"Son, you still haven’t cleaned up your room. You are on YouTube too much. You still have a C in Science...have you talked to your teacher about how to get that up? And your coach called me. How are you going to go to college if you don’t..."
Parents...no one is listening to you.
You have the List in your hand, but are at the Laundromat all by yourself.
The Laundry List (lôndrē ˌlist), noun -
a long or exhaustive list of people or things.
“The Laundry List” is an emotional and misguided attempt at mentoring and guiding your child.
It’s a collection of recent wrongdoings that parents are keeping track of and have conveniently compiled together in their emotional, overwhelmed, adult mind.
You know the Laundry List...
Like real laundry, it grows everyday.
It can be easy to make a Laundry List with teens.
I can be any combination of unmet chores, poor school performance, lack of extra-curricular activities, or something they did that was “disrespectful”.
And once a parent gets started listing...it can become EVERY topic.
Yet....The Laundry List overwhelms teenagers.
And if a parent decides to use it, it will usually turn into a fight...whining...victim mentality...or they will simply check out.
No teen ever responded to a Laundry List with,
"Thank you so much for bringing all of this up with me parent. I am thankful for you! This was helpful.”
Put The Laundry List Down... And Commit To These Three Practices:
“I am noticing that things are piling up for you, how is your stress level this week?"
“Is there anything I can do to support you in your responsibilities?”
“Can I help you practice some self-care today?"
“Is there anything I can do to help you balance your life?”
"Is there anything hard or stressful going on that you want to talk about or vent to a good listener?"
Take time to really hear your teen's heart, and show them that you not only care about grades and responsibilities, but you also care about their emotions. Express empathy. Teamwork. Support. Emotional Coaching.
If needed then,
...and If Needed...Give A Natural Consequence.
If your teenager chooses to not follow through on their expectations....or have an interactive conversation with you...their is always a better response than breaking out the Laundry List.
Good conversation is always better than a Laundry List.
Good discipline is always better than a Laundry List.
Need more help to stop the fighting? Read this article HERE.
...And keep the Laundry List for the actual laundry.
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