The fact that I am the mother of three teenagers sort of sets me apart. Anyone who has been through teenage years knows how brilliant and all at once dreadful they are. Life dances vibrantly right in front of you, but always seems just out of reach. People amaze you, then defecate on you. It’s tough.
Teens need. Teens can do it themselves. Teens want. Teens don’t want. Teens discuss, argue, scream, whisper, compliment, bully, think, act impulsively, sleep, eat, sleep, rage, cry. People fascinate them, then hurt them. Teens metamorphose. Teens experience a tremendous amount of fluctuation in the blink of an eye that speaks to their evolving ideologies. It’s a wallop of a phase. Downright tumultuous it is.
I have always held teenagers in high regard. I admire them for their passions. To some, teens are perceived as obnoxious. I see teens’ bold actions and words as gauges. How the teens monitor said gauge exemplifies their maturity, or lack thereof.
Now more to my unique situation: IT’S TOUGH!!!!!! I don’t think it’s tough as much because they are teenagers, but that they are MY teenagers.
Parents are the enemy. (Read this article in full for the scientific explanation: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/10/teenage-brains/dobbs-text.) Parents don’t get it. Parents don’t know anything.
Don’t take offense at this. I think teenagers are absolutely right when they say these things (except for the last line). We are the enemy. We represent aging. We are stagnant (sorry to speak for all parents…I’m just generalizing, a favorite tactic of the teenager, and, yes, I know I just generalized.)
Parents do not understand today’s issues. We may have faced adversity, but we didn’t face their exact problems. We know very little about what is going on in their lives because, remember, we’re the enemy.
I agree with teens and even encourage this line of thinking. Parents NEED to be the enemy. Butt heads with us. Throw it all at me. Kitchen sink it! Bring it! This is a sign of separating oneself from me. You need to grow, stretch, battle.
Some teenagers do this graciously. They are sweet, timid even. Some do this identity-searching lovingly. They give their parents hugs and kisses and speak to them kindly in complete sentences. Don’t think that’s the ideal you should expect.
I see the teenage rampage thus: I get to be an eyewitness to affirmative development. I am blessed enough to participate in their growth, albeit a sometimes ego-bruised participant.
Bring it! I’m strong enough. I’m strong enough. I’m strong enough.