So many of my friends, blogger friends and associates spend lots of time sharing stories about the joys of parenting toddlers, while others speak of the hair raising adventures of preschoolers and the tall tales of elementary kids. And I always tell them the same thing. They do grow up.
So what happens when all of a sudden you wake to find that little girl that once enjoyed playing house, dressing up dolls, gave you big hugs and actually liked being around you has somehow disappeared. Instead, you have this girl who now plays in make-up, barely acknowledges you and has made their bedroom a personal apartment. Well it happens and it happens so suddenly you have to check the calendar to see if you missed a day or week or year.
But here is some good news for you. There is a way to deal with it , live through it and have peace all at the same time.
- Stay Calm – Yes, there will be moments when you hear the lips smacking, see the eyes rolling or something of that nature when you want to get with this little girl. Or maybe when you realize that they haven’t said anything to you because of the headphones buried in their ears or their fingers stuck to their phones, texting. Well just remember to stay calm. And for a moment take a trip down memory lane. How did you act when you were 13, 15, or 17 years old? Is it possible you went through some sort of transformation where you became an unidentified teen object? Now if by chance you were one of the lucky ones who did not cause a shift in the earth, look in the mirror and say “I am proud to be different”. And if you were to look in that same mirror and say “they told me it would come back to me”.
- Be consistent with the change – Just because your daughter is going through some adolescent change, does not mean you have to as well. Don’t by any means choose to go tit for tat with a teen. You set the rules and be very clear. You are still the parent and that has not changed. If you always eat together, or whatever your family time is continue to do so. I have a regular saying, “Respect lives in this house, and I am not afraid to change your name for you to understand that”. You can be a friendly parent not just a friend or parent.
- Communicate – Yes you still have to communicate with this girl even if it seems she only appears when she needs something like money or food or money to buy food. You still need to talk. And I say talk, not the occasional grunt you may get when speaking in passing. Ask her about her day, and what did she do or enjoy or not like. Don’t just leave room for one word answers because that is what you will likely get. A little conversation can go a long way.
In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, topics, questions, concerns leave me a message and I will definitely Speak on it.
Until next time….