April 27, 2012

Parenting TEENAGERS.

Parenting teenagers is hard. But I was lucky; just before our eldest hit puberty, my friend Shelagh gave me some advice. "They can be horrible," she said, "but don't take any of it personally". This has helped me weather what I thought were some pretty difficult times with our first daughter.

However our second daughter didn't just hit puberty - she beat the living crap out of it, knocked it unconscious, and dragged it into her teen-cave. She owned it. Last week was especially, er... eventful, and The Huz and I were close to cracking. Another friend, Sarah, recommended this book: "Get Out Of My Life, but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?", by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph. D.

 I began to read...


Somewhere in the deep, dark, and dangerous recesses of her teen-cave, the 15 year old girl knows that we love and care for her enough to cry ourselves to sleep. And even buy a book.

And to her baby self, this is AWESOME.

I think that we're gonna make it. It's not easy; we must let our teens go and simultaneously set boundaries for them. However unpleasant, it is probably normal for them to behave badly, call us names and refuse to listen. We stay strong and do our best to follow Shelagh's advice. For as much as our teens complain about the boundaries, they do kind of appreciate them. Even if it only indicates that we love and care.

Oh and the book is great.

Parenting teens nightmares? Please share!



22 comments:

  1. I am not looking forward to the teen years - my 7 year old is enough already, I can't imagine when she's 14. Save that book for me will ya?

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    1. LOL ok, but I think in this case you're allowed to read ahead.

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  2. Ugh, we have an eight and a ten year old. Both of which are girls. We just constantly try to instill good thoughts in their heads, and show them a loving and positive relationship. Hopefully it will give them something to look for when the time comes for them to hate us, and do their own thing.

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    1. Yes, we must take heart in believing that all the good stuff we give them is still in there somewhere. Hopefully.

      *sigh*

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  3. Omg! This post has spoken to me in soooo many ways! Our son is about to be 15 and while he is the calmest, laid back kid ever. His little sister who is 11 going on 22 is not! She has recently entered womanhood, all the hormones are raging and she totally does not know how to deal with them. Sad part is I am having a really hard time with her attitude, but I know it's on;y going to get worse! I have heard of this book before, may be time to go buy it. Loved the drawings as usual, they made me giggle! ;)

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    1. So true that they are ill equipped to handle the new bodies and raging hormones. There's nothing like a 14 year old who looks like an 18 year old, and believes they are 18 years old, but acts more like a 18 month old.

      Hang in there! Remember Shelagh's advice!

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  4. Hi - just seen this posted by Chris ^ on g+.

    Hang in there - they all have to grow up - eventually. Well apart from boys, based on my experience it takes them a LOT longer.

    If you don't mind a bit of shameless self promotion - rather then just repeat myself can I just link a post I wrote about teenage boys.
    There might be something useful there for parents of teen girls too, but I never had one.
    http://dirtycowgirl.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/teenage-kicks.html

    +followed - and wishing I'd found this blog sooner :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing that! I'm braced for our son, who is 12 and still a sweetie, to turn into a cave dweller any day now.

      And now I have the Undertones song on my brain!

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  5. I'm terrified. Before children, I didn't for a second fear bringing home a baby. I never had a "WE HAVE A NEWBORN; WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO WITH IT?" phase. Even then, I was looking 12 or 13 years down the line and quaked with fear.

    My twins turn 11 this year. I distinctly remember that being the age at which I began losing my ever-loving-you-can't-tell-me-what-to-do" phase.

    I sense the boomerang of karma making it's rounded approach to knock me on my ass.

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    1. Right. Having a mewling baby is easy. They never warn you about what comes later - the future of the human race depends on it.

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  6. It's so ironically weird to find oneself reading from the same parental script that meant so little to us when we were teens!

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  7. My son is 13 and while his behaviour isn't terrible, he is now questioning Every. Single. Thing. That. I. Say......and he always seems to need to have the last word. We've spent so many years telling him how smart he is that he now thinks that he's smarter than us. At least he still wants to talk to us; pretty soon we probably won't be able to get full sentences from him. We just need to hang in there.....

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    1. So interesting the different ways these kids act out. I think that by the time our kids are making sense again, the Huz and I will be talking another language of our own - the language of The Olds.

      Hang in there!

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  8. I loved this blog -- ah the memories. Teens--they make you long for the sleepless baby nights, the shouted no of the two-year old, the feverish and puking 10-year old. Teens are horrible and evil but they are also clinically insane from the all hormones. If your teen thinks you're a drag, mean, horrible and hates you on a daily basis, then you are probably doing your job. Parenting a teens means pulling them back from the edge of abyss because they are convinced they can fly simply by wishing it so. They complain bitterly about boundaries but secretly welcome them. There is life after teens. My own teen is now 22 and is doing okay. She still talks to me. There is life after teendom.

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  9. Huh, apparently my 5 year old is a teen. Who knew? I am not looking forward to the teenage years, because although I can't see how it's going to get a lot worse, I know it will. Sigh...

    Stand tall and send light from the other side to those of us still in the tunnel...

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    1. I see my 15 year old and remember back when she was 2. She's still yelling at me, haha.

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  10. A couple years ago I had the opportunity to catch up with a man who'd been my piano teacher when I was a teen. He was friends with my older cousin. Still is, I believe!

    Anyway. He has a teenage son. Had a great talk with him about parenting his teen. I decided to follow in this guy's footsteps a bit. I've always admired him tremendously.

    So...I've been warning my pre-pubescent (just barely) son that in just a few years I am going to become the most stupidest person he's ever met. (My 5 y.o. daughter often already thinks this :/)

    So, when this happens, I can either, A) point out how prescient I was or B) model admirable humility in admitting I was wrong.

    What could go wrong!?

    Heh.

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    1. Isn't it cool that you had that person in your life to inspire you?

      PS. Better practice admirable humility, for no matter what we do, they will blame us.

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  11. Oh, dear God, YES! We have an 18 year old daughter & a 14 year old son. We are currently in the throes of, "Tou are the MEANEST mother on the planet. My friends all think that you are ridiculous, and I hate you. Can I have the car keys?" Umm, A) I don't care WHAT your friends think of me. You WILL live by our rules in our house. And B) Are you KIDDING me?

    I keep hearing that there is light at the end of the tunnel; but, right now, I not convinced its not a train.

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  12. I remember someone showing me a picture from when the oldest 2 were little, and I actual said, " OMG look at my babies, this is so oldest that my daughter is smiling and my son doesn't have face tattoos!" .... which roughly translated is.. wow, I wish I could turn back time and make all old mistakes into new mistakes, because simply put, there is no "right" way to do it.

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Cuz You Rocketh.