Do you want happiness?
Would you love to see your teen happy and fulfilled?
Yes, of course.
But this desire can cause stress. You may feel like you “should” be happier.
For more on this check out my blog “Why you (and your teen) should give up the search for happiness” here.
The paradox is that when we give up the “search” for happiness, when we accept what we feel right now, even if it’s anger or disappointment or ungratefulness, when we practice unconditional contentment, then a natural sense of peace and joy emerges.
All of these uncomfortable emotions are on the surface, even the emotion of happiness comes and goes. And below the surface, below the storms of emotions that come and go, is a great ocean of peace and unconditional love.
So, here’s three ways mindfulness makes you (and your teen) happy:
Mindfulness is a practice of loving what is. Not trying to control or change things in this moment. Accepting 100% where a person is at and how things are in your life and in theirs.
It’s a practice of presence. Of forgiving and letting go any past mistakes and focusing on this moment.
It’s about letting go of the story about how things “should” be. Of how you or your teen “should” act, say, do, or feel.
But what if someone is acting dangerously or speaking viciously? Isn’t it OK to want change?
Forgiveness is not about condoning another’s words or actions. Acceptance of things in this moment doesn’t mean you don’t desire things to change in the future.
The serenity prayer says it perfectly…
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Do you desire a closer relationship with your teen?
Most mothers do and one of the biggest challenges during the phase of adolescence is that teens push away and don’t want to spend as much time with you.
This is a healthy way to develop independence. They still need you yet they push away. In this phase it’s important for them to have other adults they can develop close relationships with so that other teens don’t become their only influencers and advisors.
That being said, mindfulness can help you maintain a close relationship with your teen through this time.
The key here is mindful listening. Teens, more than anything, want to be listened to. They know everything right (!!!) so they don’t feel they need your advice. If you tell them to do something, they’ll probably do the opposite!!!
To listen with complete presence, without judging, trivialising, or over-dramatising builds trust. If they feel listened to they feel respected and will return this respect.
Being mindful and aware of your own emotional state means that you can express how you feel without advice giving or being perceived as controlling (the number one way to alienate your teen!!!).
“Don’t do this” or “don’t do that” will be met with defensiveness.
“I feel scared and worried because I think this could happen to you and I love you and want you to be safe. What strategies can we put in place to keep you safe?”… this kind of conversation… while honestly listening to their perspective… will result in a deeper and more trusting connection…
Stress leads to bad decisions.
Anger leads to regret.
When you practice mindfulness you have more clarity about the best way forward. You’ve totally accepted where you are right now. You’ve acknowledged and listened to your teen’s feelings and your own.
I don’t have the answers. My suggestions above about what to say might not work for you.
You need to be able to act from a place of calm and clarity in the “heat” of the moment. You can’t always come prepared with the right words. Peace always leads to the best outcome.
In any given moment or situation, you can silently ask that love guides your words and actions.
To be able to do this takes daily practice and commitment.
Without a daily mindfulness practice you are more easily triggered into fear, stress, and anger.
A daily mindfulness practice is more easily implemented when you are part of a group process.
The Mindful Mums program supports you to develop this practice. You will be inspired by this group of amazing Mums sharing each others’ successes and challenges in our private FB group. You will be gently encouraged through email contact with me.
I guarantee that if you commit to the daily practice (30 minutes) I teach throughout the free 5 day Mindful Mums program, your relationship with your teen will transform.
Click HERE to sign up.