You can admit it. At some point, as a mother, you’ve had the hope that your little darling would stay super sweet, loving, and appreciative of having you in their lives forever. But, reality quickly sets in, and despite wishful thinking, you’ve found yourself in the midst of one of the toughest chapters of your life–.dealing with a rebellious teen! With that being said, here are a few ways to manage through these trying times while keeping your sanity in check:
Reminisce: It may seem like a small thing to do, but thinking back on happier times can have a huge impact on your state of mind when having to interact with your teenager. Look at old pictures from more enjoyable times and reflect. This will help you to approach your teen in a more upbeat and positive way, which will, in turn, ease your anxiety a little bit. Your teen might enjoy the trip down memory lane also.
Make time to focus on your own feelings: The more unruly a teenager becomes, the less time a parent will take for themselves. It’s only natural to give your child your full attention. However, doing that may actually end up being counterproductive because it’s of the utmost importance for you to always take care of yourself. So, if your child does not want to talk to you, find another outlet or start journaling your feelings. You will feel greater stress if you think that your feelings don’t matter. Know they do. Being more in tune with your own feelings can help you to consider your teen’s feelings, and maybe process them from a different, less judgmental perspective.
Seek outside counsel if you need it: Feeling like you have to handle and tackle everything on your own will contribute to your own stress increasing. Sharing your experience and getting help, either through spiritual counsel, school resources, or from a psychological professional, could alleviate some of the pressure that you feel. You don’t have to be superwoman. Getting assistance may offer you a moment to breathe and recognize you’re not alone.
Do something that you like to do: Whether it’s spending some quiet time in a coffee house or getting your nails done, whatever makes you happy…DO IT! While it’s true that your teenager does need you to be there for them, even when they are making your life more difficult, it does not mean that you have to stop living. Actually, seeing that you are able to keep moving forward, despite your own feelings and home related issues, could be just the inspiration and positive example that your teenager needs to see and potentially, emulate.