To Birdbrain888 The bad news is it gets harder before it gets easier - good news is it does finally smooth out.
11 is just the "pssssst " of the opening can. Now you've got that whole fizzy coke to drink down. Bubbly hit on your tongue, sugar rush, malt burn then flat dregs at the bottom. Five to seven long years of shepherding a child into becoming an adult. It will be fun but here and there are some burps and hiccoughs to cope with...
For big vibes - try not to sweat the small stuff. There will be proper battles to fight later so get ahead of the game and realise now that you are wise to pick them and to let a LOT of stuff just slide. Parents of teens who you looked at thinking "I'll never let that happen" you will now look back on as paragons and enlightened role models (yes you will). My honest good advice is: let it go... Unless there's real potential for bloodshed or pregnancy - just let it go.
The TV crew thing works (i.e. the best fantasy version of yourself) what works better is to try really hard to remember how horribly difficult and confusing it actually is to go through puberty and adolescence. It's so very easy to forget how important the state of your acne was, your social status, your perceived attractiveness / sexiness at an age when your parents thought it completely beyond your comprehension or understanding but when YOU KNEW it was deeply important... MUCH more important than education, MUCH more important than obeying any stupid rule or tradition or routine. Realise now that this is already going on and you'll start to see what's ahead of you as a parent - it really is about the role of shepherd - they're not yours to keep (this realisation can hurt)...
Your job is to convince and cajole (i.e. con) your teenager into perceiving a value in the things you want / wish / hope for them to believe in and value as they progress clumsily from child to adult through what, for them, is a seemingly impossible terrain of adult inflicted horror and pointless nonsense.
You'll realise soon that you are completely responsible for someone who is doing everything they can to become entirely independent of you while relying on you completely, seeing everything you offer as an absolute right and offering no thought to you in any way throughout the process. Ouch...
"I am your parent not your friend" is about to properly kick in for you.
There are a trillion ways of making it massively good fun for all involved by the way. I reckon I've been good at some of them, disastrous at others and I'll say that makes me normal (therefore a successful parent).
(Just read over what I'm about to post and I've made it sound like a proper nightmare - NO WAY is that true!!) It's massive and it's great and it makes me more than I ever thought I'd be. Teenagers are inspiring and full of the joy of it all, they glisten and shine (and they all look incredible) they remind me how to think outside of any box, give me pause on politics, make me hear new music, show me that the old world is useless and used up, educate me endlessly, force me to remember truisms (and old songs), remind me what actual romance actually is, flirt with me sometimes, shock me always, force me to re-think sometimes and always, always carry with them the electricity that could cause anything to happen at any moment...
Maybe I was just in the mood to write to much.
OP - Check out this Mumsnet link: http://www.mumsnet.com/teenagers
at mountain rescue talk. DD is today, being remarkably pleasant. We just went and did the grocery shopping and attempted in vain to get her a top to go with her 'mad baggy flowery shorts'. she fitted an age five one and is currently wearing an age 7 from M+S. I think her good mood is due to seeing her teacher shortly, she has a proper crush on him. We are going for a three way. Stop. Three way, not even conference.
I love that BackForGood. Last night DD came downstairs ready for guides wearing sheer red tights, tight black shorts age 7-8 that she'd fished out of a bag for the charity shop, and high heels. She doesn't own a crop-top so she'd got her guides top and fastened it at the back with a hair bobble. And she was wearing mascara. Seriously. She was going for a talk at the Mountain Rescue team.
Cue me turning into my mother "you're not going out like that!"
It's going to be a long few years. Sign me up for the support group!
Someone sent me this (from Daveswordsof wisdom.com)
"For as long as I live I will always be your parent first and your friend second. I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture you, drive you insane, be your worst nightmare and hunt you down like a bloodhound when I have to, because I love you. When you understand that, I will know you have become a responsible adult. You will never find anyone else in your life who loves, prays, cares and worries about you more than I do. If you don't mutter under your breath "I hate you" at least once in your life, I am not doing my job properly."
I was thinking of getting it printed out and stuck up somewhere everyone can read it every day in our house (2 teens and an 11 yr old!), but I need to change the last bit to .... "Shout 'I hate you' at least once a week"
I'm in for a support group if I can? This morning, DD, who is not the most modest child asked me to look up her fanny since she thinks her period is coming today. No sign of it. We had to stop at the 7-11 to buy some panty liners <vom>, then come back to the flat to put one in. She's taken the remaining 29 to school 'just in case'.
Hi Corduroy - Ha I just made myself laugh reading my post back! I wasn't laughing at the time. I felt like the worst mother in the world. I'd just got back from school drop off and burst into tears. Now I read it back it's classic - and I didn't even include the best bit. It was pyjama day for Children in Need on Friday and we still had to have arguments about what she wore because the ones she woke up in weren't the "right" pyjamas! On the plus side, she came home from school in a better mood on Friday than she had all week! The bread and water diet clearly didn't do her too much harm.
I like the idea of imagining I'm being filmed (although thank god I'm not!) Thanks Basking. I also like the idea of fantasizing about the day she begs my forgiveness. I think I delivered on that for my mum this week when I phoned her up and asked for her advice on how to deal with a grumpy almost-teenager. I'm pretty sure her and my dad were choking back the laughter! What goes around comes around!
Hi, I'm sorry BirdBrain but your post made me, quite literally, laugh out loud (not at you...! I recognised the situation and the struggle to maintain a cool head despite mounting provocation. I feel bad most days for not being more calm, it comes with the territory, and I can only imagine there are far fewer mums keeping their cool than losing it. I sometimes imagine that this is the last day on earth that we have together (can help you to maintain perspective) and, as BaskingSeals mentions above, imagining you are being filmed also helps. Sometimes I imagine I'm in a sitcom, which also helps with keeping your sense of humour under trial! Very often it is the feelings of anger that we recall, not the reasons for it, and this is all too often because the provocation was actually over something trivial and it is really the child's attitude that annoys us more than anything else. Sorry, I've rattled on a bit, but I do feel for you and if this has been in any way helpful then I'm happy )
Very interested as my ds is 5 and I am struggling to keep my temper. He has, as my dn would say, a smart mouth, and I really want to shout. I am bit shouty anyway and would love tips on how not to shout. What do you do if you don't shout? Looking back, everryone in my family shouted and it's horrible to think I am recreating it.
Do they really get worse? That scares me. I have to get better now, overnight!
My temper keeping is a work in progress. My DD eats very little so I am reluctant to let her have school dinners. Since we are in Malaysia, there is no healthy eating policy so she'd have chips and chicken wings every day. IIWY, I'd sit down on a Sunday and write a list of packed lunches, make sure you've all the stuff listed and then it's down to her. They are a bloody trial at this age. DH, who is a teacher, assures me it gets worse.
DD turned 11 last week. It's like someone turned her hormones on with a switch!
She's come out with every teenage cliche under the sun. In the last week I've dealt with "I'm ugly and everyone hates me" "You're old and you don't understand anything", refusal to do homework, rudeness, the full works.
This morning I blew my top. Background was she'd forgotten to bring her spelling home. Said she didn't care, refused to call her friend to get them. Wouldn't make her packed lunch. Wanted me to do it (rule is she does it herself or she goes on dinners) then an argument that there wasn't anything in the house for lunch.
So I agreed we'd go to the shop on the way, but she was faffing about and I found her reading her book when I thought she was getting ready. Result was we were late leaving the house, and I asked her to hurry up. Several times.
I ended up physically pushing her out the door. Not hard but she was very surprised (I've never hit her or pushed her before) so she then called me stupid. (probably quite rightly!) so I reacted by refusing to take her to the shop or give her money for the bake sale at school.
So now not only have I pushed her, I have sent her to school with bread and water. Literally. She has two empty wraps in her lunchbox and a bottle of water.
I feel like I need to learn a whole new parenting technique overnight. Are there any great parenting bibles for teenagers? How do you all keep your temper?