I don't know how she (or you) do it...

Seriously. I don't know how my mother managed to raise 4 kids into upstanding and good people, without killing one of us. Seriously. At times, I was one heck of a rotton teenager. I'm sure I was pretty typical, but having a 17 year old in the house (and trying to understand her)forces me to think back to what I was like at that age. I don't know how my mother did it. She deserves huge accolades - by far more than I can simply provide on my blog.

Do any of you have tips for dealing with teenage girls, their hormones, the drama they create, the bitterness, the "I want to be treated like an adult" but not act like a adult thing, and the general overall dealing with them - without strangling them?

I know that not much time was put into teaching her how to do things, and I'm trying to spend the time teaching her now. She doesn't appreciate an ounce of it - and I think she even resents it. (Which I probably did at her age too.) But, if someone doesn't take the time now, she'll never learn, and if she does learn later on it will probably be because of a huge ordeal and not something simple.

It's a good thing that children start as babies - I couldn't handle it otherwise.

Seriously. No joke. How do you do it?

By the way, if you didn't already guess, I loved my mother before any of this started. She really IS incredible. She isn't just incredible though, she is AMAZING. She knows how to do almost EVERYTHING. I'm SO glad that she and I are friends now (it happened after I finished the teenager thing).


T. said...

My 8 year old DD has the same behavior *already*. I swear by Love & Logic. www.loveandlogic.com
They have a book geared just for teens & it may be a life saver. I'm using the pre-school book for DD since we've now hit that spell when she's losing her Russian & not fluent enough in English to be really expressive, so she's about as frustrated as most 2-4 year olds.... Have clear goals & make sure hubby is "on board" with what you're doing. Good Luck!


Beth said...

I have been there. MY DD is now 21 and an amazing woman...although I still see her as a little girl, even though she's a mommy.

Anyway, I had the hardest time with her when she was 15. She was hanging out with kids that were older than her and not nice. they would try to get her to lie to me and they would even tell me about it. They introduced her to alcohol...luckily she only did it once. I'm way to wise for it and caught her when she walked in the house drunk.

This is what I did:

I took her door away. If she couldnt spend time with the family and act like a nice person she didnt need a door. She had no privacy without that door.

I took her phone away. Why should I pay for her to talk to awful, lying, drinking cheating horrid people.

I listened to everything she and those rotten kids said. that way I could use it when i needed to.

I made a point to know where she was at ALL times. Even if she was with those creeps.

I lowered her curfew everytime she came home late. If she was 15 minutes late, her curfew was 15 mnutes earlier the next time. And...it compunded. So if she was 15 minutes late and had to come home 15 minutes earlier the next time and she was 10 minutes late that time, I lowered it 25 minutes the next time. I didnt have to do that too many times before she figured out she would be stuck at home and not leaving at all if she didnt come home when she was expected to.

I told her every day how much I loved her (even though I didnt like her at all, i still loved her)

I told her I understood that she was trying to "find" herself but she was going about it in the wrong way.

I listened when she wanted to talk about problems and tried not to judge her, but give constructive advice.

I made sure she went to church.

She actually was much better after about 6 months.

She apologized to me for treating me and the family so poorly and tolsd me I was right and she was wrong.

How wondeful is that. When that happened I upped her curfew and hour and told her I appreciated her effort and honesty.

Good luck...it really will get better.