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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Growing Pains; Living with Teens

Painting of Wings outside Redemption Bar Shoreditch, London by Diarmuid Byron OConnor

Do you remember what is was like to be a teenager?

Most of the time I don't.  Especially when my teen is acting up.  I get mad, I mumble, I shout and even confront.  Then I remember.  I remember that I NEVER want to be a teenager EVER again.  I hated that period of my life.  It hurt.  Physically, mentally hurt.  I had so many emotions, hormones flying around, confusion.  And my body!  Bloomin heck.  I was an A student before I hit 13 when I honestly couldn't control my anger, confusion, angst or hormones and completely flunked my finals.  It took me forever to recover from my teen years, Im not sure I have yet.

I look at the teen I have now with awe, pity and hope.  I get it.  Sort of.  I get why my mum found it hard and perhaps gave up?  I get why my son is dropping off at school and lacking general focus.  I get that even though he wouldn't say it out loud, he hates me at times.  But I believe in him.

I know he will get to the other side and not make my mistakes.  I see his defiance and embrace it, encourage his individuality, support him questioning the world and how he fits.  When he comes home and tells me about a girl he likes that only likes him as a friend I smile to myself and think, that was me.  The last to have a real boyfriend.  I tell him its cool.  She'll come to her senses; in the meantime, I help him achieve clear skin, I try to make him laugh as much as possible so that his smile is always bright.  I make sure he eats healthily and drinks loads of water when he's with me, to counteract the sweets, crisps, biscuits and fizzy pop I know he's having when he's not with me.  I keep in touch. I get to know his friends, I help him plan out his social time and I tell him.  I tell him I love him, I tell him I'm sorry, I talk to him very frankly about mostly anything.  I listen.  I listen to the moaning, I listen to the weird, the funny and sad.

I didn't do the same with my first.  I know I talked at him.  I set boundaries I, I, I.  I was finding it hard.  It was all I knew at the time, however, reflection is a good thing, and, although still with a struggle, I am turning that around.  It can be hard to change a behaviour used in a relationship over a long period of time one that is quite unique to the person you are in the relationship with.

I HATED being a teen, but it's funny, raising teens has been therapy for me, to process everything I went through at that time, helping me to finally mov forward.  God help me having to go through my twenties again!!!  Now THAT was a party!!!

How has raising a teen been for you?  What have you done to help you and your teen?  We'd love to hear.  We as parents are forever learning.

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Tomboy -x-

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