eWomenNetwork member, Sharon Ballantine, The Premier Parenting Coach, learned the hard way that parenting-by-demand wasn’t going to cut it. Faced with teenagers who grunted instead of speaking to her, she knew something had to change. Finally, an “aha” moment brought her to her senses that changed everything. Watch and learn how you can change your relationship with your child that can last a lifetime. After you watch the video or listen to the podcast, read Sharon Ballantine's article below on How to Use Business Skills to Succeed as a Parent.
Watch the video below or listen to the interview on the eWN Podcast Network.
How to Use Business Skills to Help You Succeed as a Parent - by Sharon Ballantine
Raising the Happy Quotient at Home
Does it sometimes feel overwhelming and stressful to be managing your own business and also raising a teen or two? It can easily feel like you have two full time jobs! As a business owner and a parent, I have often felt like I needed to cultivate the “people” skills that I use in the world of business, on my own family. Skills such as attentive listening, non-judgment, the tone of voice I use, etc. At times, it was a struggle to use these skills at home if I was being reactive with my teens.
As I was navigating the teen years, I wanted to be more responsive and less reactive to my teens and also have them be less reactive with me. Being reactive was standing in the way of good communication and undermining the quality of our relationship. I came to realize that if I truly wanted these things, I was going to have to slow down and take control of my own wellbeing, which meant making my happiness a priority. I knew that if I wasn’t happy, I couldn’t approach any situation with my teens in a clear way and be the supportive parent that I wanted to be.
This also meant that allowing my teen’s moods and behavior to dictate my own mood and behavior would never serve me. I came to realize how crucial it was to also pay attention to what was truly going on within my teenagers, which seemed to often dictate their behavior. This took practice- on both counts and a constant reminder to myself- to not take things personally.
Getting along with your teen and raising the happiness quotient in your home, starts first with better understanding what is happening with them- in their minds and in their bodies. We know how stressed we can feel, but do we realize how stressed our teens are too? Are we giving them the benefit of the doubt as their find their way?
Raging Hormones and the Teenage Brain
The teen years are the transformative years. The years when our teens are experiencing the world and deciding whom they want to be. Their hormones are raging, and you probably already know how little it can take to upset them. As they “try” on all sorts of behaviors, choose their peer groups, ways that they dress and how they speak to you (or not speak to you) you may wonder who these strangers are in your home.
In addition to hormones, let’s not forget their brains. There are numerous studies showing that the teenage brain is not yet fully developed, and won’t be for several years. It’s no wonder our teens struggle to make good choices when they are struggling to think straight.
As a parent, you can’t change their brains or shift their hormones but there is at least one very powerful way you can support your teen and the happiness quotient in your relationship with them. This means teaching your teen how to access their best choices.
Making Good Choices Starts with Personal Happiness
Do you find that you’re able to be productive and are better equipped to make your best choices and decisions when you’re feeling stressed and off center? Have you ever regretted a choice because you didn’t take the time to feel good first and have clarity? Or, do things go better when you’re feeling optimistic, happy and connected to your wellbeing? What does feeling good mean for you?
What if you encouraged your teen’s personal happiness so they felt better equipped to make their best choices? Maybe this means allowing them the freedom to choose their own timelines regarding their responsibilities. Perhaps it’s encouraging your teen to engage in a leisure activity that pleases them before they embark on their homework and chores. As your teen feels more calm and centered and connected to their wellbeing, they will have the clarity to be able to access what serves them best. Everything your teen does will become more productive if they are feeling good first.
Start with YOU!
Set yourself up for success with your teen by taking the time take care of your needs and wants before you engage with them. What they feel from you and how you approach them can determine if they respond or react to you. We can’t tell our teens to be happy we must show them how to be happy. You will inspire your teens in finding their happiness when you model this behavior first.
Just when we may think we have things figured out, everything changes. Each day may bring new delights and also new challenges with your teen. As I said earlier, set yourself up for success with your teen by taking care of yourself first. Acknowledge your teen is going through their own stresses and know that the key to having a happier day with your teen will always start with you.
Doesn’t that feel empowering?
Sharon Ballantine is a Parenting Coach and founder of The Ballantine Parenting Institute, her online course for parents. She is also the author of the book, The Art of Blissful Parenting. Sharon guides parents with how to teach their children to use their own Internal Guidance System. She has also been a guest of many radio shows, television, and hosted her own column, “Parenting on Purpose” for Beliefnet.com. To learn more, please visit her website at www.SharonBallantine.com