Do you remember your teen years? I do.
My days were filled with hanging out with my friends, gossiping about boys, makeup, fashion and celebrity crushes. When I wasn’t doing that, I was falling out with the same friends, shedding copious tears over boys or picking battles with my parents or siblings. Seriously, I had legendary battles with my mom complete with slamming doors, name-calling and other shameful behavior.
Looking back at those turbulent years, and seeing my former obnoxious behavior reflected in my teen daughters, I can’t help but empathize with what I put my mom through. It wasn’t until I was well into my 20s that I started appreciating the very things that had so irked me about her. My own experience gives me hope that one day my teens’ view on what seems like tyrannical behavior on my part will change.
Here are 4 things I’m betting they’ll appreciate once they’re past their teen years:
1. Mom’s advice and opinion on boys.
When I was a teen I thought my mom was hopelessly old-fashioned when it came to dating. “What would someone as old as her know about boys anyway”, I used to think.
These days thanks to the influence of social media, teen girls are under more pressure than ever to fit in. They believe that their moms can’t possibly understand what they are going through let alone give them appropriate advice on navigating the treacherous teen dating waters. I hope though that, just like me, they’ll eventually come to realize that mom really is right when she says some things aren’t worth doing just to win over the fickle affections of a boy.
2. Keeping a curfew.
One thing I used to butt heads with my mom about was having a curfew. I didn’t understand why some of my friends were allowed to stay out all hours while I had to be home by a certain time. I thought she just didn’t want me to have fun.
Fast forward to today and I too have earned the “Strict Mom” title and I insist my teens have to keep a curfew. Whenever my daughters rebel, I stand my ground and explain that I have legitimate reasons to worry whenever they stay out too long or come home late. Hopefully, in time they’ll come to see that I only have their best interests at heart.
3. Those dreaded household chores.
Chores- the bane of every teen’s existence. If your daughter is anything like mine, she’ll try and find a way out of doing her chores, resulting in plenty of arguments. From a teen’s point of view, chores are akin to child slavery and should be banned. But chores are one of the best ways of teaching our kids basic life skills they’ll need to survive as independent adults. Sure they will grumble and complain but with time, they’ll appreciate the skills they’ve learned. At least that’s what I tell myself every time I’m accused of being a slave driver.
4. Making them change their outfits before leaving the house.
Teens express their identity through what they wear but that doesn’t stop me (and countless moms) from worrying about the message they send through their clothing choices. Teen girls just want to dress like the other cool girls at school. They give little thought to the increasing sexualization and objectification of women and won’t understand your concerns. Unless you explain this to them, you’ll just seem the uncool, mean mom who wants them to look unfashionable.
Nobody said bringing up a teen girl would be easy but hang in there. One of these days, those haywire hormones that have taken her hostage will fade away and you will both laugh and reminisce about those teen tantrums and forge a stronger life-long bond.