One of the reasons for writing this blog came about because of the reactions I got from people when mentioning I have a teen daughter.
“Oh dear. You poor thing.” they say with pity in their eyes.
“Oh no,” I say. “She is really lovely”.
At which point, I might get one of two responses:
A) The doubtful one:
“Doesn’t she roll her eyes and slam the door on you?” They ask.
“Well, yes, sometimes. But I have my bad days as well. She is entitled to those too. Why would I focus on the bad days when the good ones outnumber them?”
B) The prophetic one:
“Oh just you wait and you will see when she gets a bit older.”
It seems to me we are creating a situation where we expect teens to behave badly and we treat them as if they will, effectively perpetuating the myth. In reality, they are blossoming people who just haven’t got around to developing good coping mechanisms (and are ours really that good, after all). I consider it my job to help her develop those mechanisms and I find that if I treat her as I would a normal person and not a difficult teen, the responses I get are very positive. And you know what, I am learning just as much as she is.