~ 31 Days of Parenting Teens & Tweens, Day 18 ~
The art of t i m i n g.
It can be the difference between delight and disappointment, contentment or conflict, getting what I want or leaving empty handed. If I want a "yes" from my husband for just about anything, never never NEVER do I ask him when he walks in the door from work. Never. Even if it's something he'd naturally say yes to.
The same applies to children: timing matters.
There is a lot going on in their world about which you have no idea. You think you do ~ and I'll concede, you do in part ~ but it's not realistic for you to understand everything they're processing throughout the day.
Middle school drama…teenage angst…and hormones! Especially during their middle school years, you have to consider the role of hormones in their behavior! By the time they're done with school, extra curriculars, homework and maybe a job, their brains are fried.
And sometimes their hearts are broken from ~
~ harsh words from a friend…
~ feeling left out at lunch…
~ a teacher's errant blame for something they really didn't do…
~ having a horrible practice…
~ being ignored by the one they have a secret crush on…
Sometimes all of that in a single day.
At some point in time, your child will battle the giants named Doubt, Defeat, Insignificance and Failure, mostly perceived, but nevertheless spirit-crushing.
And then they walk in the door and you question a bad grade and fuss about leaving Beta Club dues at home and you fling a "HOW IN *THE* WORLD CAN YOU LEAVE YOUR ROOM LIKE THAT?" at 'em.
And off they go, burning holes through you as they wade through simmering piles to their room.
And nothing is accomplished in the process but your aggravation and their frustration.
Tweens are people and teens are people, just like their mamas and daddies; life is relatively hard according to each season. As is often quoted with questionable attribution going to Plato, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
In other words, when there's a matter of importance to discuss with your child, wait until the conditions are favorable for conversation.
Otherwise, at a minimum your concerns will fall on deaf ears. At worst, you're pouring salt into open wound.
Your turn: take a few minutes to consider past instances of good and bad timing. Can you see the difference in outcome?
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photo credit—I LOVE Duy Huynh's "Time Flies With Strings Attached"