Here’s What Happened

Here’s What Happened

by | Jan 30, 2019

I coach a couple who questioned if perhaps, they were expecting too much from their 7th grade son.

In the summer following 5th grade their son wanted a cell phone. With promises and hope they agreed that he would earn a phone when he mastered keeping his grades above a specified level and going to bed and getting up on time without being prompted.

More than a year later, and still not meeting the requirements, their son was angry and frustrated. He accused his parents of treating him unfairly and not getting it. He claimed he’s the only one who doesn’t have a phone. And he asserted that he misses out, is left out and sticks out!

This outcry triggered his parents to question the emotional and social fallout. They wanted to do the right thing, but what it was wasn’t clear. They fretted over the only options they saw: give in and get him a phone or dive deeper and insist that he meet the expectations.

That’s when they contacted me. After some discussion we crafted a plan.

They reassured their son that the three of them still share the same goal of him getting a phone. They reminded him that they believe in him and understand that he feels left out. They asked him to articulate ideas of what he could do differently to improve his grades and master his end of day and morning tasks. And they encouraged him to ask for help and promised to support him in every way possible.

By handing the problem-solving steps to their son and being emotionally sensitive, their son devised strategies that he made work. His parents’ approach was the boost he needed to re-engage and shift his focus to action and away from anger.

Next up on his parents’ agenda is collaborating with their son on phone use and responsibility.

We were elated and relieved when Jayme Closs escaped from the man who murdered her parents, kidnapped her, and held her captive.

Unfortunately, it was incorrectly reported by many sources: “We found. Police discovered. Jayme Closs was located!” None of those things happened.

Here’s what happened.

On the 88th day of Jayme Closs’ imprisonment, her abductor left the house where she was confined under a bed. This remarkable 13-year-old girl, summoned her strength and wits, energized her will, and believed in herself so profoundly that she pushed her way out of the trap. In oversized men’s shoes without a coat in the Wisconsin cold she told the first person she encountered who she was and asked for help.

We need to express her actions like this, “Jayme bolted. Jayme planned. Jayne seized the moment. Jayme never gave up. Jayme courageously broke out of the prison. Jayme escaped. Jayme is the hero of her story. Jayme triumphed.”

When the facts were altered and credit was wrongly applied, the true champion, Jayme, was not honored, recognized, or applauded for her actions. Instead, she was undermined. Not one of us wanted it to be that way. The truth is that she, and she alone, escaped and regained her freedom.

This point is essential for Jayme, and for all of us. It’s imperative that ownership and credit be given solely to the architect, originator, and designer of the act.

We can do this as parents. We can invite our daughter to tell the doctor her symptoms, listen as she spells out her study routine that resulted in her earning that A, and ask her to describe the strategy she used to score the goal that won the game. By using their voices, sharing their stories and recounting their steps, they grasp their value and embrace their strength. Let’s let them tell their stories.

I hope you are well. If I can help you, I’m an email away.

Thanks for all you do raising your remarkable children,


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JoAnn Schauf

JoAnn Schauf, Founder of Your Tween & You, began her professional counseling career in California. Later, as a counselor in schools and colleges in Texas, JoAnn supported students, families and educators providing guidance, designing and presenting professional development, and creating innovative programs. A sought-after coach and speaker, JoAnn empowers and inspires adults and adolescents with the system and secrets to thrive together. She understands that it’s challenging to be in the body of an adolescent, and equally frustrating to be the parent of one. Those she’s touched call her the “Parent Whisperer” because what they learn and apply transforms their relationships with their children.