• When Your Teenager Is Pushing Your Buttons | Hunter Clarke-Fields | Episode 121

  • when your teenager is pushing your buttonsParenting teenagers is challenging. Pushback, arguments, silence and distancing are some of the hallmarks of this stage. One of the more challenging situations for parents comes from your teen pushing your buttons. It’s like we’re wearing a shirt with big pictures of buttons saying, “Push here!” They are masters at knowing what to say or do that sends our emotions into overdrive. Hunter Clarke-Fields has some tips and strategies for us today that can help you keep your cool or manage the situation when you don’t. She’ll share those and her stories with Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler so we can all learn and find a more peaceful path.




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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    “When we’re reactive (feel our buttons pushed), we get defensive and it erodes our influence with our kids.”

    High Points From Our Conversation About When Your Teenager Is Pushing Your Buttons:

    feeling reactive when your teenager is pushing your buttonsParents do a few things when raising teenagers that they also do with young children. They dismiss their feelings, order them around and don’t really listen.

    Oftentimes parents aren’t really present with their children. They respond to the surface level instead of looking more deeply. This actually erodes your relationship with your child.

    When you feel your teenager pushing your buttons, that is your reactivity. Our reactivity is not our fault, it’s the way our nervous system is wired. When you feel your buttons being pushed, that is your nervous system telling you there is a threat. This kicks in the stress response which allows the more primitive part of your brain to take over and bypass the prefrontal cortex, the thinking part of the brain.

    When we get reactive we get defensive, and that erodes our influence with our teens and twenty somthings.

    There are things we can do to lessen this response in the moment but it’s far better to do something ahead of time.We can cultivate calm with mindfulness and meditation. This improves our brain’s ability to stay in thinking mode.

    When you’re in the moment and feel your teen pushing your buttons try these steps:

      1. Name it to tame it. Name the emotion your are feeling “I’m getting frustrated right now”.
      2. Be aware this is your nervous system creating this response.
      3. Tell yourself, “I am safe. This is not an emergency. I’m trying to help my child.”

    When necessary, yell skillfully. Shout something like, “I’m really angry right now!”

    When we feel resistance from our child, that means our child has a problem. As they speak to you, reflect back what they say to you. Listen carefully for their problem. Our kids need to feel we get them, we see them, and we hear them.

    Curiosity is a foundational element of parenting. It is the opposite of judgement.

    Life changes constantly and so do our children. Bring a sense of wonder into your parenting. Be curious about who they are and what they think today.

    Our Guest Hunter Clarke-Fields:

    Hunter Clarke-Fields mindful parenting when your teen is pushing your buttonsHunter Clarke-Fields is a mindfulness mentor, host of the Mindful Mama podcast, creator of the Mindful Parenting membership, and author of Raising Good Humans. She helps parents bring more calm into their daily lives and cooperation in their families. Hunter has over twenty years of experience in meditation and yoga practices and has taught mindfulness to thousands worldwide. She is the mother of two active daughters, who challenge her everyday to hone her craft!

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://www.mindfulmamamentor.com/ 

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