Enabling vs. Supporting
Are you wondering if your efforts are actually helping your teen? Are supporting them or simply enabling them? Are you at a loss on what the next step is in parenting your teen? Do you have questions but don’t know who to talk to? Parenting can be tough, but I am here to help you navigate this season of your teen’s life. I will walk alongside you and help you make the best decisions for your teen. I believe it is so important for parents and teens to have a relationship in which you can talk with one another freely, without it always ending in an argument or giving into your teens wants. I have been doing relationship coaching for many years, and I can offer many researched strategies and tips that will help guide and support you through whatever family difficulties you may be facing. I would love to share my expertise with you and your family.
Sometimes it can be very confusing to tell the difference between enabling vs. supporting. When I think of an enabler, it is a person who either allows or encourages negative or self-destructive behavior in another person. When parents enable their teen, they are choosing to make things more comfortable for themselves rather than actually helping their teen in the long run. The enabler allows their teen to do what they want with no regard for consequences. I believe enabling is a temporary solution to much bigger problems. Enablers are often choosing to be selfish, even though it feels like they are doing something good for their teen. Ultimately, they are avoiding the hard needs of helping their teen grow into a mature adult. I have seen many parents enable their kids, leading them to grow up with a lack of coping skills, not knowing how to navigate life without their parents.
What makes supporting different than enabling is you coming alongside your teen even if it means setting limits or disciplining them. When we are supporting our children instead of enabling them, we are training them for future successes. Whereas enabling might allow someone a quick victory, it can lead to an unhealthy reliance and lack of ability to take personal ownership for future growth. When we are supporting, we are listening to our teen and making a plan together, not just blindly agreeing with them. Supporting involves the balance of setting high expectations while being there along the way. This leads to much higher rates of long-term success in adulthood. We want your teen to have moral personal autonomy when they leave the household. They should have an understanding of how to navigate their own struggles. I am not saying they can’t ask for their parents for advice, that will still happen throughout life if you have supported well. They just need to be independent enough to make informed decisions without having to always rely on their parents for everything.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me! I would love to talk with you and your teen and create a plan that will make everyone happy!