May 5, 2012

Raising a teen is like raising a toddler. You follow your toddler around. You are right behind them to jump in and rescue if they need you to. Or to say, "Nnnnoooooo", if they are about to try to put the keys in the electrical socket. Then as they move out of this phase, they follow you around everywhere. It's your turn, to be the mama duck and let them tag along with you through the world. Think of your teen as that toddler all over again. You follow them. You just sort of spy along behind. Walk right down those pathways that their soul is taking. Find out where they are exploring within. What is going on inside. Go there. You can't just walk up to them and say, "Talk." Because they aren't there. They are far away, down some corridor. Here's how you lure them out, like a wild canine. You sit in the middle of the house and try to read a book. (Don't get mad when they interrupt a good part. You have to breathe, and put it down.) Or you sit right at the dining room table and try to pay bills. (They will come and start asking your for things that they need. Try not to go into any kind of extreme stress panic attack. Once a teen starts talking, they will keep talking if they sense you are listening.) Or chat away happily on the phone. (Like a toddler, they will suddenly need your attention.) You have to make them want you. Other ways to get a teen to let you see where they have been and where they are going in there, is to garden and let them find you. (Don't put them to work, or they won't come back. Just let them watch you.) They will start talking. And we all know that driving them to and from places works. But you have to be quiet. Don't fill the silence. Wait. It's like that quote, "Be still and know that i am God." Many of you in my practice have preteens. In the midst of raising my second teen, i want you to let go of what you've been told, that the teen years are to be dreaded. Instead, see it as a chance for you to be still and to listen. Be quiet and follow. As if this is a soul that you have never met before and you are so curious about him/her. And you love her so much, that you are willing to follow her into hell if that's where she is exploring, ready to yank her from the fire if she likes how it feels if she touches it. But let her walk all the way up to it. Let her learn about fire. You become the Angel of Love standing right there, invisible, powerful, constantly praying, holding space for this beloved soul emerging.

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