How to Teach LOA to Teenager
A reader recently asked how she could best teach her struggling teenage son about law of attraction. He’s having a rough time with his parents’ divorce and has health challenges among other things.
I asked LOA savvy Parenting Coach Lesley Cross to share her expertise on the subject, since it’s not mine. Here’s what Lesley had to say:
So, Mom, I hear you. It’s an awful feeling isn’t it, when your child is struggling and you don’t feel like you have much to offer? When they’re tiny, you are lulled into the impression that you can solve most of their problems for them. They take so much comfort in your presence and attention.
As they get older, particularly in the tween and teen years, their challenges tend to become things you feel less able to soothe with simple presence and attention.
But the key here, I think, is that you feel less able to help this way. You feel at a loss to help. You think we have nothing to offer but advice. You might know that working with principles of deliberate creation has helped you, and helped others, overcome their struggles. And so it’s natural, from that point of view, to want to present a struggling child with ways he can create more health, ease and freedom in his life.
The thing is, when someone approaches you with their solution to your problem, it can come off as proselytizing. Didn’t you know that all your problems would be solved if you just switch to raw foods, meditate 30 minutes a day, take up Zumba, and worship the gods of ancient Greece?
Yeah, kind of like that.
We’ve all been told these things, if we’re honest we’ll admit we’ve all said them, and they tend to go in one ear and out the other.
Often when you receive this sort of advice the reason you dismiss it because you don’t truly feel heard by the other person. The last thing a struggling child wants to hear is that he is creating his own problems. It feels like blame. And while you may have a deeper understanding of how these principles work, it is pretty well known that those new to them often interpret them through the lens of blame.
So to present them during a time of struggle to someone who is not actively seeking them may be seen as less than kind, even if the sharing is done with the intention of kindness.
I see two ways in which you can be truly helpful in using the principles of the law of attraction with a struggling child, and neither involves teaching the child or offering advice.
- The first is taking a deep look at what you are bringing to the situation with your actions, your thoughts and your energy.
- The second is to truly see and hear your child, while holding the best possible thoughts and intentions for him.
Because your presence and attention never stop being influential to your children.
What are you bringing to the situation?
Here’s where you can look at some of those feelings I mentioned at the beginning- feeling like presence and attention don’t help, feeling at a loss for what will help, feeling that your child might be vibing more challenges into his own life. Add to that some beliefs like “I should do more to help him” and “I can only offer advice”.
Whatever you’re feeling here…. from thoughts that your child’s life will be forever scarred by his current situation to just feeling plain old tired of dealing with it, going to doctor and/or therapist visits, making custody or visitation arrangements, and adapting to different dietary needs … as much as we want the best for our children, it’s okay to want a break as well! There’s a lot to deal with here!
Some of these things might even be assumptions colored by your own experience – they may not be at all what your child is feeling or seeing. What do you assume about puberty, divorce, illness that may be reflecting back at you in how you see your child?
This is where you have the opportunity to work your way up through your emotions and trade some of your thoughts out for ones that feel better.
This is where you have the opportunity to see your child as whole, smart, happy, healthy and competent. It is also where you have the opportunity to see yourself as a parent who cares a whole heck of a lot, and knows that her child’s well-being is so important that she is willing to do anything to promote it. Even feeling better, trusting what is, and that resolution will come (while continuing to take the actions prescribed by your chosen helping professionals and being open to new potential solutions).
See, hear and hold your child in a positive light.
Begin here with your positive vision of your child- as happy, healthy, competent, smart, and whole. Then simply come back to that soothing, loving presence and attention that you gave when he was a baby.
Granted your teen probably won’t want to be held and rocked like a toddler. But he may like to feel heard and to receive validation for his feelings (even if the thoughts behind them don’t seem objectively true to you). He may want to let you know how he sees the challenges in his life, expecially if he can do so without triggering a negative reaction from you (ie. worry, anger, fear, taking offense at his point of view, rationalizing why things can’t be different). He may want to give you input on how you can help him, what’s working for him and what isn’t.
And most of all he may need to be reassured that you are on HIS team and willing to help him do what he needs to do to find his own relief. Or not.
If you have had a close connected relationship up to this point, this may go easily and get you both a great deal of relief rapidly. If you haven’t, and sometimes even if you have, he may be hesitant to trust you or believe you’re truly on his team. He also may be a person who prefers to keep things to himself and not have long discussions.
But even then, making him aware that you are there, available, and willing to listen- which you can demonstrate by simply being interested whenever he has something to say can make a huge difference. This is connected with your thoughts and energy as well – if you are feeling better, more open, less distressed, you become more approachable.
If your child knows you’re able to keep your equanimity, or that you’re willing to work with your own feelings in order to be more fully present to his, he will be more likely to open up and communicate.
The fun part of this comes after the vibe lifting work, the openness, and the relief. Once you’ve worked through this time of struggle, deepened your understanding of your own assumptions, and gotten a better look at who your child is and how he is thinking and feeling, you’ve developed a deeper connection and a stronger undercurrent of trust in your parent/child relationship.
So when you one day say “Hey, you know what helps me deal with life?” your child may be ready, willing and eager to hear your input. What he does with it? That’s up to him.
Lesley Reid Cross is a Martha Beck certified life coach and mother of 3 amazing free spirits. She writes about motherhood, self-love, and playing with thoughts on her blog at http://www.euphorialifedesignstudio.com, where she offers one-on-one coaching and the upcoming free Wayfinder Mothers’ Book Club. GVU members can hear her LOA Parenting call here.