Repair and Rewind with Teenagers


Power of rewind and repair in relation to mistakes we made long ago.

Yesterday in the car with my teenage children and I was again reminded of how much I love aware parenting and how we can trust our children’s timing to heal. My son started teasing me for the way I spoke to both my kids at times in the past when I was harsh to them. There have been many times in their life that I was not the parent I wanted to be and the most painful moments in parenting for me, were when I lost trust about their learning and homeschooling and went into fear and doubt about them not learning enough. At times I would get so frustrated and fearful and would threaten them with school or that if they didn’t work harder, they would have no choices when they grew up. Once I even threatened that they would only be able to work in McDonalds in future if they didn’t learn their times tables!

So back to yesterday. My son, who was driving, started joking, impersonating me at my worst, insisting we turn off the music and practise times tables. Then my daughter joined in and they were laughing and joking and getting more and more outrageous and exaggerating the terrible things I said to them at times. It was a perfect game – there was lots of laughter which is so powerful to release feelings, and there was an element of power reversal because they were teasing me and because I was sitting in the back seat.

We then had a beautiful conversation where I acknowledged how hurtful it was for both of them when I spoke to them in that way in the past. I explained that I had been frightened because of my conditioning and lost trust at times about their capacity to learn without the structure of school. I let them know that I understood that they might have had feelings about those times and I was clear that I wish I had always been able to speak lovingly and kindly to them. I reminded them how much I love them both, how amazing I think they are, how I have learnt so much from them and watching them learn and find their own way in the world and how blessed I feel to be their mother. I invited them to share their thoughts and feelings in relation to these experiences and I listened to them. At one point, I started to notice feelings coming up for me of guilt and shame and resentment about all the times I had been a wonderful mother. So I gave myself some love and appreciation.

Often we feel so bad when we treat our children in ways that don’t align with our values, which we all inevitably do from time to time. We all have times when we are stressed, overwhelmed, scared, when our younger parts are coming up for some love and care and when our conditioned thoughts and beliefs from our childhood are getting in the way of what we truly believe now. But I love the power of aware parenting to heal this every time, to allow us to deepen our understanding of each other and further grow our relationship with our children, to model self-compassion, to model being ok with mistakes and imperfection and to laugh at ourselves when our children invite us to. And the invitation is always there to keep reaching out for more support for ourselves so that more and more, we can be the parent that we want to be.

So I invite you to bring compassion to yourself when you have spoken harshly to your teens, and to trust that you can always rewind and repair, that they will bring play and laughter or tears and conversations to heal (or both), and that, as a result of rewind and repair, your relationship will deepen and deepen and your teens will feel acknowledged, understood and loved. Thank god for aware parenting!

Your parenting coach and mentor

About Joss Goulden

I am a trauma-informed Parenting Coach and a Level 2 Aware Parenting instructor, certified with the Aware Parenting Institute. I have been practising Aware Parenting for 17 years and am the mother of 2 children, aged 19 and 17.

I am also passionate about Homeschooling and Natural Learning. I have homeschooled my 2 children and I have been supporting families with Homeschooling and Natural Learning for many years.

Aware Parenting with Joss

I am so passionate about sharing this beautiful approach with parents. I believe that Aware Parenting is THE solution for so many of the challenges facing the world. - Joss Goulden, Aware Parenting Instructor
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