I am raising another teenage daughter. Need I go on? Raising teenagers can be very stressful. As they try to figure out who they are and what they want out of this life they take you with them on a roller-coaster ride of emotions.
My first experience with raising a teenager started 10 years ago with my oldest daughter and trust me it was an experience. I wasn’t prepared for her sudden urgent need for independence. Right before my eyes she transformed from a child who needed me for everything to a teenager who claimed that she knew it all. I wanted my little girl back but she had turned into this person that I didn’t recognize. Years later I realized it was just one of the stages of her life that she had to go through on her journey to become the woman that she is meant to be.
So now that my youngest is a teenager I am a little more prepared. Although I may not have it all figured out I learned a few things to help me survive the teenage years this time around.
Instead of fighting against the need for independence, recognize it as a sign of maturity. It is the natural progression of life and although it may be hard to think that she may not need me as much as she used to I know that I am raising an independent thinker.
Not all rules are negotiable but there may be room for compromise.
Gone are the days of “Because I said so!” Sometimes it is necessary to explain our reasons for certain rules we may have. This allows her to understand why we set them. However, we understand that as she gets older some of the rules we set may have to be amended to allow her room to grow into a responsible young person.
Listen a lot!! Sometimes she has a lot to say and sometimes not so much but nevertheless I stop whatever I am doing to just listen. There are times where she just needs to vent and does not need or want my advice and I have learned to recognize this.
Teenage stress is real! Teenagers have a lot going on and although some of the things they worry or stress about may seem trivial to us adults we must remember that these things are huge in their world. Never dismiss their feelings because they are real. The best thing we can do is to give them the support and encouragement they need, remind them how incredibly strong they are and to let them know that they are loved.
She’s perfectly imperfect. It is okay to place her on a pedestal because she deserves to be cherished. However, we must allow her to fall off every now and then because although she may be perfect in our eyes her imperfections make up the incredible person she is.