“I see you” says a lot without saying very much. It says “I can see you watching YouTube videos of the running man challenge or ‘Juju on That Beat’ and wonder if you will embarrass me one day when friends come over.” It could mean your child is failing a class in school but is up at 1am trying to understand that subject; hearing “I see you” could be what they need to keep pushing.
“I see you” is a powerful phrase. It means: I understand, I get where you are coming from, I acknowledge your train of thought, I recognize who you are or who you are trying to be. It allows open communication without forcing either party to change their position. You can never truly grow in life if you don’t know what it takes to start process.
In order for successful mergers to occur, there must be effective communication, mutual understanding and yes, dare I say, compromise! Now some parents/guardians may feel that compromise with a minor is not what they want to achieve. I understand that logic and principle. But if we are honest, as adults, wouldn’t we appreciate someone who seeks to understand our stance on issues? Would that not resonate more than someone who seeks their own result, despite your feelings, thoughts and effort?
As parents and guardians we are tasked with finding “the merger” point for our teenagers. The point where they see us and we see them. When we forget or ignore our pasts, (especially our teenage years), we eliminate the ability to empathize with our youth and in doing so, loosen our grip on the hand that we desire to guide the most. Remember when you were 16? Remember how you thought and how you and your peers responded to your parents? Do you remember the responses you received from your parents about your life issues? Remember those situations when you felt misunderstood and how you just wanted someone to “see you” and not change you? Of course you do! We can think of many situations like these, as well as times when our parents responded favorable in tough situations.
“I see you” means we take a look at our lives as parents and respond one of three ways:
- I will do what SOMEONE DID for me, that produced a positive response.
- I will do what I WISH someone would have done for me.
- I will do what I HOPE my kids will do for their kids one day.
These responses will have a strong impact on setting the foundation of “the merger” you wish to see take place with your teen. You may feel like you’re at the end of your rope with your son or daughter, or you may feel like your family is perfectly fine. In any case, a strategic plan is needed in order to merge the future of all parties involved. This plan will take lots of effort, lots of effective communication and the ability to honestly say “I see you.” I look forward to helping you determine a strategy that fits your family in the near future.
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