What makes parenting teens so challenging?
The emotion involved!!! End post.
…seriously though, that’s what it comes down to for me. Take the emotion away and it’d be a breeze! It’s easier to see the solution to other people’s parenting issues than our own because there’s that degree of separation. I think that’s why the term “it’s easier said than done” is used so often by us (parents). Emotion gets in the damn way!
Emotion is attached to every part of parenting. And the intensity is magnified when your teen is struggling with life or mental health issues.
As a teen I didn’t ever consider what I put my parents through. Because of that, I had no idea what to expect. Besides, in my mind, I was going to blitz parenting through these teenage years. Blitz it!
There are times in life you have to laugh at yourself…
In regards to parenting, in ‘The Birthday Book’, my day says, and I quote, “August 24 people can make good parents, so great is their interest they show in their children’s development. They must make an effort, however, to allow for the privacy and living space that every individual needs. This means that they must curb their tendency to over-analyse their children’s behaviour and perhaps over-structure their lives.”
I’d agree with all of that except the over-structuring of Jessie’s life. She’s too hard headed for any structuring full stop that she’s not happy with! It’s exhausting being so involved and stressful when it feels like there’s no development!
With Jessie being 16, and at the age where she is finding her own independence, I’m feeling the loss of control over her and her life choices. And when things go wrong for Jessie I feel it intensely, so having to step back causes extreme worry. And omg there are so many things to worry about. Some are like big hanging signs blowing in the wind, continually bashing against my skull, bang, bang, bang, making them impossible to forget.
I worry about her self harming, I worry about her in her room, I worry about her future, her present, her happiness, her confidence, her thinking on some things, her social life – you get the idea – everything!!
Is she going find within herself what it takes to do the best she can? Is she going to make the right choices? Are the not so good choices she makes going to have life long effects? Is she going to have the better life I’ve always hoped for her? And the most frightening – is she going to end up like me? All these thoughts come with a myriad of emotions that can become all consuming at times.
To add, teenage attitude and moods evoke frustration, anger, sadness and quite a lot of WTF. As parent’s we’re to remain calm and unaffected by the “raahh” that gets thrown our way, but that’s sometimes easier said than done ⇐ being human and all.
The heart gets a real workout during the teen years with the good, the bad, and everything in between. It’s not something you can possibly prepare for, no matter how prepared you think are!