Do-Overs With Teenagers

We have raised teenagers before, and we are raising teenagers once again.  Last time, it was with 4 sons, this time, with 4 daughters. 🙂

I wish we knew THEN, what we know NOW.   I think we would have had much more to draw from, even though at that time, we were doing our best.

For our daughters, they get parents who have gone through many books and loads of training. 🙂  BUT…. our daughters have come from very different backgrounds, and we are THANKFUL for that training. Without it, we would have been lost!  And sometimes we fall back on the old familiar!

I want to describe for you today what a “do over” looked like for 2 of our sweeties yesterday.

Sweetie 4 is NOT a morning person to say the least, but on Fridays, morning comes much earlier due to co-op, and then even earlier on the last Friday of each month because Sweetie 3 volunteers down town on that day and we have to take her there before we go to  Co-Op.  That means leaving the house by 6:15 a.m.
This last Friday was “That Friday”.  🙂
I was so proud of her for getting up, but what I forgot to do was plan out breakfast ahead of time, and lunches ahead of time.   So she had the questions:
1. What you like for breakfast?
2. What should I pack for your lunch?

Even after all that training, I make big mistakes.  🙂  This kind of question in the a.m. can bring out a stress reaction in our sweetie.
So of course, her reaction was, “I’m not eating”.
Now we know that she needs to have breakfast and lunch, and snacks on a regular basis, but her response was, “I don’t want anything mom!”

So what does mom do?

“Of course you have to eat! You need protein!”
To which she said, “I’m NOT eating!”

This was an opportunity for me to ask her to try again.  First off it was spoken with a raised tone, and not in a respectful way.
So, I responded, “Whoa sweetie, let’s try your answer again!”
“I’m sorry I threw so many questions to you all at one time.”
“So let me start over, and you can start over, this time with respect.”

Since we need to eat before we leave, because we all need protein, would you like scrambled eggs for breakfast, or healthy toast?

Her response was, “I’m not eating!”

“Sweetie, let’s try again.”
“Let me see your eyes.”
“You have two choices…. scrambled eggs, or healthy toast”, which would you like to eat?
“Healthy toast mom.”
“Good choice!”
and a high five.

We went on to pack lunch and get everything done in a respectful way.
Mom needs to remember to plan better!  And responding to Sweetie 4’s dysregulation right away helped her to change her tone quickly.

Fast forward to the afternoon:
Sweetie 1 came home from school rather stressed.  She is struggling in Alegbra.
Her first reaction to a question of “how did your test go” was defensive.
Things degenerated to her being snotty.
So, after rocking for  little bit, we tried to have a talk.  She was still not ready for a real talk, as she was ashamed she is not doing well.  I expressed that I could totally understand her frustration, as I did terrible my first time in Algebra.
This time, instead of just talking, we got out the “Mom Dad and Me” books and I wrote in that book how we love her and know she is trying, but we need to find a way to work even harder to succeed.  We want her to do well!
The Mom Dad and Me book served as a buffer so she could explain how she was feeling, and express herself.  This works really well with older kids who can write.

She actually did a “do over” in writing! 🙂
And then, we reconnected after with her verbally saying, “I’m really sorry mom, I was taking my frustration about math on you. It isn’t your fault.

I see these as successes!  Both moved in the right direction, towards success!

Comments warmly welcomed!


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