This seems like a long time ago now…………..it was a different more hands on and a physically demanding phase of life, but it was comforting and cosy.
Others warned of the challenges of teenagers – but nothing really prepare you!
They withdraw into their rooms
They take everything as a criticism
Nothing is done around the house without a huff and a puff
They want money all the time
They want lifts to lots of different places – hopefully
or maybe they are constantly on a gadget!!
They are messy
….and yet quite needy!!
Frustrating to say the least.
What about homework, peer groups, motivation, boy/girlfriends, alcohol, body image, sexting, drugs, sex, music (not rock ‘n roll), grooming – at least 2 types, choices, independance, parties, curfews, part time jobs, a career? future, Uni?, study, health, safety, freedom, bullying, social media, wifi, kindness, money, driving, family relationships and responsibilities…
I’m sure there are lots of things I’ve missed. It’s endless and draining and emotional, and at times tedious and confusing, as a parent……………let alone the young person!!
Anxiety is a big concern around this period, for the teenager who is negociating their growth and exposure to new concepts both emotionally and psychologically, let alone the physical and hormonal challenges. This brings insecurity, social anxiety and risk taking behaviours possibly all at once! It can also be tricky to negociate for the parents, with a return to sleepless nights, but for a whole range of reasons.
It will all be worth it, I keep hoping…….. but all seems a bit thankless at times.
This is all preparation for when the stroppers step away from their home base and become their own person. Your job will be done! The input that has taken years of your energies will be either embraced or rejected and you can no longer easily influence.
Every phase of parenthood has its challenges and some parents will deal with certain phases better than others. Teenagers can cause you to feel rejected, powerless and stressed as you try to support their challanges.
Remind yourself this is a necessary seperation and rejection of your values, ideas and beliefs for them to be able to grow up into independant people.
As a parent apart from supporting them and trying to keep in communication with them to guide them as needed and certainly when it is asked for….
To keep yourself positive you need :-
– support from your partner, friends or close family member – an empathetic person who can hear you, but not judge you when you need to unload!
– time for yourself, to develop your own interests and remind yourself of your strengths and abilities
– seek out information and resources that can guide you and give you strategies to make the teenage years as smooth running as possible
– friendship with others with teenagers so you can swap tips or ideas or just giggle and let off steam at the ridiculousness of some of the challenges
– focus on your own goals and direction for when you will have more time available for career moves or new skills
-time out for you, to relax and be able to face the challenges
–space to explore how you feel about the uncertainty of the future and what the opportunities are!