If you’ve ever wished you could use a Volcan Mind Meld to communicate with your teenager, then this is for you!
You want to connect with your teenage children. You try for effective, nurturing, and fun communication, but something gets lost in translation. You’ve been talking all your life, so why is it so difficult to communicate with your teenager?
You know how it is. Maybe you offer a warm and encouraging word, and are greeted with a surly, brutish look or comment. Other times you misinterpret confusion for rudeness. Then everything goes downhill from there! Wouldn’t you love to take back some things you’ve said? Imagine how your teen feels!
Do you ever wish there were fewer years between you and your teenager? Or fewer electronics or fewer hormones in play? If you find it tough to say what you really want to say – and hear what your teen is really trying to tell you – you’re not alone!
And if you’re a single mom to teenage boys, frustrations are amplified on both sides.
Sometime over the past few years, my boys have become less coherent to me than when they were babies. I repeatedly hear the same words (and grunts) over and over again. These tired phrases, sounds, and questions come from them, and (horrors!) from my lips, too. Sometimes it feels like we’re made out of Teflon and steel; rather than flesh, blood, thoughts, and emotions. Words bounce around. Meaning doesn’t “stick”, and no real connection is made.
Communication only “works” when you’re not anticipating what the other person is going to say, think and do.
That means letting go and letting your guard down. It means being open to surprise, while staying connected.
“Remember when they were little kids?”
I remind myself that my boys are fairly new at communicating. Me, I’ve been doing it for much longer.
The burden’s on the adult to be better at communication. So it’s important to hone skills specifically geared toward your teenage boys.
Still, sometimes I forget that I really don’t know them better than they know themselves. I’d like to think I do, though.
As their mom, I’ve seen their behaviors, reactions, antics, and the irresistible sweetness of boys. I’ve listened to their words and watched their facial expressions all their lives. I knew their routines and preferences. I can look at a preschool picture taken years ago, and see that same playful, “you-can’t-make-me-smile” expression on my 16-year-old’s mouth just yesterday, as he was trying not to laugh. Teachers, neighbors, friends, and relatives have shared stories that shape my understanding of my kids. I perceive them as my children, yes, and as their own sovereign souls out in the world.
I’ve had all these years to assess what I know about them. I DO think I know them, and yet…
It’s not about what I know. I want to learn what they know.
When I’m quiet for long enough, when I ask an interesting-enough question, at the right time and place, when I reveal something surprising (even shocking) about my own experience; sometimes I get the goods I’m searching for.
My teenagers are only beginning to know what they know, and give voice to that truth. I feel lucky when they share with me glimpses of the men they are becoming.
I’ll never be their peer, but I’ll always be their mom.
These days, I realize that my boys are coming into their own and that they are beginning to formulate how they represent themselves in the world.
Sometimes I don’t like to consider that theirs is a world I will never know…
Sometimes, I want to hang on tightly and be their friend and biggest fan. Other days, I just want to keep them alive long enough to push them out of the nest. Some days, I’d like to leave them to raise themselves. Yep, it’s true. Like a little pack of wolves.
But my genuine wish is to remain at least somewhat relevant through these teenage years, for them to know how much I delight in them just the way they are, and for them to become their best selves in the world.
What is the optimal way to communicate with your teenager?
I want to know what my teenage boys are thinking and feeling. I want to hear what happened at the skate park; to know why all the yelling during the game; to understand why they dislike a particular subject at school, to find out what they talked about all the way to the coast on their fishing trip, etc.
Too much info to verbalize, I know. Most boys don’t love to talk that much.
Not only that, but I want to be heard and understood, too. As a mom, I don’t want them to concern themselves too much with things that concern me, but I’d like to be somewhere on their radar.
And I want them to remember who they are.
So we keep trying.
I’ve come up with a few go-to strategies for communicating with my teenagers. I can’t make any guarantees, but sometimes these may work for you, too.
One thing I know to be true: we communicate better when we are both facing the same direction (not face to face) and we’re moving. We’re going somewhere. Whether walking, driving, riding around in a golf cart, or bicycling, we’re moving forward. These magical moments are not as frequent as I’d like but I savor them and sometimes even try to choreograph such situations for the express purpose of talking.
Every now and then, you really want to be heard. How do you make sure your words make an impact? I learned this technique from Bill Beausay’s book Teenage Boys! It’s called Coherence, matching your words with your actions. He states,
You gain tremendous credibility and impact when you consciously match your bodily actions with your words. For instance, if you want to say “I love you” in a powerful way, create body actions and expressions that clearly match:
- Sit forward
- Look intently
- Make concerted eye contact
- Speak up
- Put some heart into it
The amazing truth is that if you do nothing more than consciously make your body match what your brain is saying or thinking, your communication ability will skyrocket.
There are a lot of other great ideas for communicating with your teenage sons in this book. I recommend it if you’re struggling.
Essential Oils for Communication
From the book called Aromatherapy, Healing the Spirit, Gabriel Mojay explains the properties of various essential oils used throughout the ages. I was first introduced to essential oils when I went in search of something to help my daughter gain clarity and remember her roots. The spiritual and emotional healing properties of oils are my first love.
I used the information in this book, and from presentations I attended at the convention this year, and also from the Essential Oils Desk Reference to find the best oils that open the channels of communication.
My philosophy and practice:
- Focus on yourself, changing yourself, healing yourself. Make your intention more about your understanding, not your kids’ understanding.
- Anoint yourself with oils that have relevant constituents. I did the research here, but you can do this work for anything you want to change or improve in your life. It just takes a little exploration.
- Believe that you have the ability to communicate. It’s been proven many times that essential oils provide what you need if you work with them. Involve your body, mind and spirit. I believe this is God’s intention, and why He gave us a planet full of super-potent, chemically diverse plants to work with. Use everything!
- Pray that you will receive others’ words in their best light.
- Keep at it. Do three things every day to improve your life in the area you wish to change and you will succeed over the long haul.
These oils help you express yourself, and become more open and receptive to others.
Vetiver: Nourishing, Restoring, Reconnecting
Vetiver’s earthy, woodsy scent is uplifting, yet down-to earth, and reassuring. It promotes a sense of belonging. It is perfect for moms who strive for perfection, and have trouble allowing perfection to just be.
Peppermint: Attentive, Tolerant, Visionary
Useful for mental fatigue, this oil enhances concentration and helps to facilitate the digestion of new impressions and ideas.
Orange: Ease, Adaptability, Optimism
A traditional Chinese symbol of Good Luck, Orange has a sunny, sweet scent that disperses moodiness and stagnant, negative energy. It helps one to relax, to stop striving for perfection, and to roll with events as they unfold. It conveys an easy-going vibe that whisks away irritability.
Marjoram: Comfort, Contentment, Compassion
The Greeks called it “Joy of the Mountains”. Innately balancing, Marjoram relaxes, warms and comforts you when you feel isolated and unsupported. Communicating with teens can be tainted by obsessive thinking and emotional craving for what was or what could be. Marjoram cuts through all that and promotes inner self-nurturing, promoting the power to give.
Lavender: Calm, Composure, Easy Self Expression
The closed-in form of Lavender’s flowers reflects the self-protective, self-possessed equanimity of its scent. It equalizes overwhelming emotions and releases energy that has become stuck in habitual behavior. Do you want to change old methods of communicating? Lavender to the rescue!
Geranium: Security, Receptivity, Intimacy
Feeling overly emotional when communicating with teens? Then Geranium’s ability to relax the nerves could be the essential oil for you. Stressed or overworked moms can benefit from Geranium’s calm strength and security. It is for the workaholic who has forgotten imagination, intuition, and sensory experience.
Fennel: Self Expression, Productivity, Communication
When feelings are un-communicated, they tend to churn in, affecting the bowels with built-up tension. Fennel helps free stagnant, putrefied feelings and ideas that clog the mind. Confident self-expression is the result of using Fennel. You’ll experience creative communication instead of fear and inhibition.
Clary Sage: Revitalize, Clarify, Inspire
Think “Clarity” when you hear “Clary Sage” because this essential oil helps you connect with reality. It uplifts and steadies the mind, enlivens the senses, and dispels illusions. If worry is making you despondent and less intuitive than you’d like, use Clary Sage to help open communication lines between you and your teenagers.
The Communication Blend
[Note, I gave my daughter my bottle of Geranium recently, so I did not put that oil in the blend I made. The blend seems just right without it, although I totally recommend getting some Geranium for its singular properties. At first, I felt it was too sweet for me, but I find that I reach for it all the time for my skin and for its lovely, feminine scent. It helps you feel strong and secure, able to give and receive. Perfect for enhancing communication.]
6 parts Vetiver
3 parts Peppermint
3 parts Orange
3 parts Marjoram
3 parts Lavender
4 parts Fennel
3 parts Clary Sage
You can put this on the throat, the belly, or the wrists. You can also diffuse it.
Let me know if you try this blend. I do think it helps me hear and feel heard; to both listen with intent and to say what matters. What do you think?
Not into essential oils yet? Explore Young Living’s single oils and oils blends here. …or contact me below.