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Comments 25

Count to Ten…

One of the hardest things about parenting isn’t the sleepless nights, well I mean, it is in the baby / toddler stage as I’m there now with Oscar, but long-term whats harder than that is them turning into a young adult. Curfews, Friends, School… nobody tells you just how difficult being in charge of all that is, it’s an emotional roller coaster that’s for sure. There have been enough tears in this house to last a lifetime over attitude and the fear of doing it all wrong.

I can only speak from my own experience and I know Hollie isn’t the easiest of Teenagers,  she’s very strong-willed, argumentative and sometimes an absolute idiot ! We have very quickly learned that using the “I told you so” method just doesnt work, if anything it makes her more determined to make it work. I think we forget so easily that the need for adventure and to explore is so critical at this age, they are stepping out, away from the parental bubble we have wrapped them up in and literally going it alone and that scares the shit out of me. Of course we still have boundaries, curfews and rules but I understand it’s a natural thing for her to do to push against them, just like a toddler does.

I can’t stop Hollie making wrong choices and honestly I really wouldn’t want to, these wrong choices are life lessons, they are defining her into a young adult but I have had to learn to be patient. It’s not come easy to me, funnily enough you’d think after 13 years of parenting Id be a pro at counting to ten under my breath but sadly not. She knows exactly what buttons to press, maybe that’s because she’s a mini me and we are 2 peas in a pod, whatever it is I’ve had to learn real quick not to react because it fuels the fire in her irrational teenage brain.

Instead I’m learning to understand why she’s made these decisions and support her. I’ve let go of trying to control her every move (yes I was even using find my iPhone to track her down! ). Instead I try to influence, which means she’s more open to the idea of talking to me when the shit hits the fan. That alone gives me great comfort, I can’t bare to think of her needing me and not being able to tell me. Ok I’m still 18 in my head, and the only thing I have on my side is that I’m still quite with it, she can’t get much past me but I don’t probe her for information, I wait for her to come to me and then I give her advice without the judgment. Yes sometimes I don’t like what I’m hearing, but whats the use of being angry it just means she won’t come to me again and I need her to know wherever she is, whatever she’s doing she can call me no matter how late or how far away she might be.

One thing I realised really quickly was not to lose my shit over her choice of friends, her tribe. Theres a few shall I put it “characters” in Hollie’s circle of friends, some older, some younger it has nothing to do with age. They’re not bad kids and I hate that phrase as I don’t believe any child or teen is bad without reason, some just have life really tough and miss out on the support they need whether that’s at school or at home. Hollie’s tribe is the most important thing in her life, yep more than us for the time being anyway and I’m ok with that, because I know that although I’m pretty cool as mums go, I’m not that cool and I never will be, even when we are in the middle of a tent at Bestival listening to a stage full of sweaty lads banging out the latest Grime music, so I don’t expect her to hang out with me on a Friday night but I do expect her to come home at our agreed curfew and to be contactable at all times.

I know she loves us, and we love the bones off her, I know there’s still a good few heated debates to be had mainly over the noise that comes out of her bedroom !. But more than that I’m so proud of her, yes she is a nightmare but a bloody amazing one that we are helping grow into a fully fledged adult. I know one day we will look back on these years, at some of the things she’s said to me and we will laugh till it hurts but isn’t that what parenting is all about. Our greatest achievements are those that take us out of our comfort zone, challenge us till we get a headache and send us to the wine !!

My only advice would be…. be their friend – it is allowed. As hard as it might be and as much as you disagree, listen to them, sometimes all they want is to be heard. Don’t take offence when they say they don’t need you, because they do ,just in a different way. Learn how to count to ten under your breath because it really does help, it helps me to stay calm especially when she’s dyed her hair green and looks like Grotbags ( if you can’t remember who she is click here) yes it was that bad !!

Your babies grow, you will still protect them, they will still rinse your bank balance and you will only love them more – even with green hair !!

Gem

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Dear Bear and Beany

25 Comments

  1. The teenage years are so tough aren’t they? Very turbulent, trying to fit in (or not), figuring out who we are and want to be. It sounds like you are doing well at getting a balance! Gaining their independence is important but boundaries are too. Having a curfew means you have a family who care and want you home again! Sounds like you are doing a great job. I love the picture of Hollie, she has a beautiful smile and looks very happy 🙂 #ShareTheBlogLove

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  2. Oh it’s so wonderful to read a post by someone else with teens. I nodded my head the whole way through this! I read recently that it’s one thing having been a teen but parenting one is a whole different thing entirely – oh my word the bloody worry!! A gorgeous post and your daughter is beautiful and looks like she will make the most of her life for sure! Have just subscribed to your blog too! xx

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    • Thank you !!! Such a worry !! I confess to grounding her last night as she left the house after 8am ( one of our rules ) then I picked her up from school, forgot and took her to her mates house !!! Parenting at its finest there .. It’s so hard !!! 😂 xx

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  3. I’m glad the teenage years are a long way off for me – I remember giving my parents a bit of a hard time! It sounds like you two have a great relationship though, I wish my parents had been a little bit more approachable sometimes and more allowing of mistakes. You’re obviously really close! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

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    • Thanks Katy, and thank you so much for featuring us on this weeks showcase. We have a great relationship, but we still have our arguments normally over the stupid stuff like why all my best towels are on top of her stairs !! 😂

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  4. Gosh this takes me back to being a teenager and all that angst and worry! sounds like you’re managing it brilliantly – the way you talk about influence rather than tell sounds like coaching to me 🙂 And you sound a pretty cool mum to me 🙂 #postsfromtheheart

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  5. Pingback: Sharing the Blog Love - Showcase 29 - Hot Pink Wellingtons

  6. I already worry about the teenage years with two strong willed little ladies and they are only 6 and almost 2! But I love this be their friend, I always said I would be but so many places you see to be their parent, I agree that you can totally do both….lets see in 10 years time! xx #sharingthebloglove

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    • Those strong willed girls of yours will grow into young independent ladies,. I find with Hollie that some days she’s needs me as her friend and other days she needs me to be her parent. I went through a stage of over parenting her and it didn’t work, we had a few rocky months. We now have a balance and It seems to be working, you’ll be great 💗

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  7. What an amazing post! Some great advice here. I’ll be searching the Internet for this post to read again in 3 years time when my eldest girl hits her teens!! I’m really dreading it but reading posts from other parents really helps! 🙂
    -Laura @ firsttwothenblue
    #sharingthebloglove

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    • Thank you so much Laura, it means a lot that you think I’m giving good advice, it has really been trial and error, as I think all teenagers are so unique and deal with their feelings in all sorts of ways. Don’t dread it, you will be fine- learn with them and grow as they grow !! You can do it ❤️

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    • Thanks Sonia, 11 was the turning point for Hollie, starting senior school and finding her feet, figuring out who she was or who she wanted to be. It can be a very frustrating time for everyone but hang on in there, it’s worth it in the end I promise. ❤️

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  8. emmerson329 says

    I can so relate to this. My eldest is 13 in April and we are very much in the teenage stage, but I have to let him make his own mistakes, figure out his own issues and follow a path that is right for him. As long as we instil good values in our children, keep communicating with them, and support them along the way, I like to think we cant go wrong. #sharingthebloglove

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    • Yessss to this !!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻.. We still have moments but I always find how I react has the most impact on the situation, like I said in the post I don’t always like what I’m hearing but helping her realise her mistakes and being able to help her learn from them is so important !! We got this 😊👍🏻

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  9. I too have a teen and feel your pain! Luckily mine has always been happy to talk – but it is hard to let go and let them make mistakes isn’t it! My daughter recently came out as gay (she’s 17) which is a whole other set of worries to add to the usual! Good Luck

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  10. What a great post! I have an almost 11 year old and I see our relationship shifting from little kid/love my mommy so much to pre-teen/Mom role. Having conversations with her has evolved. Not needing to monitor her 24/7 has changed hours. #Sharingthebloglove

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  11. I am not looking forward to the teenage years. Your daughter sounds like me at her age. Stubborn, can’t be told what to do and finding her own path ( mostly the wrong one ) #postsfromtheheart

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