EMBRACE • EDUCATE • EMPOWER • LOVE
“As parents, it is our job to make sure that they know they can talk to us about anything and feel heard.” - Heather Hester
DO YOU HAVE A SECRETIVE TEEN?
While almost all teenagers will have some things that they keep to themselves, there is a big difference between harmless secrets and something more disconcerting. We have some methods to tell you how to Deal with a Secretive Teen. As parents, it is our job to make sure that they know they can talk to us about anything and feel heard. That is not to say that we always have to agree. The nuance here is that we create a safe space where open communication can occur; sometimes that is in the form of validation, others in the form of teaching moments.
When it comes to secret-keeping, there is a fine line between what is developmentally appropriate and what could be a behavioural issue.
Teenagers are growing, learning, and finding their place in the world. And while they know where they fit at home and who they are at the kitchen table – outside might be a different story.
Here are some of the most common secrets teens keep:
What they’re doing when they pretend to be at sleepovers
Going to parties
Gender identity and or sexual orientation
Political affiliations or beliefs
Most often, your teen will keep a secret if they believe that telling will get them in trouble or if things have gone too far. And they don’t know what to do. For instances such as substance experimentation, it is important to keep the door open for conversations because that is the only way you will be able to assess where it falls on the continuum. There are many organization both locally and nationally such as the Palm Beach Institute that offer assistance.
Many children get bullied, and even more so if they are LGBTQA+: How to Protect LGBTQ+ Youth From Bullying.
Preventing secret-keeping is an exercise in futility. Even if it were possible, Some level of keeping secrets is normal and, in fact, is part of growing up in most cases. Here is the key – make sure that your child knows that some things fall into the category of privacy. And others are secrecy – and that the latter can be shared with you.
Respect their privacy while allowing them to be open and come to you.
The moment you notice that there are changes in your child’s behavior is a good time to ask if they would like to talk. You might be met with a lot of resistance, which can indicate that there is something deeper going on. Pushing them to tell you might push them away further.
Rather than invade their privacy too soon, give them space to come to you. This can be a difficult time to communicate with a Secretive Teen, but you can make them comfortable enough to come to you if you keep calm.
Fixating secrecy by having emotional outbursts or being accusatory can cause you to lose time. Instead, focus on the relationship with your child by doing things one-on-one and as a family. Communication is of great importance here.
It is easy to fall into the control trap. When you feel yourself in the spinning place, take a breath and lean into your intuition. You know your child. Ask open-ended questions and let them know you are on their side.
Heather was a passionate and informed speaker on the topic of LGBTQ2S parenting. Heather shares her personal and professional experience through family storytelling and is able to connect to the audience in this candid way. Heather provided thoughtful and supportive feedback to parents’ questions and employees shared positive feedback after her informative session.
~Kallie Jackson, CN PRIDE ERG Co-Chair
Canadian National Railways
I am very happy to know that Heather is available to serve as a resource for parents of LGBTQ+ kids, and really to any parents at all. Everyone talks about being "inclusive", but Heather lives it. Heather is able to accept whatever comes her way and use the power of unconditional love and kindness to turn challenges into gifts. We can all learn a lot from Heather.
~Adam Simon, Executive Director
Odyssey Teen Camp
Heather was the calming voice in a world that was otherwise in upheaval. Heather was there to pick me up (although she didn't know it) and she was the best friend in my head helping me process and get through some difficult stuff. I loved that she gave ME permission to process and mourn my story now that it was being rewritten...Heather gave me the time I needed to get to the next step. Heather didn't judge me. I would download a podcast every morning and listen to ther during my walk. Her voice fixed it for me. Her voice soothed my heartache. Her voice helped me get to the next step of processing and her voice helped me move on. Heather helped me have difficult conversations that were based in kindness. She helped me to breathe. And I love her for that.
~Anonymous and thankful
I was searching for resources to be the best supportive mom I could be to my pre-teen (now teen) and found this amazing podcast! It was just what I needed! I knew I needed some guidance from a parent who had experience through a similar journey and Heather was there with perfect content and even talked with me personally through email. The community Heather has built through this podcast and Facebook page has given me the confidence to not be fearful through this journey but rather to embrace it and encourage my teen to be their authentic self!
~ Lauren Bo21
Heather is real, relatable, thoughtful, educated, and inclusive of every teen parent scenario in her talks. I love being able to hear first hand from someone who has gone through the “Valley of Darkness” and come out the other side a better person, informed, and able to help others right where they are.
Your centered, calming voice and demeanor help me to feel more peaceful. I experience you as therapeutic & your journey gives me more hope that we can love [our son] well. Thank you for giving your life away to me through sharing your story and the guests you interview.
I love your raw, real vulnerability. I am brand new on this journey and stumbled accidentally across your podcast on a road trip. I listened for 8 hours of driving and didn’t want to get to my destination because I wanted more. Using your own journey to help and support other parents is so brave and I am grateful to you and your family. Connor is so fortunate to have you ❤️
© 2024 Chrysalis Mama • All Rights Reserved