Mine haven’t been… even though I have been waiting for it for years.
I’ve always heard that when my sweet girls reached their teen years, they’d be replaced by surly, nasty, mean spirited aliens, and that they’d EVENTUALLY return to being “human” again when they reached their mid 20s. Since I was a pretty wild teenager myself, I’ve spent a lot of time bracing for the rebellion and temper tantrums that come with being the mother of a teenager.
I had so much dread over this that when Anna was about 10, I sat her down for a little talk. I told her that before too long that we’d be butting heads a lot and she was going to hate me and that I probably wouldn’t like her much either. I told her that it’s just what happens when teenagers become more independent. Then I held her and told her that it would pass, but I wanted her to know that I’d always love her no matter what.
The poor kid burst into tears and threw her arms around me, sobbing “I can’t imagine a time when I won’t like you as much as I do now. You’re the best mommy ever.” (Why yes… this family IS a little dramatic.) I patted her and felt my eyes tear up too. Seriously, I didn’t want to fight these girls tooth and nail to keep them from repeating my teenage years.
I’m surprised as hell to say that Anna is 17 now and hasn’t given me one moment of the nastiness that my mother has wished on me since I was a teenager. Those terrible teen tantrums, fights, and dramatics haven’t happened… not ever. Sierra (14) isn’t showing any signs of being abducted either and I’m beginning to wonder if I may be doing something right because Faitha (12) is her same sweet self too. They’re respectful, loving, fun to spend time with, and work hard in school. They don’t dress like prostitutes, throw things across the house, and never ever have I heard one shout that she didn’t love me or that I’m ruining her life or that I don’t understand.
Now, don’t take that to mean I think they’re perfect… they’re snarky and grumpy at times. They’re sarcastic and boy can they get their digs in when they’re on their A Game. They have some definite opinions of their own and aren’t shy about voicing them! I don’t consider that rebellion … I just call that being real people with real personalities.
I’ve always known I was different than most other parents (because I’m a bossy loud mouthed hard ass!) but I always assumed that my girls didn’t rebel because I carry a big stick … and I don’t walk softly either. I don’t have a problem ruling by fear. A little fear is healthy, in my humble opinion.
As it turns out, the stick and the loudness have nothing to do with how these young ladies are turning out. After spending some time chatting with my daughters about this during our vacation, I have a pretty decent list of reasons why my daughters aren’t asshole teenagers (both in their opinions and mine). I’ll be sharing that with everyone tomorrow.
Can you guess what some of those reasons might be? What about your kids? Have they been abducted by aliens? Why do you think it happens/doesn’t happen? Discuss amongst yourselves. I have some bonbons around here somewhere….