I love my teenager. Life with a teenager is not horrible. People are so hard on teens, it’s like they forget they used to be one themselves. I believe in connection and building mutually respectful relationships. I understand that hormones, stress and big emotions can change anyone’s behaviour, especially when you are in the throws of puberty.
I have always encouraged independence in my kids. I also understand that they won’t need me as much. That they want to sleep more and hang out with their friends instead of family. Life is just starting in adolescents. So much fun, so much stress and so many grown up decisions for their future to make. Fitting in is important. Hanging around people you tolerate is an everyday endeavor in highschool. They have so much going for them, yet many things that aren’t fun. I would go back to university in a heartbeat, highschool…no thanks.
I’ve always loved teens. In university I volunteered in pediatrics at the local hospital. Staff would connect me with teens to hangout with, and I honestly had a great time. I would do crafts with them, play games or just chat. I still feel the same way, especially with my own kids. It’s amazing to be around young, passionate smart people with their own experiences and opinions.
I encourage you to have more empathy for your teens struggle. Try to remember being young, what you went through, how you were treated. What do you wish could have been different? What relationships flourished and which struggled? What would have made adolescents easier? Spend time with your teen. Watch a show, get a coffee together, tell them how much you love them. Life with a teenager can be easy or hard, the choice is yours. Start building your connection today.