Raising a Teenager in Midlife
I was 34 when I delivered my daughter. Having gone through the fertility process to have her, I was so happy to have finally become a mother. When she was little I had a lot of energy to chase her and loved every minute of my daughter’s firsts for everything. She was a perfect child, very mild mannered.
Raising a child was easy so I thought. Even getting divorced when she was 4 seemed didn’t seem to shake her. She took everything in stride. Everyone would say how quiet and good she was, so easy to have in class, all her teachers loved her.
Preteen years brought more change. I remarried when she was nine bringing a step-father to her which I’m not sure she appreciated. She still took the changes pretty well not voicing too many negative thoughts but certainly starting to speak her mind and voicing a desire for independence.
The teenage years are here and with that come much more vocal discussion of independence. She is no longer “easy” to raise. Many times she will challenge my authority. Now in my midlife, I get frustrated more easily and my patience is harder to find than it used to be. I sure don’t have all the answers but I have found some methods to dealing with my daughter that may help you with your teenager.
- Pick your battles. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- When it matters, stand firm. Explain why it matters and what the consequences are if they don’t comply.
- Have fun, you chose to have this child, enjoy your time together.
- Stay fit so you can keep up with them. I earned “cool mom” status when she and I went on an obstacle/zip line adventure (short lived probably lost it again the next day).
- Make sure they know what the rules are and be consistent. Don’t make the rules up as you go along.
- Give them tasks at home they are responsible for. It will teach them responsibility and help them to be a part of the family.
- Sit down for family dinners as often as possible. The best open conversations I have with my daughter are over a meal. Even in a restaurant.
- Tell them you love them even if they act like they don’t want to hear it. They do want to hear it! Show affection too!
- Give them independence when appropriate. They need to be able to spread their wings to learn to fly.
I do look forward to continuing to raise my daughter through her teenage years. She is growing into a lovely young woman. I’m so proud of her. She’s beautiful and smart and has her whole future in front of her with so many choices to make.
I’ll be 52 when she’s an adult. It’s important to stay fit and take care of yourself when you are a midlife parent. She’s hopefully going to have children someday (hopefully many, many years from now).
I will be a grandparent late in life so my health is very important to me. I want to be apart of the adult stages of her life whether it’s parenting, career or whatever she chooses.
I found this video. Funny mom puts it all into perspective.