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How to survive my (daughters’s) teen years?

by Cherryl
Me and my girls in their teen years

Both my daughters have reached their teen years or ‘terrible teens’ as so often described. I already experienced some raging hormones and emotional changes and we are only at the beginning of this phase. So, can someone please help me out with some good advice?

I’m actually quiet scared that I’m going to fail in this phase of parenting and find myself as opponent of my daughter(s). Meaning that I’m afraid of getting sucked in by the emotional outbursts of one of my daughters and find myself as a 11-year-old, masked as a grown up, on the other side. This is nothing new and happens to me on a daily basis, which I call my vortexes (in Dutch: draaikolken) of life. I have written a blog about these situations as they can be painful and funny though!

Vortexes of life

On a daily basis I can find myself in a situation, which would ask for an adult response or reaction, however my first instant reaction (verbally or body language) is a childish one. Not something that I like to admit easily. It can happen to me in a conversation with my mother (eye rolling), with a friend, on my job or even in a supermarket. And in these cases I wish I had taken just 2 seconds to not respond. Nothing, just utter silence.

As even a cashier in a supermarket can get to me and drag me into a vortex of life. What will be the impact of ‘teen years’ with raging hormones of one of my daughters. Let alone two of them :-)?

How to survive my daughters’s teen years?

Although I’m fully aware of the importance of adolescence for my children as a means of becoming independent of their parents. I’m not looking forward to this process at all, with neither of my girls. Not because I’m expecting too much difficulties in their behavior, I expect them to be first class adolescents. In my opinion teenagers must be:

  • occasionally moody and restless
  • concerned about their appearance and spent hours in front of a mirror
  • hanging with their friends
  • curious and experimental
  • and so much more

What is worrying me however is my feelings, my emotions, my response and my behavior towards them.

11-year-old-child in an adult appearance

Although I’m over 40, most of the time I still have this child in me. And this child is confused, because I as adult should know how life works and how to respond to it. And in fact I’m clueless. But in this game of being an adult we all pretend we know things and most of the time I play along. And playing along means ‘blame someone or something outside your control’ once things don’t work out. In this particular case I can always blame my daughters being in their teen years and calm myself down. But what will really happen is that they  (un)consciously push a button which triggers an emotion in me. That button, entirely based on my past, can and most likely will define my response. Thus my response will not be based on what’s happening between me and my daughter right now, but is based on my unsolved past. Buttons that can be easily pushed, which are my open wounds are:

  • the fear of rejection or separateness
  • feeling of being unseen or under valued
  • my fear for commotion and/or tension

My inability to define my boundaries, related to my fear of rejection AND my fear for turmoil, isn’t beneficial. To phrase it lightheartedly. So, now you probably understand a little bit where I’m coming from and why I ain’t lookinAdolescent brain; teen yearsg forward to these teen tears. Not because of my daughters, but because of me.

As a starter I bought this book about the adolescent brain to read and get a little bit more understanding of what’s happening ‘inside’ my girls. However that will not prevent me from stepping into my own emotional traps. That’s my journey and any experiences, tips, tricks and/or insights from any parent are very much welcomed!

♥, Cherryl