Deeeeeeeeeeeeeep cleansing breaths.
Why am I attempting to calm myself with yoga-like (and not-so-yoga like) breaths, you ask? Well, maybe you didn’t ask but I’m gonna to tell you anyway. It’s because teenagers are assholes.
Say it with me: TEENAGERS ARE ASSHOLES!
Pretty sure I just popped out 12 new gray hairs and an additional hemorrhoid while having a “conversation” with my teen about the mess in her room and the lack of fucks she’s been giving to her homework.
Now, before you get down to defending teens, and before your granny knickers (because we all know they are THE BEST) end up all in a twist, let me just say I’m fully aware that not all teenagers are dicks. I also know the teenagers that are dicks aren’t always dicks. And just an FYI, I would never call my teenager an asshole or a dick to her face (hence the hemorrhoids and the new grays). And, since I refrain from name calling, (though I admit I do not always refrain from losing my patience) I am writing this diary-like piece anonymously in the hopes of clearing my head and maybe letting you know that as parents of teens you’re not alone in your frustrations.
I have to say, I’m feeling a bit better already. I highly recommend venting! Maybe we, parents of teens, should all get one of those journals with the lock and key. It can be a safe space to swear and complain about our kids, just like we used to do about our parents. Hmmmmm, I think I might be onto something here. We can vent it all onto the page, lock it up for safekeeping, and then head back to our family with a smile and the patience of a million saints because that is what it actually requires to get through these teen years alive, isn’t it?! 1 million saints’ worth of patience?!
I know this a phase and that, just like a toddler, a teen’s behaviour is indicative of any number of things all of which I try to be open to understanding. Nasty behaviours and attitudes can be an attempt to communicate emotions that teens themselves have yet to figure out. Their RBF, snide comments, and personal digs may just be them attempting to build independence and become more assertive. And, maybe they need to develop this edge? Perhaps it’s all part of the process but… what if my kid is actually becoming depressed? What if she is stressed and anxious because she’s tethered to fucking Instagram? What if she needs me to help her get herself on track? Of course she does! She’s a kid. She’s a fourteen-year-old kid.
That’s it! I know what I need to do. And, it’s going to make my teenager feel even less fond of me (for now).
From tomorrow onwards, I plan to do the following:
a) Buy two journals with locks, one for me and one for her.
b) Limit my teen’s phone usage consistently, even if that makes me the bad guy. (I’m thinking we’ll do three phone-free hours each weeknight so she can be free to get herself organized with homework, room tidying etc. That should do the trick.)
Onward and upward, fellow parents! Our teens, though they may revolt, really do need our help. So vent it out when we need to and then, get back out there and be the bad guys they need us to be!