OWL (Offer of Wise-Minded Learning): Becoming Teflon, Not Velcro
For kids, keeping negative behaviors at bay at school creates stress, which they often dump on their parents. Dumping also happens because parents intrude on privacy, enforce rules and have expectations. You’ll issue a consequence for extreme dumping, but for lower-level stress debris, practice the art of being “Teflon” and letting it slide right off of you. When your teen dumps on you, you try for a neutral response. Why? Because if you attend to every negative provocation, you will be in a non-stop war zone and lose connection with your child.
Examples of neutral responses:
Your teen says: “When did you buy these bagels? I refuse to eat old ones!”
You say:“I hear that you are disappointed.”
Your teen says: “I would rather Dad take me. You embarrass me.”
You say,: “Whoa. That’s quite the zinger.”
Your teen says: “I hate all your questions. You are so nosy! You suffocate me.”
You say:“It’s hard to be a teenager.”
For more excellent comebacks, visit the List of Listening One-Liners; and read more about coping with rude teens in Wise-Minded Parenting: 7 Essentials for Raising Successful Tweens + Teens, in chapter 1: Secure Attachment.