I love Parenting Teens
My eldest is now 17 and I think I may do a merry dance when I finally get her to 18, mainly because people will perhaps stop looking at me in a sympathetic way when I tell you them I have a 17 and a 13-year-old and saying with a sarcastic smile, “Never mind, it gets better!”
What are they talking about? I have absolutely loved and I mean loved the teen years! Before I go on, even though I have written parenting books and appeared as a parenting expert on TV, I do not consider myself one, nor do I want to be one! In fact, I even hate the word parenting! I am, I believe my daughter’s guide in life, her guide to adulthood, her mentor in becoming an adult and that is how I have always seen myself. I have never felt I owed her or it was my job to tell her how to be or how to think. I never felt the need to tell her how things should be. I have let her fail, let her make mistakes, let her make her own mind up, and let her figure out who she is. I have very few rules; don’t swear, don’t hit and don’t put anything fake on your body until you are 16. She has, since she was 12, picked her own bedtime! I have never covered for her, never got her out of trouble and never written a letter to school to cover up for something she has done (or not done). I have talked to her, asked her questions and had her come to her own conclusions. Yes, there has been times (13-14) where things were a little challenging, times when I haven’t liked her friends, times when I haven’t cared much for what she was wearing or how she was speaking to me, but I hardly even shouted or did that victim parent thing, you know the one – “Don’t talk to me like that, blah, blah, blah!”
The teen years for me have been the most enjoyable years with my daughter, and the relationship we have now is like nothing I could have ever imagined. We have so much fun, so much in common; so many special moments together and yes, I am still her parent.
Why do we dread the teen years as parents? Why do we make them so difficult?
If we could only stop thinking we own our children and therefore must control them and have them agree with us every step of the way, I am sure that everyone else could also enjoy these years as much as me.