The scene was familiar….a teen sprawled across the foot of our bed. Hubby has to get up. The clock indicating it was after midnight. The aforementioned teen in tears.
Hurt. Disappointment. Rejection.
And the “all nighter” was in progress.
They weren’t really all nighters, but when hubby has to get up at 5:30 for work, and Mama has a whole group of kids with various needs to face first thing in the morning, it can surely feel like it is an all-nighter.
We listened. And we listened. And then we listened some more.
This was, after all, our fourth teenager, third girl teen. We knew the drill.
First and foremost, we needed to listen. Not try to get her to see the hurtful person’s point of view.
Not even teach (which is so hard for two born-to-teach parents!).
Just listen. Oh, sure there were things floating around in our heads that we wanted to say….things she could have done differently. Things she could do to make things better right now.
But those are not the things she needed right now. We knew what she needed.
She needed Mom and Dad to prop themselves up despite their fatigue. She needed parents who weren’t concerned about what the next morning held for them. She needed a selfless mom and dad to console, love, support, and encourage her.
She needed us to just listen. Not judge her as being selfish. Not people telling her to buck up and accept the hurt. Not parents who have a lesson in each back pocket ready for such a time as this.
And so that is what we did….many, many nights. For this daughter and for the other six.
Because sometimes one of the best ways to talk is not to.
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