The Unknown – Good and Bad
The fear of the unknown is the most powerful of all fears. This fear keeps many people from starting therapy.
However, once you begin therapy, you face that fear. You find out things that you didn’t know before. You do things you never tried. You think new thoughts. Your family members behave differently. Things happen. Some of it will be unpleasant. Some of it will be satisfying. Some of it will be downright delightful. In any event, it will no longer be UNKNOWN.
You will be MAKING things happen instead of just WAITING for them to happen. As you can guess, when you take an active role in making things happen in your life, more of the things that you want actually do happen. If you just sit around waiting for your life to become satisfying, you’re going to wait a very long time and will probably be disappointed.
I’m ready to MAKE things HAPPEN
Let’s say that your teenaged daughter is getting interested in boys and is starting to neglect her schoolwork. You have three choices, deal with it, ignore it, or forbid it. Let’s see what could happen …
DEAL WITH IT
At first you are afraid to raise the topic with her because she’s so sensitive. You ask her if it’s getting hard to concentrate in school because of all the cute boys. She runs off to her room crying that you think she’s a big failure in school. Well, that didn’t go very well. You stick to your guns and wait a few days and tell her it must be hard to get schoolwork done when she’s so pretty that the boys pay a lot of attention to her. Now she storms off angrily stating that you’re calling her a flirt. This just isn’t going well, now is it? Okay, you remain firm and you let her know that you are available if she ever wants to ask any questions about sex. She looks at you like you are from Outer Space and makes a vomiting gesture saying that sex is gross! Hmm, this just doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere, does it? You’ve laid the groundwork for the discussion, whenever it’s going to happen. That’s going to be up to her. Now her boyfriend actually asks her to have sex. She already knows that you are aware she is interested in boys. She already knows that you think she’s pretty and that other people are going to, too. She already knows that you are willing to talk about sex. She may just come to you to discuss it BEFORE she does it. That is the part that is most terrifying to parents, thinking that their children are going to have sex. Now read the next scenario and decide which is more scary.
You realize your daughter is interested in boys and that her schoolwork is suffering as a result. You really can’t bring yourself to punish her for normal interest in boys and you are too embarrassed to discuss sex with her, so you just pretend it’s not an issue. She’s going to try to engage you in a conversation about boys or about school or about sex, but since you really don’t want to make any waves, you just let her know that you expect her to do the right thing. She is going to think you don’t care. Yep, that’s right. If you don’t even try to impose limits on teens or give them some advice, they assume that you don’t care. She knows her schoolwork is suffering and she doesn’t really know what to do about it. Her friends don’t seem to care, so she thinks she shouldn’t either, but you don’t seem to care, either. She will wonder why no one seems to care that she’s starting to fail. She is also going to know that she’s not really supposed to have a boyfriend at her age, but she has one and no one is angry at her. She will again ask herself why no one cares. But wait, someone does care. Can you guess who? Yep. He REALLY cares about her and you know what that means … How scary is that? Try the next scenario and see what you think.
Okay, so your daughter is interested in boys and her schoolwork is going downhill. One thing you might consider is putting your foot down and telling her that she is not ready to have a boyfriend. If she already has a boyfriend, then you are wrong, and therefore, stupid. She’s certainly not going to listen to stupid people. So, she goes about her business having a boyfriend and she wants to go to a dance with him. Well, she already knows that you won’t let her, so she’s got no choice but to say she’s going to the dance with friends. She’ll meet her boyfriend there and things will happen as they do with teens in love. Now, something goes very wrong. He puts some pressure on her that she wasn’t expecting. She gets scared and doesn’t know what to do. She CANNOT call you for help … How’s that for scary?
Wouldn’t it be easier and less scary tojust deal with it?
Yes, I’m ready to deal with it
Not yet, first tell me about Ending Therapy