A parent teenager relationship can certainly be a minefield. You just have to be the parent of a teenager to know what a challenge it can be. You know there are sensitivities out there so you try to tread lightly. Because this is dangerous territory. Put a foot wrong and you can expect an explosion any minute.
Yes, life is difficult out there in the trenches for any parent but you battle on regardless because you live in hope. You know you will reach quieter pastures one day soon – when your child hits his or her 40’s.
If it’s any consolation – you are not alone! Parents often go through difficult patches when their children reach their teens.
The first sign arrives rather unexpectedly. Suddenly you realize that your child has outstripped you – and you are old.
Shock? Ohhhh yes! It’s a shock alright!
But don’t feel too bad about it. It only means that you have graduated. You have now become “The Older Generation” or “The Old Folk” or “Old Fogies” or some such mark of veneration. You’ll get used to these terms as you become more familiar with them. You’ll hear them often enough.
Meanwhile, try to relax and enjoy the calm before the storm because there’s more to come.
The thing to do now is to let go of the reins and allow your teenager to find himself on his own. After all, isn’t that what you did?
So without being obtrusive be sure to be ever-present. Let your child know that you are waiting in the background to support and advise him whenever he needs it. But make sure that it really is the background. Provide a strong and positive presence but be careful not to intrude.
Attune your ears so that you can hear and listen to the silences. This is not quite as strange as it seems. What it means is that you should make yourself aware and sensitive to the real but unspoken needs of your child.
Be receptive to all those confusing signals that he sends out expecting you to understand everything in an instant.
And most importantly – be ever ready to understand that what he is saying is the exact opposite of the message that he is trying to convey.
And when you really want to know what on earth is going on, take a look at his handwriting. Has it changed a lot in the past year or so? Pay particular attention to the variable slant. Does it look normal or chaotic? Too much chaos means – how did you guess – inner chaos and confusion!
And then you can take a surreptitious peep at the lower loops that will soon tell you if there are any raging hormones. Best you find out now – because you will be the one that will have to deal with that too!
Think I’m joking? I’m not.
There’s a little handwriting personality test you can try to see if you are too critical, or if you are inclined to blame yourself too quickly. Maybe you tend to shut your eyes to the whole problem. Check it out. It may just give you a little insight into your relationship with your teen.