Parenting a Teenager is a Lot Like Trying to Be the Ruler of Another Planet You’ve Never Been On.

I have heard many stories about teenagers, none that were good or had happy endings unfortunately. Still I had no idea what I was in for. My sweet little angel was the apple of my eye, mommies little girl, just peaches and cream. So naturally I thought for sure everyone was just unlucky with their children, there was also the possibility that they were all just bad parents.

Now I have to laugh at myself, because I actually worked very hard at being the best parent I could be, I had training, read books and took classes. I was confident that if I was amazing, my kids would be amazing.

It turns out teenagers are from another planet and it doesn’t matter how amazing you are or try to be. I forgot to take into consideration hormones. I suppose being a good parent helps, but the mood swings and raging emotions are unavoidable. When I first experienced my daughter’s crazy behavior I was so confused. I asked myself, “what did I do wrong?” I thought for sure I had done everything right so it didn’t make any sense. She didn’t make any sense. It was as if aliens had taken over her mind. She was saying things so off the wall. It was scary. I actually wondered if she was being possessed.

Then just as I was about to call a priest in for an exorcism she was back to normal. It was then that I realized it was hormonal and emotional. Still I had no clue what to do about it or how to handle it. In all my training and experience I never expected or learned about psychotic teenagers. I will admit it I panicked. I called boarding schools, councilors and mental institutions. I had no idea what to do with her. Although she was “back to normal” I had the feeling it wouldn’t last. Sure enough a month or so later she freaked out again. I had such a hard time dealing with it. I just wanted my little girl back. I tried talking to her, I tried grounding her, I tried having other family members talk to her. I finally got to the root of her problem, but it was a problem that could not be resolved or compromised. She said horrible, hateful things and pushed the limits like never before. Then back to “normal”. This happened a few more times and finally the consequence got to be so harsh it was almost unrealistic.

I truly felt like I was trying to be the ruler on a planet I had never been to. Although I am expecting another outburst, I think I finally have a hold on it and I can offer some advice to others. So for all the parents of teenagers, pay attention to them. Don’t think for second because they are straight A students or super sweet to you that they won’t turn on you. They will. I suppose there are a select few that don’t, but I am speaking to the masses. Talk to them CONSTANTLY! Don’t just ask how was your day and let it go with a “fine.” Really talk to them, get in their head. Find out what makes them tick. Find out as much information as you can about every aspect of their life, cause chances are they have a life you are completely unaware of. Of course do this with love and a genuine interest. They won’t open up to you if they feel like they are being interrogated. Also, if you do end up where I was and your teen is out of control get a grasp on it as quickly as possible. Don’t take anything they say or do personally, remember they love you and they just need reassurance that you love them too no matter what.

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Nikkia Nicholson
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Posted on Oct 28, 2009