Teens Are From Mars And You’re From The Olden Days
Teens are a different and interesting population of human beings or aliens, depending on the way you look at them. Teens are from Mars you’re from the olden days
They have a set of moods, routines, and likes and dislikes that we as parents have been trying to understand for decades.
It is often quietly questioned (or aloud in some households) why they have such a strong mood at the most inconvenient time.
One thing I used to wonder, Why they spend so much time in their room once they hit a certain age?
Then I have to think back (way back in my case) to my teen years when I wanted to be by myself. That way I didn’t have to answer questions, converse with the adults and I could just be me.
Oh, of course, there’s more but I just wanted to paint a quick and quaint picture.
Teens are their entities. Having independence, a place in life where they feel loved and accepted, their favorite tech item, their playlist, and food, is essential to their daily happiness.
Now and then, I would throw a book on her bed that I thought she would be interested in.
Many were cultural and of history, related to people of color. A large percent of these were books that included issues she might have never known yet or was facing or familiar with.
Some topics other parents may have grabbed their pearls if they knew. Kidding, not kidding.
This is just one parent hack that revealed my relatability.
Luckily, my daughter was an avid reader so this system worked for me. I will just leave it at that.
My upbringing was a bit different.
Coming from a more strict household, especially compared to the friends that lived on my block, we weren’t given a lot of room for independence.
Now, I am talking from the perspective of saying how we felt about my parents’ final decisions in which we deemed unfair.
As I grew up, I vowed to have a more open connection with my kids, especially as teenagers.
I honestly don’t think I missed out on any opportunities to enjoy my parents when I was a teen (of course those times when I wasn’t being ridiculous).
However, I was that typical teen who chose to do the opposite of what was necessary to stay off punishment. Unlike my brothers who pretty much just followed the protocol of house rules.
Which should have been my mission. But I hear there’s always that one kid who is definitely from Mars while you are still stuck in the olden days.
My promise to myself was that I wouldn’t stress as much during my daughter’s teen years when that time came.
I would guide her as she became a kind, respectful young lady headed in the entrepreneurial world soon. She currently works and can see and understand working for herself is the best route for her goals.
She is now 21 and moving in her perspective direction; I still reflect on her teen years.
As I look back on when she was a teen, she experienced typical days in the life of trying to figure out who she was and where she belonged in her world of peers.
There were no real demanding curfews because when she would go outside to hang with friends, she would come back at a decent time.
So why would I bring up an issue when there wasn’t one?
As parents, we have to think about that concept. Don’t create what isn’t there. Life is too short.
Don’t even think you can parent kids the same.
While parenting, I found that all children are not the same. They don’t need to be parented the same.
She was mostly introverted at heart and know that I trusted and I’d discuss why I chose to be more open with the decision-making world. When it came to this part of her existence. An iron fist was just not necessary.
Let’s not forget those boys. She had a few friends who were girls but lots of male friends, whom I met some.
I met most of them during parent activities at her school which she was excited for me to attend, which always made me happy. I was just overjoyed she was interacting with peers, since she was more of an introvert, unlike myself.
Watching her and her friends interact, laugh, and enjoy being around each other always made my heart sing. I noticed that she belonged in that world.
I saw so many positives about her. It was during those moments I decided to parent differently.
To parent the way she needed me to and not following my parent’s strategies or even the world’s parenting know-it-all’s.
No dictating, oppressing, or silencing as examples.
Teens have a voice and I decided I would allow mine to use hers (my pre-teen son is being raised the same).
Sometimes oversharing happens, but who’s complaining. I just appreciate the trust. She has opened up to me about things I still haven’t told my mother.
It helped that I left the door open for conversation of any kind. Throw away the dignified and get on their level. It helps.
Now, was raising a teen easy? No. Is it easy as a single mom? Double no. However, it can be done well and with less amount of stress. Many times it is us as the parent who tends to make more of it than it needs to be. No more of that, my friend.
Let’s move forward as we raise our kids. Let’s find more reasons to praise than to notice what they aren’t doing well. Let’s enjoy these challenging yet rewarding parts of our and their life. It won’t be here for long.
What are some parenting hacks you use to create and keep the connection with your teens? We’d love to know! Comment below!
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