The Middle/High School Years
For a parent, the thought of a teenager shutting down may cause some anxiety. “What happens when they are bigger then I am and I can’t physically make them follow my instructions?” “What do I do when they refuse to follow the rules?” There have been many times I have had to sit outside a bathroom door with one of our residential girls who had shut down and didn’t want to come out. Or sat out side and talked with a boy who didn’t want to work. It seems the key with preventing a shut down in the teen years is relationship. Always pursue relationship with your teen. Just like younger children there are warning signs that a shut down may come. We need to pay attention as parents to those warning signs and pursue our children relationally. In those instances with the teens in the residential homes the thing that brought them out of the shut down was relationship, sitting and talking. Most of the time the shut down started because they felt misunderstood or that no one cared. Even though the teen years are packed with busy schedules make sure to set aside time for your teen weekly. Always pursue relationship.