Living with a teenager

I am not prepared for life with a teenager, I am not prepared for the independence and the defiance and the rapidly changing goal posts. I naively thought this would never happen to me – we had such a great relationship – but the changes have been quick and I have been left open-mouthed, frustrated and hurt by the venom and the attitude.

It’s a time to balance picking the right battles – and there could be many over make-up and clothes, getting up, joining in and going out – and a time to let her discover some of  life for herself. It’s the toughest learning curve since she was weeks old but instead of holding her close I am sometimes left sitting and waiting and hoping she is ok, that she is safe, that she is with good people. 

Fleetingly she has a need for reassurance and comfort from me – when a cuddle helps or just a chat and I long for more of those moments, when she is my little girl again.

I am devouring books in the same way I did when she was a baby but I know I need to set them aside a little – it’s a really tough road but I feel that instinct and observing her during this next stage is still just as important, as is the need to trust her and to let go a little. She’s growing and learning and working out who she is and who she wants to be and I know she has to do it but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone – you couldn’t pay me enough money to be a teenager again. So I shall continue to feel unprepared and making it up as I go along, while trying not to take the latest outburst too personally.

About Janine 634 Articles
I am an antenatal teacher, doula, baby massage instructor, postnatal educator, life coach, writer, mum, wife, friend and, sometimes, just me. As an experienced and qualified practitioner, I specialise in pregnancy, birth and early parenting - my aim is to listen, inform, support and reassure when needed. I have worked with parents since 2002 and I set up Birth, Baby & Family in 2011 to provide good information, a different perspective and links to the best products and services for families. I set up the Birth, Baby & Family Centre in 2014 to provide a welcoming, friendly and supportive space for parents across Tyneside.

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