When You Want to Shake Them

Being the mom of a teenager is not the easiest thing in the world. In truth, it is a roller coaster of non-hormonal related emotions; laugh, cry, fun, and frustration. We celebrate when they realize the greatness within them and cry when their young innocence is shattered by the realities of life. We can’t stop laughing when they play wrestle or crack a random joke and sometimes find it hard to hold back our frustration at their efforts to spread their wings and test boundaries. Yes, sometimes we just want to shake them until the foolishness oozes out their ear.

The fact is, our frustrations are directly tied to our expectations for our children as well as our desire for them to avoid some of the holes we fell in during our journey toward adulthood. We don’t want them to be like us. We want them to be better than us. As a result we, sometimes, push our methods for problem-solving, dealing with friendships, or even communicating onto them and expect their embrace and proper execution with no push-back. We have done this “grown thang” already. We know best. Right?

The result becomes another ‘us.’ Yep…standing there, eye-to-eye, is the very teenager that stood before our parent or authority figure when we were teenagers. Its the same person who closed their bedroom door to shut out the world or the same teenager that found a way and did what was forbidden anyway. For some of us its the one prophesied by our mom when she said “wait ’til you have a kid.” They are more tech savvy, use different slang and dress differently but its definitely us.

There have been some very real times where I wanted to take my daughter’s lips off and keep them in my purse but I would pause then just chuckle. What she was saying had merit. It was a different perspective that, in respecting her, I should consider. I had issue with her mouth, the same mouth her witty, sharp-tongued, charsmatic radio/tv host of a mom often exhibited. I started learning lessons about delivery and perception myself while teaching her. Some lessons she had to learn on her own and some were addressed once I stopped wanting to shake her. There are times discipline is necessary. There are times we as parents have to let them tear their britches (as my dad would say) and just learn the hard way. But there are also times were a little patience coupled with a look in the mirror and a walk down memory lane will give the best method and the right words for helping a teenager mature and your relationship with them to grow.

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