I remember the day I gave birth to my first princess. My godmother told my husband, “Don’t worry, it’s hardest to raise them for the first 18 years, but it gets easier later!” You can guess how good it was to hear this when you are a young parent.
An older colleague regularly comforts me how I can stay calm while I am still tucking them in bed.
The truth, of course, is different for everyone. I know moms who are not doing well being awake for the first couple of years which has never been a problem to me because intermittent sleep has not bothered me so much (for the sake of some dear friends, I note that I drink coffee from the early morning!) which I feel I have to give a child when gifted for something the maximum opportunity to develop that talent if he wants and while he wants it. For me personally, the biggest renunciation when it comes to parenting is because I give what I value most – time.
So, you survived feeding at two in the morning, tantrums of a two-year-old, going to kindergarten, tossing on the floor, going to school, quarrelling with friends, tears about poor grades… so why are you worried about puberty?
Parenting teen – teen issues
The teenage years are a period of intense growth, not only physical but also emotional but also intellectual. Of course, this is a period of confusion and conflict in many families.
Teens are often full of energy, think a lot, and are prone to idealism, and have a deep interest in injustice. Although this is a period of parent-child conflict, the teenage years are a time to help our children grow up and become what they need to become – individuals who are separated from us and often different from us. During this period, they suddenly realize that parents are not ideal as they were imagined, that they are not the best in the world, that they are not always righteous, always fair, always good … and then begins the period when they claim to be completely different from our children ( aaa). Yes, sometimes they will say that we are awful, sometimes they will even hate us. And of course, it will be difficult for parents to hear after so much effort and love they have invested.
Many children begin this period with a sudden change in behaviour. They want to become independent, but at the same time, they want the desperate and fit into society, to be accepted because they become aware of how others see them. Friends become more important than parents in decision making. They try different styles and identities. They begin to think more abstractly and rationally, and therefore start rebelling against parental control.
How to handle puberty
- Read about puberty
- Talk to children often and often – listen to them, don’t judge, don’t criticize … just listen. It’s better to hear and know than to share lessons, so you don’t know anymore…
- Choose your battles – your child wants to nail black nail polish, pierce, paint… think what is important to you. Some things will be even more interesting if you ban them and oppose them. Choose what really matters to you and agree with the child on the rules. My mom didn’t care if I was painting my nails, but it was important for me not to lie to her, to come home by appointment, etc.
- Set reasonable expectations and rules for your child, explain why it is important to you, that it is for your own care and love, not because “you say so”
- inform your child, but be informed too!
- Respect children’s privacy (not neglecting safety) – it is important that you know who you are talking to, who you are talking to, what you are reading, what you are looking at, but do not go into details unless the child just shares them
- No worries, this too will pass or, as my dad used to say, all of this will be yesterday…