Before you react or respond to your child. Ask yourself, what does my child need from me at this moment? Don't make it about YOU. When you make it about you, it is a missed opportunity with your child and what you have relayed to them is what they're saying doesn't matter and it is not a safe place to talk.
Remember, at a later date or time you can address what you would like but at that moment you DON’T have to. Also, remember you don't have to nor can you always fix everything. Sometimes your child may be hurt or disappointed and they may just need time to heal or process the matter.
Here is what NOT to say
- What do you know about a hard life, you have it good.
- You only have to go to school. How hard is that?
- My life was so much harder compared to yours
- Just pray about it
- This is just a phase
- You teens today are always making something out of nothing
- There are just words why it bothers you so much
- You are so sensitive
- Who cares what other people think
- This must be because of the friends your hanging out with
- I told you those girls/boys were trouble
- That’s what you get for thinking you're grown
Here is WHAT TO SAY
- I can see how that could hurt/upset/anger you
- It can be tough to lose friends
- Words can hurt
- It sounds like school has been challenging for you
- I’m sorry that happened to you
- I can't imagine how that feels
- It’s okay to be sad and cry about it
- I hear you're saying that bothered you
- Would you like to pray about it together
- I’m hearing you say that you and your friends aren't getting along. Maybe just give it some time and some space
- I can tell you liked that person. I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out as you planned.
-Shareela Allen, LCSW