As teens get older they start to pull away. They start driving. They ask for more sleepovers. They ask you to drop them off farther away from school. They want to spend family vacations with another family. They become independent. This is when the art of loving detachment comes into play. Loving, as in you still care deeply and detachment, as in you are less involved, not more in their lives. How does this work? Well, I learned from my Grandma.
On the phone with my Grandma Dee this week, she asked me what advice do I give parents on my blog. I explained that a lot of it comes straight from my teens. “Ah, teens,” she reminisced, “they are tricky. When you have a teen you need to practice the art of loving detachment.” This intrigued me and she told me there are three principles to loving detachment while parenting a teen:
1. Say yes a lot, so when you say no it means more.
2. Say less than what comes to mind.
3. Gather honey not bees—remember past crimes never serves anyone.
So, there it is, wisdom from Grandma. Typically I turn to teens for advice, so I am excited to produce a post from the other end of the process.