Does the Circle Work with Your Teen?

an illustration of the adolescent circle of security


upture! The word alone sounds like, ‘I blew it and it’s over!’ I felt like that happened between me and my 13-year-old daughter last week. We’d had a busy weekend helping her grandmother move, and after a long morning, my daughter was done. “I’m tired and I want to go home,” she said, collapsing onto the floor. “I know you’re tired. Get up off the floor. If you are so tired, then sit down on the couch while everyone else works.”

She did sit down, and I really wanted her to get up as soon as possible – I felt embarrassed. I ignored her the rest of the day – I couldn’t believe she would just sit there. Lots of other tired family members passed her by with arms full and still working hard. Later that evening, I recognized the Shark Music that played in my mind. I’d taken my Hands off the Circle. Seeing this, repair was my goal – I’d missed the need on the Circle, but it didn’t have to be over.

“How?” I asked myself, “I can’t go back in time.” It’s been a few days and we haven’t spoken about it since. Today I decided to bring it up with my daughter and acknowledged the long hours over the weekend she put in helping her grandmother. “You have been so helpful and gave up a lot of your free time, and I didn’t appreciate this. Instead, I got mad and ignored you.” Later, I asked if she would join me to visit with her grandma and see what other help was needed. Much to my surprise, and delight, she immediately said yes, and I could feel her appreciation and the sense of support she felt in being seen and cared for in this way.

It felt good for me too – instead of doing my usual and beating up on myself for “blowing it” and getting mean, I could recognize my Shark Music, and with it, I could see I had a choice. I could forgive myself and find new ways of getting my Hands back on the Circle.

I invite you to share with me your comments, reflections, Circle stories and experiences with Circle of Security Parenting. Your submissions may be used in future blog posts, with all identifying information excluded, unless you specifically request to be identified. Contact me at brooke[at]circleofsecurityinternational[dot]com.