Understand Her To Lead Her

Apr 25, 2024

We are accustomed to looking at our child's behavior to dictate the next course of action, but really, outward behavior is the very end expression of a long line of more complicated internal thoughts, feelings and decisions. As parents we need to find a place to lead them from and it starts with understanding.

For example, if your child keeps sneaking their phone, or violating phone boundaries it could be: 

- because she feels left out, needs to "show up" and feel like she is seen, heard, loved, belongs and has a purpose because her self worth that is hanging by a thread is being sought after in the world instead of from a grounded source like Christ, self and family.  Chasing worth in the world can be a dangerous path that needs to be addressed and I promise that every child will go through spells and cycles of this (adults too, but that is another battle).

- because she is playing games that take her away to somewhere else, or scrolling, as a way of withdrawing into a place of mental solitude because as she feels the need to hide from the world, but why?  Too many expectations?  Anxious about something? Mentally running away is so easy to do today.

- because she is playing games that give her dopamine hits of success because she doesn't feel like she is winning at life and needs a dose of "good job"!  What does she feel like she isn't succeeding with and can you help in any way with a tutor, a mentor, coach, intervening in a situation with her etc.

- because she is in a comparison spiral which could look like learning new hair, fitness, art, music and makeup tricks, scrolling through people she feels are better than her in some way and she strives to be like because she isn't satisfied with who she is.

- because she just wants to.  It has a pull on her somehow and she needs some practice with self discipline needs over wants.

There are so many reasons that the same outward behavior could be happening, so building some understanding is crucial in order to see your way through to how you will lead her and teach her to lead herself.  

How do you build understanding?

1. Connect daily and invest weekly:  Connect daily on what's going on in her world and yours, ask open ended questions and be interested and not distracted when she is speaking and sharing with you.  Have a regularly scheduled and designated one on one time weekly where you put everything aside and just connect.

2. Communicate effectively: What is your body language saying? What about hers? Is the communication technique you are using right now working?  Maybe after school talk isn't it for her and she needs some downtime.  Maybe power struggles are interfering with progress for you and writing things down would be more effective.  Try a passing journal or writing a note to her.  So many options to explore.

3. Bring Clarity to the world for her: Life is overwhelming today.  You honestly can't escape it and when you have an under construction brain and so many expectations, responsibilities and relationships you are juggling from teachers to coaches and bosses to family, it is even more overwhelming.  Help her find the ways that bring her peace and keep her grounded. It will probably be different than what you seek and that is ok.  Also, gain clarity on what she is doing, saying and deciding by asking questions, listening and then asking, "If I am hearing you right, this is what you are saying.  Am I right?"

You can not have understanding without these 3 components of Connecting, Communication and Clarity!

You know how it is said that dogs live an equivalent of 7 years for every one year of human life?  Well, the same time warp can be said for this divinely complex and robust adolescent time period.  A week can be packed with a month or more worth of information, feelings, events and decisions.  

Be patient.  Have grace.  Learn to understand so you can love and lead her to a place that she can love and lead herself.

To learn more about this and build with your daughter, visit Take The Lead.


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