10-31-2019 11:54 AM - last edited on 01-29-2020 09:41 AM by Jess1-RO
Ask a Child and Family Professional
Question: How do I respond to my daughter not wanting to live at home?
It can be confusing and hurtful when your teen is saying she doesn’t want to live with you anymore. Just understanding she is going through the adolescent stage of development can be helpful for you in managing this time of life.
Teens are searching for their identity and wanting independence and part of this entails pushing back and wanting more control over their life. Teens need to be heard and understood, they need more lee-way, to be able to negotiate what they want. Letting go of control can be really scary for parents but the fact is the harder you fight to control them, the harder they will probably push against you. Letting go of control doesn’t mean you are giving up or that you can’t put boundaries in place. It just means let go of what you don’t have control over and that is your teen’s behaviour.
So what do you have control over? You have control over you and creating an environment that may help your daughter want to stay at home. You could begin by listening more, really listening, she is trying to tell you something. It is helpful to summarise and reflect back what you think you are hearing in order to clarify that you are truly understanding her. You can also validate her feelings and perspective, this doesn’t mean you agree it means you are hearing how this is for her. With this understanding she is likely to be less defensive, calmer and more open. Then you can problem solve together. With this collaborative approach she will begin to feel she has more control over her life. This approach models effective communication and problem solving skills. It replaces control with building connection and therefore the potential to influence.
Some things to consider as a parent…
JM, Child and Family Professional at The Benevolent Society
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