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  • Erika Bugbee, M.A.

Parenting Teens: Listening beyond Fear to Your Instincts


Every week I get a huge range of topics and concerns that parents of teens ask about in their meetings with me.


Their kids lack motivation, are fragile or overwhelmed, withdrawn, ungrateful, frequently down, or feeling lost without a sense of direction in life.


But when I listen past the details, what I hear is that they all have the same essential hopes as parents.


From my experience what most parents want is:

  • To feel close to their kids

  • For their kids to become independent and self-sufficient

  • For their kids to be able to handle challenges and adversity

  • To pass along something essential and valuable to their kids

I’ve also found there are ways parents can go about raising kids that supports everything on that list.


As a parent myself, I know there’s a huge amount of background noise around the decisions we make and how we handle things.


The judgment, the doubt, wondering how you're coming across to other people, thinking about how your parents did things, worrying about outcomes and worst-case scenarios - the list is endless.


That noise gets brought into the moment through the power of thought. And it clogs the system.


I also know that sometimes, in those rare moments of grace, we just see what to do, and we do it.


Maybe it doesn’t happen that often, but it happens.


We all have our own way of describing and naming that feeling.


I call it operating from instincts.


Everyone has certain situations, areas of life, or fleeting moments in which they’ve had a sense of clarity and knowing, regardless of how much mess or chaos they were facing.


Some people find that happens naturally for them at work, when they ski, or when they have to meet a deadline.


It’s a human potential everyone walks around with.


That potential can be developed and strengthened, like any other muscle group.


And as parents, in the moments (however rare) when we tap into our instincts, we check a lot of ‘parenting boxes.’


When we operate from our instincts, our level of presence goes up and our ability to handle adversity and think on our feet goes up with it. Which makes things easier for us.


But more importantly, it has the amazing side-effect of providing our kids with a live demonstration of the human potential.


That’s the focus of today’s interview.


Click below to watch.



Today’s interview was hosted by an organization called Three Principles Denmark (3PDK). The 3PDK is dedicated to sharing the body of work called the Three Principles.


To learn about the 3PDK and the amazing work they do click here.





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