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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

With a 16 year-old better to be conflict averse

I was 16 once. I remember what it was like to know everything, to roll my eyes at whatever a grown-up said and to thwart rules whenever possible. To think that the entire world revolved around the boy I loved, and my friends. To look in the mirror so many times, looking for flaws, always looking for what was wrong not what was right. To hate my teachers and love some as well.

I get that my daughter thinks I'm an idiot sometimes, but underneath she wants a mom who is silent but there. This is my youngest child. The incredible, beautiful, competitive, heartbreaking girl that I gave birth too. Then why do I hate her back sometimes too?

The contentiousness between a 16 year-old hormonal beast and a 58 year-old (no I am not her grandmother) mom is constant. I say something and she barks back. She says something and I reply in my calmest voice, yet she barks back. I feed her - she says thank-you. She cannot put the phone down at meals so I say something. The blank expression of what have I possibly done wrong. What could you possibly have to say that would be more important than this Instagram post from someone I don't know who is trying to be funny and succeeds marginally?

And the not listening. Am I really that boring? Do you really have to tell me you have heard me tell you that 100 times. And why can I not remember that I have already told you? Because I'm your mother - that's why. So suck it up and listen to me say it again.

So I have come up with a plan that is in all the parenting books - pick your battles. Don't criticize. Encourage, be nice, walk away before yelling back. Take a deep breath and go to my happy place.

But when it really counts I am there. And when there is a reason to be tough, I am tough. I say no when there is safety involved. I live with the short skirts and shorts.

She's got to grow up sometimes.

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