It’s okay if your teen hates you! (In fact, it probably means you are doing something right!)
I promise you will survive their teenage years! The goal is for them to do so as well. Eventually, your kids won’t hate you. (Eventually took a looooong time to arrive at my house! -that should give you hope!)
One of my favorite tips for both you and your teen surviving the teenage years is:
Post a toddler age photo of your teen in a prominent place where they will see it often and be reminded that inside their angry, emotional, hormone filled, gangly, “you are ruining my life” teenager lives the toddler, who once was a CUTE handful instead of just an energy draining, wrinkle and gray hair producing handful!
Parenting isn’t easy. From they day they arrive screaming, till the day they leave… probably still screaming, our bundle of joy offers a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. The teen years being some of the most challenging, defeating and deflating.
I used to be a sane women, who didn’t yell, pull out my hair, or need regular infusions of self esteem boosting conversations with my girlfriends… but teenagers have a way of undoing all our “I am woman hear me roar confidence and poise.”
Tension filled evenings, loud silence, pierce our hearts as we envisioned the teens years differently. It is easy to give up, give in, and give out. Sometimes, I did whatever was necessary to keep the peace and not have the same argument for the zillionth time. Sometimes sanity won out over sound parenting!
Other times, I braced myself for the barrage and backlash, knowing it was important to not back down.
*What if you stood your ground the next time your teenager is frustrated with you because—well, because she is a teenager! Pick a reason: You refused to let her go to a party… You made her change an outfit you deemed inappropriate… You limited her cell-‐phone use… censored a movie choice.
She is mad because you said “No.”
And in spite of a very loud barrage of: “You don’t understand!” “It’s not fair!” “You’re a prude” “I hate you!” and “I’m never doing this to my kids!”—there you are still standing your ground.
Picture that moment… Wouldn’t it be amazing to feel confident in your parenting choices, and gratified because you don’t need your kids to like or approve of your decisions? After all, you aren’t out to be their friend; you are their parent! You don’t need them to like you. (It would be nice, but not a necessity when it comes to good parenting or Loving Well.)
You choose to Love Well because you are willing to incur their wrath and stand your ground.
Sure, you may need some reinforcement from your spouse, a good friend, your mom, or a large glass of wine… but hang in there because you did the right thing!
Was it hard? Yes!
But does it feel good! Yes!
Loving Well feels great because ultimately it is the right thing to do!
Any time we choose to put the needs and interests of someone else above our own, we are Loving Well. This is a big-‐picture skill. An “I’m in this for the long haul” relationship posture. Loving Well isn’t easy; it doesn’t come naturally, but it is a valuable skill, an intentional choice that will significantly impact the quality of our relationships.
When have you made the hard choice to Love Well even if it meant being uncomfortable, standing your ground, or speaking up? Share your story and let’s chat!