Adolescence Sucks (for Parents, too)

I knew I was in a bad place when I realized that my speech became slow and deliberate.  I sat at the kitchen bar slowly eating a slice of pumpkin pie and willed myself to remain in my seat.  My 12 year old had gone beyond ‘trying my last nerve.’  She had actually plucked the one spare nerve I keep in reserve when my patience wanes.  Her funky, nasty attitude caused me to visualize grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking the attitude out of her.  I remained seated reminding myself that I love her dearly; that she is my youngest child; and that she is just like me as an adolescent.  In addition to the attitude, we experience her lack of motivation, disorganization and outright defiance.  Adolescence sucks for parents, too.

 My mother warned me.  She used to say “just wait until you have your own.”  I remember my mother becoming frustrated with my changing moods, rolling eyes, and mumbled responses.  My mother would attempt to talk to me about me and was met with resistance.  “What’s wrong?” she would ask.  Each time my response was “nothing.”  Now my daughter displays my former attitude with a new millennium twist.  She growls. 

Finish your homework. “Grrr.”  Clean your room.  “Grrrr.”  Let me help you.  “Grrr.”  What’s wrong?  “Nothing.”

I went to the internet for a little help and found an insightful blog on the Psychology Today site.  Surviving (Your Child’s) Adolescence by Carl Pickhardt, PhD., explains the changing behaviors as they relate to the stages of adolescence.  It helped me to understand that my child is on target developmentally.  I will share the article with my husband and together we will continue to provide a healthy, stable environment for her to mature.  As she matures, we will have lots of opportunity to practice patience. “ Grrr.”

Surviving (Your Child’s) Adolescence  may be found at the link below:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence

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