Is my teenager an alien?
As a mom of three, I know the rolling eyes and messy bedrooms all too well. Not to mention a walking, talking, kicking, screaming Google living in your own house. It’s an absolute miracle that I don’t have false teeth yet, if you consider every time I had to grind on them to keep my mouth shut! Maybe that’s a good thing. Can you imagine if I had to shout at the kids with teeth flying through the air?
I had moments with my children when they were teens, where they brought out Cruella de Vil in me. Then there were times where I knew I had to turn around and walk away for their safety, and then there were moments where I just had to put my foot down and let them know that I was the boss.
My own story…
I was that terrible rebellious teenager! When my older two were teens, I realized what my poor parents had to go through. It was no wonder my dad sometimes threw his shoes at me to quiet me. At least my parents were two handling the task. Being a single mom for many years, I had to raise two teenagers by myself for a while. I give a big shoutout to all the single moms and dads.
If you read my post on 16 May 2020 http://thelifecoachonline.com/the-follow-the-recipe-mom/, you will also know that I have a prodigal son that is exploring the world to try and find himself. So, I am not writing this blog because I know it all. I am writing this blog because I know many moms need to hear they are not alone.
Only three weeks after I gave birth to my son, their father and I had yet another huge fight. He lifted his hands at me, and I decided I had enough! I took my two children and walked out, but not after I got a punch in myself. I took everything I could fit in a few refuse bags and left to start over.
The three of us moved back to my home town. We enjoyed our life, surrounded by good people. Four years later he returned, with all kinds of empty promises. I thought I should give him another chance for the children’s sake. Biggest mistake! A marriage can only work if there is mutual love, and both parties want to work on the marriage. But that’s a topic for another day.
My focus in life.
The children were always by my side. They went through all the pain and hardship with me. They were my focus in life, and my reason to become the person I am today. My children were the perfect example of well-behaved children.
Except for the day they climb over a locked gate with their best friends! It was school holidays, and my friend and I, both single moms at the time, had to work. They sneaked out of the house! Luckily we stayed in a secured complex. By the time the babysitter found them, all four were next to the pool, feet hanging in the water, chatting away! The two older girls were 5 at the time. According to them, they were watching over the younger two, who was only 4 and 3 years old.
THEN THEY BECAME TEENAGERS!
I never thought that two adorable little angels could change into two teen monsters. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but there were times it felt like they were monsters. At times my daughter would pack her bags and shout at me “I am going to live with my father!” I would then happily respond with “So, what are you waiting for? Let me help you pack!”
Then came along a man in my life! To make things worse, or so my teen’s thought, he had a daughter. When I met my husband, things evolved much faster than I ever expected. It was a shock for my children, especially with them being teenagers. His daughter was living with him full time, and she was part of the package. In the early stages, they were still keen on the idea, but as soon as they realized we were getting married, things got interesting.
My teens were acting like toddlers!
Their whole world practically changed overnight. Our youngest was in seventh heaven. For her, it was a new family with a mom and two siblings. For the older two, it was a different story. They felt like they got an annoying little sister. The two of them were always very close, sharing everything and enjoyed each other’s company.
That changed when they had to share me with someone else, share the backseat of the car with someone else. There were countless times we had to pull over to sort out the perpetual fights about leg space. They would change from being Mr and Miss know-it-all, to acting like two-year-old’s in seconds
But that also passed.
Today, both the older children love their little sister and would do anything for her. People who don’t know us, don’t even know that we’re a blended family. Looking back now, it is quite funny. But being in the moment, could drive a parent up the walls!
Choose your battles carefully.
You see, being a parent of a teenager can be enough to drive anyone mad, but how we deal with it is up to us. There are times when it is not worth picking the fight, and other times you have to fight to keep them on track. Choose your battles carefully! I am talking to myself as well. Sometimes I also need to chill. So what if the room is not tidy? Do an inspection when something smells like it died in there. If it is bothering you, close the door.
If your teenager is doing something that will put his of her life in danger, or someone else may get hurt, then its a battle worth fighting. If they are doing drugs, then yes, it is a battle worth choosing. But with that said, they still need to obey the house rules. They can’t be excused from their chores because they are teenagers.
I have included links to two books that helped me tremendously with my aliens from another planet. It helped me to understand them better. Mostly it is believed that teenagers are different species because of their hormonal changes. Although hormones are one of the reasons for their behavioural changes, it’s not the only reason. Most of them become weird and impossible to live with for various other reasons.
Rob Parsons explains in his book, Teenagers! With MRI studies on teenage brains, Neuroscientist’s have been able to track the development of the teenage brain. It has become evident that different parts of the brain mature at different rates. According to his book, the studies revealed that in the early teenage years, the brain undergoes another growth spurt, at least the equal of the early childhood one.
Logic is not logic to them.
According to Rob Parsons book, the terrible two’s and the traumatic teen’s seem to have a very similar neural underpinning. Their brains have not yet developed the full ability to control their emotions. According to these studies, the last part of the brain development has to do with the frontal lobes, the pre-frontal cortex immediately behind the forehead. And this can still be a work in progress until beyond the age of twenty. This is not only the part that controls emotions, but the ability to make sound judgement’s. Also why logic is not very logic to them.
Be sure to get at least one of these books. I still refer back to them, since I have one last teenager to pull through, or am I the one to pull through?
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