I have teenage daughters.
I used to be a teenager. I never think of that time as easy or forgettable. I remember. The struggles and emotional world wind that time was to me is brought back to the surface time and again listening to my daughter’s stories. But, I also know with surety that the time we spend in this hormonal hell hole is short. In the big picture it is clear but I understand when you’re in it that it feels like forever.
I have two girls that are a couple years apart and so different in interests and temperaments. The one I can influence more be my speech and the other I can influence by my acceptance. One loves her hugs and the other does not. But, at the same time they feel like a split of me. On one hand I want to have fun and be social but on the other hand if I don’t like you I’m not one to pretend. I love the outdoors but if I could slip under the covers I’d read all day in bed. And, there’s a part that would have wanted their mothers interest in my life and the other part where you would remain a mystery.
In the end, I try not to get wrapped up in their emotions, prattles of unfairness and dramas in the common areas. But, I’m listening to what they aren’t saying or sometimes the little things they mutter. A teenager is just like everyone else. They want to be seen as they really are which is unique and amazing. They want you to point out the good stuff and notice the details of their life. They don’t like but can deal with creating limits, boundaries and rules. Expect push back but don’t take everything so seriously. Kids don’t change overnight because they start to warn us. They talk about friends that aren’t friends anymore or have bad days too many times in a row. It is the start of perking up in those moments and asking what is going on.
I had talks with both my girls the other night. I told them what I was noticing and reminded them to stay true to themselves. They both surprised me. The one told me a couple hours after by telling me some stuff that just showed I was on the right track. And the other did the next day and made a big decision to approach her coach and it ended up making some big changes but the biggest change was her speaking up.
All I can say is this is a reminder to myself to pay attention to those girls. It seems if I get distracted they come up with their own ideas of what is right and they are so easily led astray. Keep talking. Keep telling them not to give their power away. Don’t allow what others think be your voice. How they act is about them and has nothing to do with you. Only your reaction is about you. You can’t control how they behave only yourself. And don’t stop talking to them parents. Keep telling them you love them and support them. You may not always like their behaviour but you love them always.