So your teen is stuck in sullen disrespect
Many parents have come to believe that all teens shut-down and go through a rebellious disrespectful period lasting days, weeks, months, or longer. This behavior is typically characterized by unhappiness, abusive rudeness, sullenness, laziness, inconsiderateness, sloppiness, resistance, and one-word-answers to questions. What parents forget is that the behavior began (as it did with them when they were young) with a single, as yet resolved upset, an unpleasant interaction with someone that did not end with a warm loving hug. What’s exciting is that you can, within a single sit-down session, locate and complete the incident (the dramatized upset) and recreate an experience of supportive love (continue reading).
Dramatizing the unresolved upset by pouting is of course a blaming communication, (look what you did to me…) however, your child learned this way of relating, of manipulating (controlling) others, by emulating you. Unless you have taught your child how to communicate responsibly then nonverbal blames and make-wrongs are the only way he/she knows how to communicate, “Hey, something’s wrong. I’m stuck with an incomplete and no one is getting me. Can’t you see, it’s written on my face? I’m carrying around hundreds of withholds. I’m incomplete.” But, here’s the good news, it’s not your fault; I know of no school system that teaches students (future parents) how to communicate responsibly. It could be said that you have set up your child to support you in accelerating your communication mastery curriculum.
What’s so is your child is mirroring your leadership-communication skills. He/she has absolutely no choice but to react to your leadership. You and your teen (and all household members and relatives with whom each interact) have become stuck, each doing your imitation of communication. We know it’s not communication because when communication takes place problems are identified and disappeared and what’s left is an experience of supportive love. I say your because in this matter you are the leader.
During their formative years children mimic their parents; they are programmed, totally motivated, to please parents, to make them proud so as to receive acknowledgment. If say, a parent is addicted to withholding thoughts from his her spouse then the child stops being spontaneous and starts hiding thoughts just like his/her parents. If parents argue and communicate abusively with each other the child, to be loved, will mimic them, thinking that this is the way family members are supposed to relate with each other. 80% of what a child mimics are the nonverbal communications between parents, the condescending put-downs, the rolling stink-eyes, the "whatevers," the resenting submissions (. . . all right, we’ll do it your way . . .) —stuff parents can’t even see themselves doing.
If your teen is pouting he/she is non-verbally dramatizing an incomplete, a specific upset. The incident took place on a specific day and with one person. That incident is what’s referred to as an incomplete. It was an interaction, a communication, that didn’t end in mutual satisfaction. After that incident your child turned from being spontaneous to being comparatively shut down. You have taught him/her to stuff, to withhold, certain thoughts. Consequently, since then, he/she has stuffed thousands of thoughts. Thoughts such as, “I wonder what it would be like to have sex with . . . , I hope dad doesn't find out I stole pocket change from his pants. I wish mom and dad wouldn’t argue. I sure feel badly about hitting my friend. That didn’t feel good. I wonder if mom knows I ate the candy. That wasn’t fair. I feel badly for lying about my homework. I’m probably a sicko for masturbating so much, etc.” When parents aren’t a safe space for thoughts to be shared then certain thoughts are stored and thought (repeated) over and over. All child molesters began with a single thought (I wonder what it would be like to…?) which they were afraid to share with a parent. Non verbalized thoughts occupy space, they serve as barriers to clear thinking, to studying (comprehension), and to manifesting ones stated intentions.
What’s exciting is that you can, within a single sit-down session, locate and complete the incident (the dramatized upset) and recreate an experience of supportive love; it’s called the Clearing Process for a Parent and a Young Person however, you must first do The Clearing Process so as to create a safe space for truths to be shared.
Last edited 10/30/17