Why is it that a mother gets so upset when her child is sick? Well, I think that this should be self-explanatory. If you are a great mother, your heart breaks when you see your child in pain. I think for me it's that I am unable to make her better that gets to me. When she was small, when she fell and scraped her knees, I only needed to kiss and make them better, then she was on her way. Now that she is older, the ol' Jedi mind trick doesn't work (actually, I think that I would get a look prior to the kissing it better). You know the look, the "What do you think that you are doing ?" look. You get it a lot with teenagers. My favourite look for either girl is the "You don't know what you are talking about" ~or~ "How could you possibly understand?' These are things that entertain me.
Life dealing with teenagers is different. I would never say difficult. You do have your heart broken a few times. Usually these times are when you feel helpless, abandoned, and of course dissappointed. No matter if it is a GREAT teenager you have, they will always disappoint you somehow.
Let's take a look at these three things. First, the feeling of helplessness. As your teenager starts to grow into their own little adult, they are going to do things that are not going to make any sense to you, and you will be sitting in the back seat whilst they make these decisions. You will feel as if there is nothing that you can do, but the reality of it is that that is exactly what you should be doing. Think of it as a quest your teen is on. THE QUEST TO BECOME AN ADULT. Your duty includes, but is not limited to; being there for them when they need you, wiping away tears, congratulating them on their successes, and loving them for their failures. It is SO important for your teen to know that you love them unconditionally, without judgment. Life is hard enough, but is more complicated when you feel that you are worth nothing, even if you are only a teenager. Learn how to be empathetic, since the reality of it is you were once in their shoes.
Second is that feeling of abandonment. This is one that starts as soon as they hit Junior High. They go out with friends and start being out more than being home. Although at this point you think that it is great, after all, you get a little freedom. Your child has been in Elementary School, you made adjustments, but now you have no real need for a sitter. This is very valid. Some people will deal with this freedom and impending change with grace, while others, like myself, have a much more difficult time with it. As the years go by, I realize I really only have a couple of years that I have to spend great quality time with my daughter. She will be graduating next summer. She then will be off to University somewhere, but not here. I don't blame her. I want the best education for her also. Some call this the "empty nest syndrome," but really, I think they are trying to label something that doesn't really need a label. We are allowed to feel lonely; that is how we learn to cope with these situations. Plus, realistically speaking, we a not birds, so to say that we feel the same way that birds do seems silly.
The last thing is disappointment. Well, we all feel this at some point, which is a good thing. Actually, being disappointed in your teen allows you to come back to reality and get your head out of the clouds. We have our perfect little beings, we shape them the way that we believe that they need to be shaped; our expectations of our children become ridiculous. People always use the phrase, "I want them to have it better than I did." Noble idea, but what about your child? Your child only knows what they have, not what you had. Why do you tell them how great they have it? H0w dare you compare your sad life to theirs? Instead of telling them how great they have it, try teaching your child to appreciate things by involving them in the household decisions. Teach your child what they have, not by making them feel bad, but by making them feel good. Take your child to a homeless shelter, a place for special needs people or even the animal shelter. Stop treating your child like they need to be told things, because after all, you know everything. The reason parents become disappointed in their children is because they have an expectation of their children, and anything less, well, lets the parents down. That pedestal was built by you, the parent, not your child. Perhaps letting your child be happy might be much less of a disappoitment.
I am proud of both of my girls. They both make me happy and keep me on my toes. As the song goes..."That's Life!" As I keep on saying to myself this beautiful year Happy Does It.