Teenagers. I know. It’s a frightening concept. While my toddler is teaching me the meaning of the universe, my teenage is destroying my life as I know it.
I’m cursed… no no, that’s not the right word… let’s try again…
I’m very LUCKY to be able to experience the joys of parenting both a toddler and a teen at the same time. I’ve recognized a lot of similarities between the two, actually and it is somehow helping me be a better parent to my teen daughter.
Toddlers explore and test boundaries and want to know and experience everything, all the time, immediately. Teens are sort of like that too, aren’t they?
My daughter and I disagree. A lot. About everything. Well, not everything. Just the clothes she wears to school, the friends she hangs out with, her curfew and… of course, her boyfriend.
As a woman who has dated her fair share of men in her time, (let’s keep that between you and I, ok?), I feel like I can spot the guys who just aren’t right for my daughter. Of course, as a parent, there are certain things we I know I have to let her figure out on her own. That doesn’t, however, stop me from trying to at least steer her in the right direction.
Last week we were having a rather heated discussion about her current boyfriend and my daughter, the passionate conversationalist that she is, screamed, “I hate you! You’re ruining my life!” and stormed out the door.
It was the first time she’s ever told me she hates me, and it may not be the last. As much as the words first stung me, I also felt like celebrating. A teenager’s first “I hate you” to their parents is a milestone. Not a particularly pleasant one, but a milestone nonetheless. Sort of like the first time your child is heartbroken or the day they leave for college.
“I hate you,” is just one part of a teenager asserting their independence and growing, (all too quickly if you ask me), older.
So when your teen, (or… *shiver* preteen), utters those three painful words, try not to take it too personally. That doesn’t, however, mean you should let them get away with it.