Do you know your teen’s love language?
My oldest son’s love language is acts of service (more specifically, when things are made neat and tidy for him).
Now, my kids do their chores. It’s their responsibility to clean their rooms, do their laundry, and take ownership of their space. But my son is currently juggling a ton of work with school, rehearsals 4 nights a week as he’s in 3 different performances right now, and he’s gotten behind on his linens and keeping up his laundry.
(If you know me at all, you know that I love to do laundry and have nice fresh linens on my bed… We’re a lot alike, he and I.)
So I had to make a choice. I could take the heaping pile of dirty laundry and make it about me. I could tell myself I’ve had enough to deal with these past few days and that I’m also handling a very overloaded work schedule. I could lay more responsibility on him and favor my own comfort over his stress level.
Or… I could reflect on the things he is doing well and the kind of person he is.
Only one of those options is going to result in a happy, healthy, collaborative relationship between me and my teen. I chose to use my teen’s love language to break the cycle of frustration.