I don’t know how many times I have said it, or the countless times I have thought it but being a parent is so bloody hard.
What do you do when your child is suddenly bigger than you and tries to use their size against you?
There is this invisible line that cannot be crossed. What happens if it does get crossed through? What then? How should a parent handle something like that?
And why must teenagers be so negative? Why does everything have to be such a big deal? Why can’t they just go with the flow? Relax and enjoy? Why do they insist on bringing everybody down with their smart ass comments and negative outlook?
I don’t have any of these answers I am afraid. I am still trying to get my head around the teenage years in general. Most of the time I can turn a blind eye or ear to the less than desirable attitude and language, but every now and then it does get to me and I can’t help but wonder what I am doing wrong. Am I the only parent that feels like this?
If I was to be honest with myself I would have to admit that the realisation that I am running out of time with my children is really terrifying me, and I find myself struggling to come to terms with this.
My son is almost 15 years old, realistically I only have another 3 years left with him. After that he will be old enough to be doing his own thing, living his own life, he will be an adult accountable for himself.
Is it wrong therefore to want to make the most of the precious time we have left together?
I am no expert by any means, only last week I was pulling my hair out and banging my head against the wall in frustration at my teenager. We have only just really hit the tip of the iceberg that is the teenage years. I am acutely aware that we are in for a much bumpier ride down the track, but at this stage and seeing as though today has been a good day and I am able to put my thoughts into perspective, I feel it may be beneficial to share my top 5 tips so far that have somewhat worked with my teenager. I’m putting these down on paper or iPad so that I can be prepared when its my twins turn at the teenage years.
5 tips to surviving the teenage years
1) Stay positive – negativity breeds more negativity if you can manage to stay positive and try to see the positive side of things even if its only the slightest glimmer of positivity it will make an enormous difference.
2) Practice active listening. Active listening is when you are totally focused on what your teenager is telling you and no matter how much you want to butt in and say your bit you must refrain. Sometimes they just want you to listen. Not offer advice. Not make suggestions. Certainly not pass judgment just listen. This may sound simple enough but anyone who has a teenager will tell you that active listening can be near impossible, so much of what they say will push so many of your buttons.
3) Use humour. Nothing will defuse a situation like humour. Even horrible black humour can be an effective tool. Lighten up and try and have some fun with your teenagers, the rewards will be two fold.
4) When in doubt trust your instincts. Our instincts are our most powerful sense, they warn us of pending danger, alert us when something is not quite right. A mothers instincts when it comes to her children is infallible.
5) Alcohol . Surely no parent of teenagers has ever been able to get through these trying years without a glass or two of wine or champagne purely for medicinal reasons of course.
So my bird hates me again. Every year around this time just before spring is here Stan’s hormones kick into angry bird mode and my beautiful loving little Quaker turns into a mad little biting machine.
If you have birds you will know exactly what I am talking about, his whole demeanour changes, there is a look in his eyes a certain way that he moves, he is reluctant to come out of his cage, very vocal, there may be beak clicking or tail wagging, but if you miss all those signs you won’t be able to miss the excruciating bite that is no doubt heading your way.
Much like the self absorbed teenager, a parrot too becomes self absorbed and defensive around this time of year. Try not to be too hard on yourself or take it too personally.
So what can you do to snap you bird out of this phase? well nothing really, you just have to ride it out. Thankfully this uncharacteristic mood change does not last long and just when you think there is no light at the end of the tunnel that you have lost the love of your beloved friend for ever then suddenly he is back often sweeter than ever, calling out to you to come and play, giving you kisses, singing and talking happily again.
Unfortunately for me Stan’s transformation from loving bird to angry bird is only just commencing but I know that before long angry bird will be no more than a distant memory, and my beautiful boy will love me again.