I think Hurricane Sandy has given many of us on the east coast an opportunity to pause and reflect on the power of something that is completely out of our control, and how it can affect the fabric of our lives. In my regular spot on the couch, I watch the nightly news, waiting for the last story of the broadcast where they highlight the enormity of the after effects of the storm, coupled with the amazing community of neighbors and volunteers that have risen from the destruction. Though people have lost their homes, and their possessions, they find strength in their love for each other and the community in which they live. It does make me feel so thankful for the blessings of family, friends, satisfying work, and good health. Life isn't perfect, and there are many days I feel discouraged, or whiny about what now seem like such silly things in light of what those dealing with the after affects of Sandy that people are dealing with. So this Thanksgiving is a time for real thanks.
Your teen may
need a little dose of that thanks this holiday. Maybe things haven't
been so great. Maybe report cards have been disappointing, or their
attitude towards you and the family has you pulling your hair out, or
they seem ungrateful and entitled, or distant and uncommunicative. There
is not much good to be found. And the more they disappoint, the more
you pull away. Sometimes we need an excuse to wipe the slate. Why not
have Thanksgiving be that excuse. If you have found the last few months
weighing in on the negative, maybe just for the next few days, you share
some thankful moments with your teen. Maybe a text, or a card left on
their bed with a " I get things have been hard between us over the last
few months, but I am so grateful that you are my son/daughter. I cannot
imagine my life without your (insert some of the good stuff here, here
are some examples: humor; getting me to watch movies I never would have
picked but loved; forced me to learn about..., you get the idea.) I know
we will get past this other stuff. I love you."
look for a response or a thank you. This is a selfless gift you are
giving with no expectations. Teens need to know that with all the crap
they hand out, you will always love them, plain and simple.
Treasure these days. Enjoy this break from routine, and I will "see" you next week.