This is obviously a blanket statement. Many teens I know are delightful, helpful and all around cheerful.... but then again, I am not related to them and as we all know- the worst behavior is saved for the people who love us best. Now that I am a parent to a teenager I am both thankful and horrified by this behavioral quirk. On one hand- I’d be appalled if my child let loose with the sullen, snarky, sarcastic, eye-rolling, muttering under the breath, horrified to acknowledge he has a family, behavior out in public. On the other hand – I’m appalled that he saves it all for me. Oh, puberty, you are a hard master.
Parenting a teenager feels a lot like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle in a hurricane. You know that all the pieces were there once – but God only knows what the picture will look like once the winds stop blowing. I’m told by my peers and by several ‘go-to’ books and web-sites that this is just a normal stage of development. Forgive me if that doesn’t provide much comfort. I want to be a good mom but I fall short time and time again. I’m either too lenient or too strict. I’m either overbearing or absent. Somehow, I can’t seem to find that middle ground. Or- is it possible that at this stage of the game there is no middle ground? The ground, after all, feels a lot like shifting sand rather than the bedrock of “normal” to which I’m accustomed.
Ok then, here is my new parenting plan: There is no plan.
I’ll keep breathing and trying not to feel like a total failure because only one person in the house should be allowed to have mood swings at a time and my turn was a few decades ago.