“Realizing that with two teenagers under my roof I am in perpetual combat mode as they make repeated attempts at my fortifications.”
My opening (written) salvo this morning on Twitter. Now, this is not news, not to anyone who has ever parented. Combat mode changes with every year, with every milestone said child or children reach. When we first bring them home the struggles are sleep and safety. We watch with gratitude and awe as they reach each milestone. But, with every one reached, we are that much closer to the ‘I’ word. You know what I mean. Independence. And what does that mean? It means hell on earth folks. Okay, I’m being a tad dramatic here but I think I can safely say (imagining many of you nodding your heads in agreement) that when that burning need for independence hits, your struggles truly begin. The endless questions of why, the pushback on rules, the constant and repeated attacks on your fortifications. Add to that the divide and conquer maneuver that most children instinctively know how to employ and it becomes and ‘us against them’ tactic.
Teenagers are a special type of demon, in my opinion. Now, don’t get me wrong…I love my devils, er my children, but I can honestly say that there are days I wish to employ my invisibility cloak. Because they simply are not pleasant to be around. Thank goodness there are plenty of days that are joyfulf and that kind of balances it enough that I don’t run screaming into the night.
But back to the hell of teenagehood (yes, I realize that is not a real word but I am employing creative license). In addition to being in full throttle, achieve-my-independence mode, they are clearly beset by raging hormones that make them moody and hostile, nicely finished off by the world-revolves-around-me thinking to make most days a lovely stroll through a mine field.
I always found it amusing that childhood is categorized with ‘terrible two’s’, etc. when in reality every age could be classified that way. Tongue in cheek of course. There isn’t anything really ‘terrible’ about any of them. It is just a series of adjustments that you make with each assault on your fortifications, and it starts early. (Clearly you have to put aside your delicate sensibilities and know that IT’S NOT PERSONAL…that’s a difficult one to swallow because some days it sure feels personal). Children do not come with a handbook, nor are parents given hazard pay (personally I think that’s a travesty and a sliding scale should be employed…increasing as they get older).
“Parenting is not for the faint-hearted.” I am sure that is someone’s quote though I have no idea who. Undoubtedly another parent who has been in the trenches, and has survived the napalm of a surly teenager in the morning.
Like many other parents who lament their children’s behavior, I love mine without limit or expectation. But, being a writer, I will always fully employ what I know and right now I know the glory and the (oft times) horror (Say it with me…’the horror, the horror’) of the teenage personality. But my love is unconditional, and they know that. I am their safe zone.
©SirenSong1208 ~ 2018
Photograph taken from Pinterest, unsourced