Makeovers & Moving targets
Trying to Find a New Fit with Everyone Changing
Family relationships are almost always a challenge as relationships with parents change by definition. Parents are challenged to let go of the roles they had when you were a child and you are challenged to step more and more into being the author of your life and take on more responsibility.
That is rarely an easy transition – for you or your parents. In fact, it frequently feels to parents and teenagers that they are in a dark room throwing themselves against the wall trying to to find the door.
As a teenager, you are experimenting with who you are and how to relate and you are also in the process of separating from your parents in order to become your own person. Your parents are trying to figure out how to be good parents and relate to a son or daughter who is kind of a moving target as a teenager. It’s a challenge to keep forming a healthy relationship with all the parts moving.
Parent-teenager relationships can be wonderful and surprising and life-giving. They can also be frustrating, awkward and full of missteps. Often all those characteristics are mixed together in surprising ways.
It’s Part of the Heroic Journey
Both parents and teenagers are faced with the challenge of letting go of old ways of relating, discovering new ways of relating along with the relationship competencies required and dealing with the difficulty of being in-between the old and new ways (“in-betweenity”). That requires a lot of courage, experimentation, forgiveness and asking for forgiveness as well as negotiation and learning as you go.