“At Explorare we are less interested in what is perceived as traditional rule-based discipline – my way or the highway – and more curious about developing connected, communicative relationships.”
Why this approach? We believe that connection invites cooperation and a willingness to participate in creating new ways of relating, which is essential in our navigation of new relationship dynamics as our children grow into adolescents and young adults. We believe in fostering relationships that create an emotionally safe environment, make use of relational agreements and have a clearly defined approach to boundaries and non-negotiables.
Connection invites cooperation. Making connection your top priority should be your focus; together with a commitment to building an open and honest relationship founded on mutual trust.
Understand what is happening for your tween/teen in this phase of development. They are moving from dependence to interdependence, from a place of being entirely dependent on you for almost everything to learning how to navigate the world on their own. Supporting their learning regarding how to navigate new kinds of relationships, as this is going to be part of their foundation for how they, as adults, interact with people and the world in general.
Model the relational skills and tools you would like your tween/teen to have as an adult by building these into the way you relate to your children daily.
Create Emotional Safety. Emotional Safety is what allows us to create and maintain healthy relationships. Steps that develop emotional safety include things such as:
○ being able to emotionally attune to your children;
○ getting comfortable with being vulnerable;
○ fostering communication that is clear and honest;
○ increasing your EQ skills so that you can respond rather than react to life and thereby make useful decisions.
Create Agreements. We feel that agreements are one of the most useful things you can introduce into your relationship with your tween/teen. Agreements allow for all perspectives of the situation to be heard and create an outcome that is supportive of everyone involved. For example; your teen would like to have an Instagram account, you as the parent are cautious about social media, what are the agreements you would like to have in place to, firstly ensure their safety and secondly meet some of the requests for freedom and independence that your teen is asking for? There is always a pathway to meeting and connection; no matter the situation.