How do you deal with teenagers?
More and more lately I'm finding it hard to really relate to my daughter and her way of thinking. I know that the teenage brain literally is undergoing growth and transformation and that the way she thinks is different for biological as well as maturity reasons. I used to enjoy being around her but lately it's one fight after another.
I don't know how much I'm projecting my own troubled teen years onto her and restricting her because of it, or if I'm just doing what most "average" moms would do. How do I figure out the line between letting her take responsibility and making her own choices while also creating some accountability for when she doesn't live up to what she needs to do?
And what is it about teenagers that makes them suddenly start procrastinating and managing things so badly?? A good 90% of the contention in our home would be gone if she would just do her chores, do her homework and get ready to go somewhere BEFORE sitting around doing what she wants to. No matter how we explain this it just doesn't seem to get through to her. Do I become an even meaner mom and take away the cell phone for these infractions? Or save that punishment for larger crimes? Where's the line between reasonable and harsh? She wants to manage her own time but then gets angry when we don't give her a reminder (that it's time to go, etc.) I've gotten to the point where the reminders are quickly becoming a thing of the past because I know she needs to learn to manage her time on her own, but it's extremely stressful watching and waiting and hoping that she'll make it out the door on time. Especially on Sundays. Should I leave her at home a time or two (even for church)? What options do I have to get her to get ready in advance??
How do I help her understand the real value of things in life? Will we really just have to wait until she moves out on her own and then hits the brick wall of reality?? We've tried not to spoil her, we make her do chores to earn spending money, we've tried to teach her that she has a responsibility to the family. But none of that seems to have made any difference. She doesn't appreciate all that is done for her day in and day out. All she thinks about is her "hard" life and everything we ask her to do, and why she can't have the latest and greatest gadgets on our budget. I know she's got a lot on her plate with all honors classes, marching band, and church activities, but I also know that most of our youth have this and more and yet seem to manage fine. I'm at a loss as to how to teach her the value of helping in the home and earning what she gets.
I think most of this boils down to procrastination and ingratitude. If I thought yet another FHE on either would do any good I'd come up with lessons for the next 6 months!! We've taught and re-taught principles of gratitude, provident living, time management, etc.
This last week was rough. David ended up working for days and nights straight (I'm not even sure which times/days he was home because it was so crazy) and I ended up with yet another cold. Add to that unexpected responsibilities, and I was doing my best just to stay afloat. (I'm not looking for sympathy here- it wasn't a week that had me ready to cry or anything, it was just rough.) It was also a busy week for Aimee with band practice, a band concert, and a football game. But would it have killed her to have helped out a LITTLE? To have done her chores even?? To have thought about someone else (other than Fred) for more than 2 minutes??
Is it like this for everyone else with teenagers? Am I overreacting and just need to take a chill pill? Should I be even more harsh and take away the cell phone? What are some methods you've found that work with your teenagers?? I'm at a loss as to what to do with this alien creature called Teenager!