Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Why It Sucks to Parent Teenagers


When the kids are young you constantly find yourself wishing they'd be just that little bit older, because whilst you can't effectively communicate with a 2 year old who's got the wrong colour lollipop there's always a chance that when they're older you can have a proper conversation, one where you sit down, discuss the reasons for their being no red lollipops left and then everything ends harmoniously and we all have lashings of Ambrosia creamed rice... And then, the teenage years happen!

When Iain was a teenager I don't remember having too many issues, yes the Aspergers has lead to some interesting times, like the one where I gave him an envelope, told him to buy a stamp and post the letter, he came back without the letter and a stamp, "Well you didn't tell me to put the stamp on the letter before I posted it" he retorted.  Lesson 1, learnt, always think as literally as possibly when you have a child with Aspergers!



The moment that Abigail became a teenager she instantly hated me, it was like there was a secret "I must hate my mum" recipe contained within those scary hormones that turn perfectly delightful people into psychopathic screaming banshees (this is the main reason I no longer have hormones other than the kind that come in small round tablets).  I remember once turning up at school to pick up Abigail with her dad, she got in the car, saw me and asked in a very cutting voice "What's she doing here?"  That wasn't even the worst of it, for about a year I'm not even sure she said anything other than insults other than the days when the hormones would subside and she would tell me she was sorry, it was just hormones and she loved me really.  I lived for the breaks in the moods, she's 14 now and she loves me, she is still blunt enough to look at my face and describe everything that's wrong with it but she's also kind, polite, says the most wonderful things about me and spending time with her is a complete joy!



So we come on to child number 3, Laura or Looby as I like to call her or Jereld as she likes to refer to herself, Looby is 12 and a half, 13 in September and the hormones have swept in taking away my delight of a daughter, my funny onion, my child who expresses her love for me the most.  She's been replaced by what I can only describe as a moody, screaming, door slamming, angry, often monosyllabic (unless she's talking about horses and riding) demon who just disagrees with everything I say.  I can't remember one conversation lately which didn't end up in a fight or in her slamming my bedroom door so hard (it's never hers) that she knocks all the canvases on the staircase off the wall.  I remind myself that this too shall pass, I have to remind myself often as it's increasingly hard to deal with and being a single parent means she's in that phase where daddy is amazing, she wants to be there where she can do whatever she wants because I'm a bad mother, a working mother who works too hard and never does anything fun or spends enough time with her, this would seem to be this weeks fight and I've tried to remind her that I'm only cramming work in this week so I can spend time with her next week after she has her 3rd round of surgery on Monday!  Just like Abigail before her though there are times when the hormones subside and she'll hug me and tell me she loves me and say she's sorry, it's not her, it's just hormones, she hates hormones!

I've felt for a long time now that girls are easier to photograph but boys are much easier to parent and for once it's definitely oestrogen that wholly gets the blame for this life stage!  If you're reading this and nodding along because you too have teenagers you wrangle with on a daily basis then you have my sympathy, if however you have cute little people who occasionally flail around and scream because teddy isn't smiling the way he usually does then I'm sorry, I'm so sorry but it's just going to get worse before it gets better!


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