I used to be one of them; a self-centered, sometimes ornery, disrespectful and challenging teenager! I’m not saying that I am proud of my behaviour of over 30 years ago…it was what it was! Having my own experiences to base my parenting on, it stands to reason that my expectations would be that my teenagers would behave in the same way, right?

I can’t tell you the number of parents who have kindly shared their empathetic compassion with me by saying things like, “Wow, that must be hard.” or “Best of luck, I’ve been there and I know it’s tough, but you’ll get through it.”, when I told them that I have not one, but two teenagers!

Knowing what I know now, I genuinely return the sentiments of empathy and compassion while watching the perplexed looks on their faces as I share with them how I love this time in my life as a parent and how much fun and great it is having teenagers!

Confused? Well it all started with reading a book by Wayne Dyer, one of my favourite authors, called, ‘You’ll See it when you Believe it’. It opened my eyes to insights that have made an incredible difference in my life.

Fortunately, Dr. Dyer’s words resonated with me before my kids had reached teenage hood, which gave my right brain time to absorb this different paradigm of thinking.

The perception is that old habits are hard to break, but my left brain decided to come along for the ride and it finally sunk in that I will in fact see what I choose to believe that I will see, when I actually believe that I will!

I thought of the example of how one person can see another or situation negatively and someone else positively; the situation or person didn’t change, just the perspective of the observer, not unlike the theory of the glass half empty or half full.

I have always been a glass half full kind of girl, so I chose to change my expectations towards this almost unanimously viewed dark period and off I went into my teenage parenting journey, believing with all my heart that my kids did not have to be the teenager I was.

There was, however, a little more to it than this that enabled me to find the joy in parenting teens…my own personal work of becoming aware of and taking responsibility for my half of the relationship by clearing away my issues regarding control as well as my angers, fears and disappointments.

No matter what stage we are at, it’s never too late! We can disengage from the drama, even if we’re smack in the middle of those years between 13 and 19 …once we believe it…then we’ll see it…and in the middle of it all there is joy,
The Journey Of Yourself!

Author's Bio: 

A reaction, a look or a phrase, and we catch ourselves, “I’ve turned into my mom/dad!” Jo-Anne Cutler is no exception. Once she became aware of this and the impact her words and reactions had on her kids, she made a conscious choice to change. Jo-Anne knew that if she could do it, anyone could! She now builds awareness for others as an author, speaker and coach, offering phone sessions, audio programs as well as a monthly newsletter inspiring others on how to keep all the great things we’ve learned from our parents while breaking the cycle of the not so good habits. For more information or to contact Jo-Anne directly, please visit http://www.jcconnections.ca