“Please leave me alone”
“I need to get away”
“Give me some space”
These are phrases I am hearing a lot around my house lately. With four young adult and teen kids, conflict does arise.
Now don’t get me wrong, my kids are usually respectful and obedient children. But, lately, they seem to really need their own space. Especially when they are angry, hurt or need to think. Developmentally, this is appropriate behavior. Teens and tweens are learning to sort through their emotions, their values and their desires to make choices and navigate problems.
So, how do you handle it when your kids don’t want to be around you? The mama in me wants to hug them, talk it out and make everything better.
My nature needs to take a back seat to their needs.
Aside from the fact that hormones and chemicals in their brain are surging at an all time high, making it hard for them to control their emotions, they are also dealing with a natural desire to handle things on their own.
It is so hard for me to give them time and space. But, when I do the results are worth it.
If I let them have 45 minutes or so to cool down on the basketball court or reading in their room, they can actually come to me and tell me what they did wrong, why it was wrong, why they were upset, what they could have done differently, etc. The older kids go for a walk or a drive.
However, if I force them to talk about an issue when they are frustrated or upset, the hormonal fireworks in their brain are going to keep them from hearing ANYTHING I say.
So, I am learning to take a deep breath, suggest a time out for all of us and come back to discuss the situation when we have all cooled down.
I know sometimes I need my space and I’m learning to give my boys their space too!