We Can’t Just “Fix” Our Teenager’s Emotions

Parenting teenagers is like being thrown into a dark room knowing that someone is throwing balls in every direction and never knowing when you’re going to get hit!

My son is a senior in high school and my daughter is a junior. There are some moments when we are all still a sweet close-knit family and laughter abounds. There are other times, usually with my daughter, that feels like a punch to the gut. The emotions seem to come out of nowhere (although I know they are deep and real). 

What I have learned is to listen. I mean really listen.  At first, I tried to “fix” it.  In my attempt to take any pain away from my child, I wanted to give her (or him) a way to solve the problem. What I have learned, however, is that usually there is no “fixing” it. It is about processing the emotions and letting them come to the conclusions they need for themselves. This takes real discipline, but it seems to help. If and when they ask me for advice, that’s another story, but I try (try being the operative word) to just listen (and give as many hugs as they’ll allow).