Parenting is FUCKING hard. I don’t care how seasoned you think you are, you don’t know it all.
We all struggle with something as parents and sometimes we just hate to admit it because we feel we’ve failed.
We haven’t, we are doing the best we know how too.
I struggle with not always knowing what to say and as much as that hurts to say out loud, it also feels really fucking good to get if off my chest.
While I think I have a great grasp on what to do and how to handle certain situations, I also struggle with a reactive personality and what to say in the right place.
Having a reactive personality makes me not the best person to come to for advice. I also need to take my own advice and not make a decision when I have an emotional day. (So much easier said than done, no matter who you are.)
While I struggled with that in the past, I am learning how to be less reactive and taking my own advice about making a decision on an emotion.
For instance, my teenager has presented me with some difficult parenting moments in the past year (don’t they all?). Within the year, I have handled each of these situations differently and FINALLY approve of how I do. While before, I was just reactive and my answer wasn’t always thought out, I now take the time and handle whatever it may be very differently and thoughtfully.
I don’t make decisions in a hurry and on emotions as much. I need her to present the facts to me and then I will go through those to make a decision. I don’t play into her emotions, I merely listen and comfort and take in before responding.
Sometimes listening is the best thing to do too. Allowing our children to make decisions on their own is important; this is how they learn. So having your teen explain themselves and to get it off their chest while you just listen and respond respectfully, helps. Let them be responsible for their choices and their actions.
Also remind them not to use you as an excuse. I don’t know why I have to tell my teenager that a lot, it’s rather frustrating but I do. I also remind her to take ownership of her actions. While I don’t expect a 14 year old to have their life figured out for the next 5 years, however they need to understand that their choices they make today do have consequences.
As a mother, I want the best for my children in every situation and sometimes we need to teach them the value of their word along with the value of their decisions.
Am I wrong for doing so? I don’t think so.
Do I think every child needs to learn this? Well maybe not, but my three kids will.
There are a bunch of books on how to parent your babies, toddlers and child but fewer on parenting your teenager. My best advice is to listen without judgement, make an educated and thought out decision and always be there for them, when even they are assholes.