It is almost time for the Academy Awards to be handed out and you might be thinking that the award for the most dramatic performance should go to…..your teenager. There is no question that were teenagers go, drama will follow but many parents don’t feel equipped to step into the supporting actor roles our teens need us to play during these difficult times. But in truth, our teens need us to not only to fill that supporting role but also to act as producer, director, and possibly personal assistant as they make their way from childhood to adulthood. If you often feel like you are ready to storm off the set, here are some tips to help you keep your cool and deal with your teen’s drama.
1. Don’t Dive Into the Drama
As any moviegoer knows, the job of the supporting actor is to stay above the fray so that they can be available to help the hero or heroine at the most critical point in the storyline. Keeping yourself out of the emotions will ensure you have a clear head and can offer your teen the right kind of guidance and advice.
2. Don’t Dish It Out, They Can’t Take It
Inevitably, almost every teenager at one point in their life will utter the most devastating words a parent can hear. “I hate you!” And because we are all human, our immediate response when stung is often to sting back. In these situations, your role shifts from supporting role to public relations rep and your goal is to mitigate the damage these words can do specifically by preventing the worst possible outcome from happening, and stopping yourself from lashing out too.
3. Remember That Even Big Budget Films Still Have a Budget
No matter what is causing your teen’s current drama, there isn’t an amount of money in the world that will make it go away. These are the times when you have to become the producer who understands that not all problems can be solved simply by throwing money at them. The lessons about money that you teach your teens during these times will be more important than almost anything else you tell them on the topic.
4. Great Actors Have to Be Great Listeners
One of the biggest challenges to the parent-teen relationship through these trying times is communication. It can seem like you are speaking different languages or as if you are operating from different pages in the same script. But as any actor knows, the key to a great performance is being good at listening to what others are saying to you. To ensure you stay on the same page, make time to listen to what your teen has to say.
5. Leave the Judging to the Academy
There are so many points in your teen’s life where they already feel like they are being judged that one of the most positive things you can do for them is to not be one of the judges.