When your kid has a meltdown, what do you do? Do you shut it down? Send them to their room? Hear them out?
My Love and I work hard to hear them out. We attempt to listen between the lines for their heart struggle beyond the extreme emotions being expressed. The temptation to shut them down because the timing of their meltdown is inconvenient or annoying can be hard to resist. We believe the act of choosing relationship with them, even when they are “messy” is a consistent conscious effort worth making. They each have legitimate stress in their lives putting excess pressure on them. It is no wonder it falls out, at the end of a long day or in the early morning worries. All three of our sons have been bullied, belittled, and told they make life harder for the people around them.
The crazy thing is, most of the people communicating this are ADULTS. It’s shocking how many adults don’t want to accept responsibility for their own behavior/decisions and put it off on kids. Our boys, who have been knocked unconscious by another kid, stalked relentlessly by a peer, and be targeted by impatient teachers (often substitutes) for being themselves, are learning how to be tough AND kind. Protective AND respectful. Gracious AND holding someone accountable for their actions.
These challenges are not unique to them. We make that point often. But, I pray, that by sharing this, someone will give an emotional teen or pre-teen an opportunity to off load their stress, listen between the lines, and be a supportive adult instead of expecting a kid to make things easier on the grown up with decades more life experience and hopefully, maturity.