Giving your teenager some space..
It is Thursday night and my daughter is going to the drive in movie with her cheer team. She knows that she will be out late and needs to be up for summer gym in the morning. Friday morning is here..and she is up and ready when we have to leave with being reminded. She’s a smart girl and knows the consequences if she’s not on time.
But then here comes the attitude…I choose to drive the long one mile to the high school in silence. On days like this, i just learned to pick my battles. I remember the late nights with my friends in high school and my mom would just point me in the direction of my room for the day.
Sometimes I have to just ignore my teenager daughter’s eye rolls and attitude…I’m sure thats bad to say, but sometimes the look alone tells me to back off. It’s better not to say anything some mornings than to get the eye roll and mumble…the constant bickering with her brother over the pronunciation of a word that drives me nuts…I’m not sure what makes the teenager mood swings and attitude so much worse some days.. then the next day she will sit in the kitchen and talk my ear off about friends and practice.
So I have learned to notice the signs and just let it go.. I don’t fuel the fire with the little things. After that summer gym class, I let my daughter sleep all afternoon. Then at dinner time, I handed her the chore list for the day. She did them no questions asked… We all have days that we need more sleep or more time alone.
I have learned that maybe things don’t get done how I would like them, but they get done. If I would have hounded her to do her chores after class, it would have been a painful fight… I knew to just give her the space and she would be fine later.
When the teenager years first started, it was a definite adjustment… I had a hard time understanding why she didn’t want to do the same things as her younger siblings. It is hard to find things that we all enjoy now together. The older they get the harder this becomes… they want friends along or they just don’t want to go. Or why do they have to watch netflix on their phones in their room instead of watching with all of us in the living room.
I have learned to do more things one on one with them. I do not want to always make them do things together when its going to be a painful fight or no one can agree. I have learned that my kids are so different when they are one on one with you. They talk and talk and talk…sometimes they almost talk to much..haha.
So many times I don’t bombard her with questions the minute she gets home from school, practice movies.. .. I let her go to her room and unwind for a bit.. then she’ll usually come and tell me all about whatever she was doing…
I give my kids independence to learn to do things for themselves, while I’m biting my tongue along the way. I want them to need me but I also want them to make decisions. Its a fine line to walk… and painful sometimes.
Painful to keep my comments to myself and let them figure things out for themselves. My daughter knew that if I let her stay out late, she would need to get up for class. She also knew that if I let her sleep, she would need to do some chores. And I have learned to back off a bit and let my kids do things differently than I might.