How To Get Your Teen To Clean Their Room Without Losing Your Mind
Do you have a love – hate relationship with your teen-aged child? Well, not really "hate", but....
Join the club.
One minute you love them so deeply. You’re in awe of them. You’re enamoured and so proud of the young adult they are becoming.
And, the next minute… ARGGHHH!!
You just wanna pull your hair out. They drive you in-sane. Why can’t they just clean their room or empty the darn dishwasher already? It’s enough to make you wanna cry.
If you hear one more… wait ‘til this game is done, or this video is over, or I just need to get my streaks in… you just might throw the device out the window.
So, how do you keep your cool with the never ending EXHAUSTING lump living in your home?
Use the STOP +E method.
Yes, I’ve made up this acronym. The STOP method is common in the mindfulness world, but I’ve added the E which is the icing on the cake.
STOP +E goes like this:
S stands for STOP. Pretty ingenious. Just STOP what you are doing. STOP the conversation, STOP your reaction, STOP whatever it is you are about to say or do. Just STOP. Take a deep breath. Exhale. And release everything out, even if it’s just for a moment. STOP.
T stands for TAKE INVENTORY. Stop and TAKE INVENTORY of how you’re feeling in the moment. Is your child getting under your skin, pushing your buttons, or are you cool as a cucumber? TAKE INVENTORY of not just how you feel, but also, what’re the thoughts going through your head in that moment. Are you thinking they’re doing it to you on purpose? Do you think they’re being lazy, belligerent or something else? TAKE INVENTORY of your thoughts, feelings, what is truly happening in the moment (like a freeze frame) and your impulse or your urge to react.
O stands for staying OPEN TO OPPORTUNITIES. Stay OPEN TO THE OPPORTUNITY to learn about yourself and how you truly react, respond and what gets triggered or stirred up in YOU when your child does not respond to your directions. Stay OPEN TO THE OPPORTUNITY to use this moment to learn about THEM, what is so engaging or makes it so hard for them to pull away from their device or whatever they’re doing. Stay OPEN TO THE OPPORTUNITY to use the moment as a learning experience for you, a teaching opportunity for them, and OPEN TO THE OPPORTUNITY to see your relationship and the situation with fresh eyes for what it is.
P stands for PROCEED TO POSSIBILITIES. When you PROCEED TO POSSIBILITIES, you’re now in a head space to approach the conversation in a new and calmer, in-control way. When I saw Dr. Gabor Matte present at a conference, he said, “if you are angry and mad at your child, you have already lost the fight”. Meaning, you have let your teen or young adult get to you and push your buttons. When you PROCEED TO POSSIBILITIES you can now CHOSE how you want to approach them, the words you want to use, the things you want to say, and the behaviours you want to model for them. Only when you are calm, can you see all the of options and POSSIBILITIES for dealing with the situation.
E stands for EXPECTATION. What is your EXPECTATION of your teen in the moment? Do you EXPECT that they’ll drop everything, say “yes ma’am, or yes sir” and jump to the dishes? Do you EXPECT them to ignore you and continue playing or watching Youtube with zero intention of doing anything you ask? Whatever your EXPECT from your teen will be radiated out to them through your energy or vibe. They will know when they can get away with stuff and they know when you’re on your final nerve. Don’t underestimate your teen. They are smart and they can READ YOU LIKE A BOOK. So, get super clear for yourself about your EXPECTATION and hold it firmly in your mind and in your body BEFORE you even approach them.
And, if all else fails, turn off the wifi! Hahahah….
This strategy really can be used in ANY relationship and any situation, not just with your teen. You can use this with your partner, boss, colleague, family member or even with a random stranger.
Drop me a line and let me know how the STOP +E strategy works for you.