Here’s your Wednesday story from my never ending notebook and everlasting coloured pencil.
An armada of the US Navy was engaged in naval exercises off the coast of Canada when the following radio exchange was recorded:
“Please divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid danger of a collision”
“Recommend that you divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid danger of a collision!”
“We repeat. Divert north now to avoid a collision”
“We strongly recommend that you divert south as soon as possible to avoid an accident”
“This is the Captain of a US Navy warship. I say again, divert your course with immediate effect”
“Copy. We say divert south now”
“This is the USS Enterprise. We are an aircraft carrier of the US Navy. Divert your course NOW!”
“We are a Canadian lighthouse. Your call!”
So are you the US Navy Officer with your teenager – intransigent, stubborn, inflexible and think you know better?
Or are you the lighthouse – a shining example, a guiding light and a beacon of safety and hope in a busy , hectic, frantic world of teenage hormones and peer pressure?
Are you heading for a inevitable crash against the rocks and an ultimate shipwreck with your emerging independent young adult?
If you are don’t beat yourself up – grab a cup of coffee or walk the dog and just relax and start to think of some new ways to talk and listen to your teenager that may be different from your usual approach.
• Could you change your tone of voice?
• Choose your battles more carefully?
• Listen to the whole story or ask better questions?
• Change your body language or expectations?
• See the positive and wonderful attributes of your teen – like their sense of humour or kindness?
• How could you openly praise what they get right, rather than constantly focusing on what they get wrong?
• How could you become a little more flexible in your choice of words and attitude to them?
Just let the questions float around inside you for awhile. You may find that as you are driving, or when you are sleeping and dreaming new solutions will just magically seem to appear and float into your mind that will transform your relationship easily and effortlessly.
Today just ask yourself:
“Am I the US Navy Warship or am I the Canadian Lighthouse?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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About the author
Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.
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Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355 M: 07740 622769
Surrey RH7 6LF