That’s not going to happen. So you’ve gotta be willing to kind of take the bull by the horns and say, I’m doing this as your mom or your dad to help you as your parent to help you grow. And so we’re going to have this conversation. You’re going to have to be in it for 15 minutes, set the timer, and then let them go. And you know if they’re not able to name their feelings, you may have to name them for, give them clues to name them for them, if that makes sense.
So, gosh, if my graduation was canceled, I would be feeling if I was stuck in the house, you know, I imagine you’re feeling XYZ. I’m wondering if possibly you might be you know, sad, disappointed, frustrated, exasperated. Give them some words, look up some feeling words together because your sister is always in your grill. Or you might even be annoyed with me because I’m giving you chores. Like get them out. Name the feelings for them. Give them context that will, whether they let you know it or not, who it will bring relief to them because they will feel seen, known and heard. And that’s a need inside of them, whether they’re naming it or not. So that’s the first thing you can do. The second thing you can do, and this is really important, is I, we talked about this for us, you know, negotiate their needs.
Ask them what do they think they need now they’re going to go, I need to play screen time all the time. And you can’t, you can say, no, no, no, that’s a want. You know, I need my brother to not be in my stuff. That’s a need. Okay, we can, we can draw some boundaries. Wasn’t brothers and sisters, but I need to not play or be with or entertain my siblings. No, that’s a want the family has needs, but let them get out their needs. I need friend time. I need, you know, this FaceTime with this person or I need solitude or I need some time. I need help with my homework. I mean I need let them talk about those things. Write them all down, each one on a separate posted note and then look at where they can have a win. Okay.
If you really want or need some time with your friends. How about we designate, you know, this chunk of time where you can just be on your video games with your friends. They’re learning skills. You don’t even need to worry about that. You know, how about we navigate this time where you’re alone in your room and you’re getting to read or do your homework or focus. You know, we as a family need you to help with your siblings over here. And so that’s part of one of the things you’re going to have to do. And I know that’s not a need for you, sweet son or daughter, but we as a family have this need. And remember we’re all in this together. We’re in team Cresco, we’re on team Baker. This is the, this is where on teams at telly, this is what our team, our family needs at this time.
But if they get a chance to have some power and some control and some sense of yeah, control over what they get to do, then they’re going to feel more empowered, more enabled or equipped. You don’t want to enable to get through the day. You guys know what I mean? But I want to say it this way. So now map it out. Get their input on what’s a schedule look like. If your team’s like, well, I want to get up at noon and go to bed at 3:00 AM feel free to say no. Say, how do I navigate your needs and the family needs? But you could sleep till nine, you know, and then we have family time for maybe seven to nine twice a week. You don’t have to entertain your kids and have family activities every night of the week because of this Corona crisis.
You could have a normal night where they go to their rooms, you have time with your husband or you sit and watch TV and just check out. Or you read a book together or you get your alone time. This is not entertainment, vacation time. This is how do we navigate this well with what our family needs at this time. So you know, have them help with the structure of your day, of their day. Help them. You know, what do you think this, how do you think this would work in our family? This is what I need as a mom. This is what your dad needs. This is what our family needs. Tell me how you think you could fit into this. Tell me where you think you could help structure your day to be part of the family, but also get your needs met. When teens get involved in the planning and the teens get involved in the, you know, kind of mapping out their lives, they’re going to have more buy in.
We’re all that way. Their first answer is going to be, Oh no, Oh no and you’re going to pause and go, okay great answer first time. But I think you do know and if you’re willing to like give them time to, you know, take it back to your room, think about it, come back. We’ll talk about in a few minutes and you know, a few hours. Cause remember some people process at different times of the like some people process quickly and can tell you right then, Hey here’s how my, that could work. Other people need to go back and think about it cause they’re internal processors. But invite your team to be part of the discussion and part of the planning of their day. This is the thing I learned with my teens early on and this was another lesson from my, Oh so wise mama.
And that was what can you let go? I love a made bed. I love a neat room. My kids, I was not on their radar screen. So our deal was they had to change their sheets and make their bed at least once a week. But otherwise I had to pull the door shut because I didn’t want to go by their house, their house. I didn’t want to go by their room in our house and see the mess. So they pulled their door shut. That was a, that was an argument I gave up. So especially now, what can you, what arguments, what standards can you give up on? What can you lower and not, not what’s, what’s the word? It’s not lower and give up and like, Oh well maybe it is a win for them and let them know that like, I’m letting you do this because that’s important to you.
I can let go of a of a bed being made every day in your room. You know, let’s negotiate. So what can you let go of? Where can they have a few wins? That’s really important. Okay, so we’re going to help them name their feelings. We’re going to help them kind of negotiate what they need with respect to the family. And then the last thing I want to talk about, and this was a question that came in, was what do we do when it escalates? When my spouse things, one thing, when I think another thing, when my team thinks another and we’re having a discussion and it escalates into an explosion, okay, of course it’s going to, there’s hormones, there’s hot heads, there’s all kinds of hassles. There’s just the weight of the world on us. And so we’re all a little bit, got a shorter fuse.
And so when that happens in the moment, I want to invite you to throw a penalty flag just like in football or call a time out like they do in baseball and stop the game, stop the conversation and go, okay everybody there corners. We’re just stopping dead. Stop. Full stop. Penalty flag with football, the whistle blows, the flag goes down, everything stops. And if you have that in your mind and you set that up, you know, make yourself a penalty flag and say, I’m throwing the penalty flag. We are not doing this to each other. Honey, you go over there, I’m going over here child, you go up to your room, we will regroup. Okay, we’ve got to stop that escalation in the moment cause otherwise it gets ugly and just say that, just name it. This is getting out of hand. I’m calling it.
So that’s one tip for in the moment. If you’re having a lot of discussions that are tough, there’s things that you need to do ahead of time to get you ready. Have the conversation with your spouse, let them know what we just talked about. Have them. Watch this video. Ask them what do they need from your child, their child. It’s funny how when our kids misbehave, it’s their child or my child. I say to John often, your son, your daughter needs to do this. Ask them your spouse. What do they need from this teenager to help them feel respected, to help help them feel like their, their teen is part of the family plan. Get them involved in the conversation separate from the teen and then bring that to the family discussion of, okay teenager, we need to talk about what we’re doing because you are an active involved member of this family.
You are too big for me to carry from place to place and make you listen. But you still are required to be respectful and listen to and kind of obey the rules. Have that conversation with your spouse and bring that together as a unit to the team. Your dad and I need this from you, your dad and I and let them, you know, lay out their things that they would like to negotiate and give them a couple of wins plan ahead of time. What are our non-negotiables? If our non-negotiable is they’ve got to watch our brother during time when both of us are working, let them have a bunch of wins and make that a non negotiable. You’re teaching them skills. Okay? This is not easy for any of us. It’s not easy parenting a teen when there’s not this Corona crisis going on. But I will say this, as we close, there are things that your teens are going through that they can’t name in general based on hormones.
And so everything’s escalated in this time. There’s even more on them and the more you can help them get out, if your team’s not talker, do a creative project with them. Or one night, one time when Zach was struggling with something, we went outside and just threw the football back and forth. One thing that we did then, that was a huge tip. As we changed places, I said to him, okay, you make my argument for me and I’ll make your argument for you. You can try that. That’s a huge tip with teens, but whatever you do, remember they’re mostly just toddlers and big bodies and they’re struggling like you are. So if you can remember them being sweet and cute and cuddly when they were having tantrums and think about them that way, it will help. It will help you kind of gain a different perspective and be maybe be a little more patient with your teen and you know what mom is.
Here’s the thing, you’re going to blow it, they’re going to blow it and it’s okay. Learn to go back and say, Hey, I’m sorry. Teach them to say I’m sorry. Come back together. Remind them that you love them, ganglia hormones and all and that you’re going to get through this together. So those are some tips for today. If you have questions or more, you know, areas you want me to cover, pop it in the comments, put it in a PMT me. If you want it to be private check back later today. I will have some resources for you. I just found out about a couple that I was researching as this parenting team question came up again since yesterday. So I will have a few resources for you on this page for you to check out and use as well. I’m so glad you’ve joined me. Thank you, Kim. Thank you, Michelle. Thank you, Melissa. Thank you, Jen. Thank you, Karen. Thank you, Mona. Thank you all for watching and joining me. Share this. If you think it will help somebody be sure to tag me and again, if you have questions, if I can serve you in any way, please, please, please reach out to me and let me know what I can cover in these lives. And I will see you tomorrow. 12 noon Eastern time. Have a great day.