As a Mum myself and having been a single Mum for over 10 years. This resonates on so many levels.
It's not easy and as parents we are all trying to find our way, the best way, the right way. There is no perfect way, I think it's about finding the right way for you and your child and your family. Each child, each parent has travelled a different path, has different family dynamics. But one thing I do know is that LOVE, is the best connection of all - To love and be loved, is the healing of the heart.
As a therapist and working with children and young people and families for many, many years, and now through my chocolate therapy it has given me an insight into lots of different family dynamics and challenges. I'm not here to preach! I hope to guide and support. To show a different way, to find your way. No-one is a better parent to the next. It's a roller-coaster, with the ups and downs.
We have all been a child and travelled that path as a teenager but remember your child's journey is not your journey.
Stand beside them and gently guide them.
Let them be, let them make mistakes, they are not ours to control.
They will go, but they will come back. Keep holding on. Through the madness and the chaos, your love and strength will be theirs.
You may not see it at the time, but they will feel it and sense it.
"Our Children must not work for our LOVE, they must rest in it"
Dr Gordon Neufield
The Letter Your Teenager Can’t write!
AUTHER- Gretchen Schmeizer.
This is the letter that I wish I could write.
This fight we are in right now. I need it. I need this fight. I can’t tell you this because I don’t have the language for it and it wouldn’t make sense anyway. But I need this fight. Badly. I need to hate you right now and I need you to survive it. I need you to survive my hating you and you hating me. I need this fight even though I hate it too. It doesn’t matter what this fight is even about: curfew, homework, laundry, my messy room, going out, staying in, leaving, not leaving, boyfriend, girlfriend, no friends, bad friends. It doesn’t matter. I need to fight you on it and I need you to fight me back.
I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in. I used to know who I was, who you were, who we were. But right now I don’t. Right now I am looking for my edges and I can sometimes only find them when I am pulling on you. When I push everything I used to know to its edge. Then I feel like I exist and for a minute I can breathe. I know you long for the sweeter kid that I was. I know this because I long for that kid too, and some of that longing is what is so painful for me right now.
I need this fight and I need to see that no matter how bad or big my feelings are—they won’t destroy you or me. I need you to love me even at my worst, even when it looks like I don’t love you. I need you to love yourself and me for the both of us right now. I know it sucks to be disliked and labelled the bad guy. I feel the same way on the inside, but I need you to tolerate it and get other grownups to help you. Because I can’t right now. If you want to get all of your grown-up friends together and have a ‘surviving-your-teen
ager-support-group-rage-fest’ that’s fine with me. Or talk about me behind my back–I don’t care. Just don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on this fight. I need it.
This is the fight that will teach me that my shadow is not bigger than my light. This is the fight that will teach me that bad feelings don’t mean the end of a relationship. This is the fight that will teach me how to listen to myself, even when it might disappoint others.
And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.
I know there is nothing inherently satisfying in this job for you. I know I will likely never thank you for it or even acknowledge your side of it. In fact I will probably criticize you for all this hard work. It will seem like nothing you do will be enough. And yet, I am relying entirely on your ability to stay in this fight. No matter how much I argue. No matter how much I sulk. No matter how silent I get.
Please hang on to the other end of the rope. And know that you are doing the most important job that anyone could possibly be doing for me right now.
Love, Your Teenager xx