Inspirations for Youth and Families teen drug rehab recently interviewed Sue DeCaro, a renowned Conscious Parenting coach. Sue explains in the Google Hangout interview how Conscious Parenting can be the difference maker in helping teens with addiction issues.
As more and more families have teens with addiction issues, it is critical to find new ways to support them. Conscious Parenting may be a viable option for families trying to help their teens recover from behavioral health conditions and drug and alcohol addictions.
What is Conscious Parenting?
Conscious Parenting involves having parents engage and connect with their children using emotionally intelligent discipline choices rather than punitive methods. To put this in simpler context, Conscious Parenting deals with issues teens are experiencing beneath the surface. And not as much focus is placed on their overt behavior.
Sue believes one of the cornerstones behind Conscious Parenting is investigation. She thinks it is really important to investigate what our children are teaching us and showing us each and everyday.
Some Parents have an Agenda when it comes to raising Teens
Often, when parents talk to their teens they have their own agendas. Instead of letting the conversations flow organically with their teens, many parents tend to demand something from them. Whether it is status updates on how their teen’s day was at school? Or if they completed their chores?
“Instead of forcing a conversation, let your child be. And when they are ready to open up make sure you are available to talk,” added Sue. “When a child is ready to communicate, try not to interrupt them in mid-stream by answering your cell phone.”
Teen’s need down time
Our children have such active schedules between school, after-school activities, homework, and chores – now more than ever they require some down time. So parents should be more conscious of their teen’s needs if they have any hope of a establishing a healthy line of communication. And when a parent becomes upset when their teen is texting a friend because we think that they should be talking to us. Remember, that is our need. It is not their need.
“So parents are coming from a place where they know what they need in their lives without considering their teen’s place,” said Sue. “A place where they may have been sitting in class all day long and have not had a chance to connect with their friends.”
Engage with your Teen in their world
So again if your child is in their room listening to music. Maybe they have the headphones on. Join them in their world. If they are listening to music or playing Xbox or something and it is not necessarily your thing. Find a way to create space so that you can enjoy what they enjoy on their terms. Not your terms.
What is the Iceberg Model?
The Iceberg model uses a picture of an Iceberg metaphorically to explain how children communicate. So when our children become angry and perhaps throw their backpack across the room – there is more than meets the eye. By applying the Iceberg Model, one can ascertain that something is going on in their life beneath the surface. Just like an Iceberg is larger than it looks as it descends deep beneath the surface.
Sue adds: “So, as parents we need to be investigators in our homes to figure out what signals our teens are trying to communicate. Instead of attacking their behavior, look at what they are trying to communicate beneath the surface.
90 Percent of a Teen’s Behavior is Beneath the Surface
“Maybe they can’t put it into words what they are trying to communicate. Or perhaps, they don’t see it themselves,” Sue says. “For instance, they may not feel secure, loved, or valued. It could also be something simple like they are having a bad day. Whatever is going on within is causing something outward for you to see.”
Now the rest of their equation involves the remaining 10 percent which is clearly what you are seeing. Like your teen may break their cell phone because it was not working. And we know that anger can cause all sorts of behavioral issues,” Sue says.
“So my suggestion to every parent who is listening is to really look beneath the surface when your child is behaving in a way that you feel is out of the ordinary,” Sue summarizes.
Conscious Parenting and Teen Drug Abuse
If a teen feels more comfortable communicating with their parents as a result of conscious parenting, he or she will share more personal information. Such intel can include their views on alcohol or drug use. When a parent is equipped with this information, they can guide their teen down a safer path and steer them away from alcohol or drug addiction.