Bad dating choices
Stay in your box—don’t let your anxiety cause you to jump into your child’s box.
Observe, think and change your contribution to any negative patterns in your relationship.
As a family therapist, over the years many parents have come to me and said, “My child has so much going for him, but he’s just throwing his life away. ” I’ll never forget the mother who said in exasperation one day, “Sometimes I just want to superglue my daughter to the chair until she gets out of her teen years!
Why is he making terrible choices with his life when he has so much potential?
And if it is, exactly what am I supposed to do with a teen who refuses help?
” When the pain of watching your child toss opportunities out the window becomes overwhelming, it’s natural to try harder to control them or throw your hands up in despair.
What can you do if your adolescent is making bad choices?I think it’s really about saying, “I’m on your side, I’m on your team, we love you and we care about you.We don’t like the choices you’re making and this is how we are going to stop enabling you.” If you have very strong, clear boundaries that you maintain around what you will and won’t do for your child, that’s different than constantly trying to figure out how to control or change him.When you’re calmer, you will be able to think more effectively about the best way to guide and lead—and not control—your adolescent.Guiding and leading requires you to change your behaviors as a parent instead of trying to get your adolescent to change his.
The good news is that you have the power to influence your child’s decisions by taking control of yourself—and not your teen.