I Love my daughters. So very, very much. But sometimes navigating through the teenage minefield can be exhausting and it leaves me sad.
Oldest One is a good kid. When she pushes it she does so with me and Husband, and I don’t get calls or emails from the school about her attitude. Or from other parents. Or from coaches. So I figure we are doing something right. But when it comes to us, she will all out go off the rails.
I know she is at the age where independence is calling. I remember how exciting it was to know that “freedom” was right around the corner. And I’m sure I was a huge pain to my parents. But since teenagers get stuck into a world that revolves around them, they sometimes act and say things that, as a parent, come across as mean, rude, and with no gratitude.
I feel like the last several weeks have been a complete battle to try to talk to Oldest One about important things like schedules and college. I love that she want to take care of everything, but realistically several items need parental approval or oversight. If I want to talk about movies, music, or anything that doesn’t need decisions, it’s all good. But there are a lot of things that need decisions.
Husband gets irritated when she tells us she is going to a movie with friends, including where and what movie. He’d like her to ask if she can. That doesn’t bother me. She has a car, she is letting us know what she is doing with who, and she texts me updates. I see where he is coming from, but as long as she lets us know where she is going (and it isn’t a sleepover at a lake – that was a NO) I’m good.
What I’m not good with is trying to discuss how we have 3 places to be in one day and the times overlap and what I get is her banging her head against the couch, covering her eyes, and telling me she’ll take care of it. That sounds good, but Little One, Husband and I all need to be at these 3 places too, so we have to work it out together about how it is getting done. This example can be used to cover a multitude of situations. I should check to see how dented the couch is where she sits.
I also know if Oldest One starts a conversation with “Since I’m almost an adult” I am much better off running out of the room and hiding then actually trying to have the conversation. Yes, 18 is the legal age that says a person is an adult, but it doesn’t mean you magically start to make good decisions, or have your own money to go to college and live. I have yet to get through a conversation that starts with those words without her getting mad.
I am trying to have patience, and remember what I felt at that age. I haven’t jumped up (yet) and started yelling, and if I know I am getting nowhere with a conversation I do get up and leave, but really, at some point I know we’ll have to finish it. I know she doesn’t think I’m dumb, even though her body language strongly suggests it at times. I know she loves me, and is usually glad I’m her Mom. But not being able to discuss things with her is not just getting old, that is what is making me sad. I spend a lot of time doing things to make my girls lives happy, as I’m sure most parents do, so it would be nice to have the consideration I want and the attitude adjustment so I don’t have to carefully walk around the potential explosions.
I know she doesn’t see herself doing this, and I know she isn’t out to deliberately make me feel bad. In fact there are plenty of times she goes out of her way to be nice. I’m sure growing up is hard on her, and her impatience may not be so much with me as with the odd state she is in, not really a child but not an adult. So, I’ll keep trying to have patience, and I’ll keep trying to have (futile) conversations, and I’ll try to keep the frustrations and sadness to a minimum. And I’ll keep running away and hiding from some of the talks a definite possibility.