Thursday, January 7, 2010
Raising A Teenager Is Hard...
As a general, sweeping assumption, I tend to think that raising a teenaged daughter is harder than raising a teenaged son, although I've got twice the sons than daughters, so I'lI find out for myself soon enough...This morning was one of those mornings that leave me reeling - and all before 9 a.m.! It's amazing how much conflict and nastiness can be packed into such a short period of time. In my mind, I alternate between 'head in sand' and 'in your face' with my daughter. I alternate between 'leave her alone, she's not as bad as some kids' to 'never mind the lowest denominator, this still is not acceptable according to MY expectations and standards!'. Should I leave her alone? What will I come to regret more - too much attention or not enough attention? Is it all goingn to turn out okay in the end - or will it all go so terribly awry? I feel like it is such a delicate, precarious balance and I'm trying to find the balance without any reliable senses, or information. I know that there are books that I can read, but for every book touting one method, there's another book refuting it. I also think that it's all so subjective and individual. Or, perhaps there is a common, frequent, and/or underlying psychology to the teenage brain, the teenage experience, that lends itself to a method or school of thought that can be effectively applied to any/all teenagers...Another consideration is the specific dynamic that exists between MY teenager and myself - I recognize that the responsibility or ownership of this struggle that exists with my daughter is not squarely on her shoulders...What experiences/behaviours/tendencies of my own are affecting how I influence or respond to any given situation or moment with her? How much can I control? How much do I have to let go of? I feel like I'm caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place and I fear that there is no favourable outcome - at least, not one that's guaranteed. And I WANT a guarantee, damn it! This is my daughter, my first born baby - I don't feel like there is any room for error. I also fear that what right now seems like such a difficult time may only be the beginning. Perhaps I'm just run down and worn out in my thinking right now...I've also heard from some people that the age of 14 is pretty much the worst of the worst, and that a corner to turn is not too far off. I just don't know. What is the middle ground between the theory of 'tough love' versus 'unconditional love'? What is the likelihood of 'happy ending' versus 'worst case scenario'? The answers are nowhere to be found, at least, not right at this moment. For now, I think I will allow myself to pour a fresh, hot cup of tea and retreat into my scrapping space with my favorite blogs, websites,and my music. I'm done ruminating and perseverating, for the time being at least. Sometimes the harder you look for answers, the more elusive they seem. For now, for today, for at least this moment, I am going to let it go.
"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."
-- Havelock Ellis