Jotting down some notes from a webinar I attended on raising high schoolers. All these seem common sense but they are easier said than done. Noting down some key takeaways for myself.
Listen more, listen better – A lot of times I find myself entering into a conversation with my children with a talk track in mind or with a mindset to give advice or I am royally preoccupied, which means I am not truly listening. My listening skills can use some honing.
React less in the moment – I always tell my kids that even if I get upset in the moment, the frustration is fleeting and temporary. Appa or amma may get upset but always remember that they are your ultimate well wishers. They understand it intellectually. However, their brains are wired to avoid confrontation and unpleasantness in the short term. They don’t think long term. In the moment, seeing their mom upset is excruciating for them. As much as I don’t want to embrace sainthood and keep it real, it does look like I need to put in the work to stay calm and be objective.
Trust them and Praise them – Trusting is not a problem for me but I do tell myself that it is important to verify even when I trust them. For e.g. I trust my child to spend the money I give him wisely but it is good practice to share with me how he spent the money.
Junior year is hard – they are taking tough courses, they have to take SAT and ACT, they are learning to drive, they will be visiting colleges… simply too much going on in that one year. Go easy, stay empathetic, be supportive, be less judgmental, do not be dismissive
Stay engaged and involved – They are physically developed and selectively mature. Often this can mislead us into thinking that they don’t need us as much. Nothing can be farther than the truth! They will not ask for help unless it is too late. It’s good to let them figure out but it’s important to BE there.