I am struggling with how to practice unconditional love towards my teenage daughter. The models below are so specific that they seem trivial when I write them down. Yet my feelings are intense, and I would like to have some guidance on how I can show up without simply doing the chores or not withdrawing from my daughter completely. I’ve brought this question to 20-minute coaching, but the advice “practice unconditional love,” is too abstract. I need some more practical steps.
How do I show up as a parent and practice unconditional love towards her and towards myself?
C: wake up and the food is on the counter, trash still in the basket
T: K doesn’t take responsibility . . . . which means I’m not a good parent
A: wake her up and yell at her to put away the stuff; she puts away food; yell at her to take out trash; thought loops about how she does C work at home and at school; body tenses; jaw clenches; don’t sit for 20-minutes as I like to do; write down all the sentences to declutter my mind, anger rises again
C: K says, “I got a C as her 3 quarter grade” (while also complaining about how easy it is and how no one but her answers any questions) and then says “I got C because of the online learning platform”
T: K doesn’t take responsibility for her own learning
A: stay quiet; think about how every time I walk into her room, she’s gaming; ruminate on how she criticizes other people (e.g., teacher and other students); remind myself I shouldn’t resume contributions to college fund (stopped when husband’s work dropped during COVID); look for confirmation about how she’s become a “c” student in life; refrain from asking questions because I don’t want her to lash out at me;