Raising teenagers, I don’t think there are scarier words in the world, when you are a single parent, that fear and stress is multiplied. First, because we all remember what we were like as teenagers and we know this is not going to be an easy ride.
When Hailey was born one of the first things I did was apologize to my mother, I was a mean teenager who thought my mother knew nothing and I knew everything. I know that is pretty common but I was still devastated that I had behaved that way, especially once I held my own little girl.
Being a teenager is such a difficult, exciting, scary, drama filled time of life. Being the parent of a teenager is all of the above with a little extra fear thrown in. It’s wonderful to watch our children grow and mature, moving towards the adults they will be one day. It’s scary as they learn to make their own decisions and navigate through life without us.
I remember so many days wondering what I had done wrong, why Hailey seemed to hate me one minute and love me the next. Why wouldn’t she listen to me and take my advice, after all, I had been there, I had life experience.
No matter what type of parent you are or how good of a parent you are, all teenagers are going to rebel. They will all do things you wish they wouldn’t, really all you can hope for is that their rebellion will be small because they are going to do it, one way or another.
As our children get older they rebel as a way of asserting their independence, it’s hard to be on the verge of adulthood and still have someone telling you what time to go to bed at night. Take heart in knowing that rebeling is a necessary part of growing up and a sign that your child is completely normal. They are going to make mistakes and hopefully they learn some important lessons along the way.
As a parent, you are going to make mistakes too, you are human after all. I think as a single parent I felt that each of my mistakes was a glaring reminder of the fact that Hailey was from a broken home. Maybe I wouldn’t have made that mistake if there was someone else helping me with this parenting thing. That’s not true, everyone makes mistakes, married parents and single parents.
Do not let fear rule your parenting, you will make mistakes, your teenager will get mad at you, but you will both come out on the other side, a little worse for wear, but you’ll make it through.