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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Teen Talk - Independence

At this time I have two teens in the house of varying
ages and one on his way (age 11). One went through the teen years
without much ta do about nothing. She will turn 19 next week.

Her personality though has always been easy going so it
really wasn't surprising that she was even tempered through the
teen stage. She asserted her Independence at a very young age and held
her ground through it all. I allowed her the space and she
handled it well and still handles it well. I have more trouble
with her growing up then she has. (soft sniffles)

Enter my 14 year old. She was always afraid of everything
and clung to me. He anxiety over took her in the form of
ADHD. I moved her slowly through each phase of development.
She has been always by my side and the child that has
needed the most attention to guide her to feel self assured.
With a slam that self assurance has pummeled me.
I am glad for it and afraid of it at the same time.
Recently... She has decided that now is the time to
take her stand on the independence front and she is taking
it with grand strides. I get comments like Mom why are
you here? Why are you staying? You can go. I'm fine.
I don't need help.

Rest assured that the comments did bother me at first . She has
always been by my side, I have always helped her
through this or that but I realized that this
was her way of standing up and saying I am ready to
begin moving somewhat separate from my parents. Oh no
maybe not even somewhat, Wholeheartedly. However

Mom fights for somewhat since 14 isn't the age for all out
letting go. Now I find myself in new territory with her. I

had once pushed her ahead to new adventures and now I
find myself reining her in a bit and at times
stepping on eggshells. When did that happen?

It can be difficult to have a relationship with a child when
they are finding who they are. It takes work to hold it together,
to help them round themselves out. It is important to spend
a lot of time talking and to know when to stop talking.
I have trouble with the stop talking part. The older child
and I have always talked things to the end of the earth
and back . The 14 year old likes to think it through herself
and only let you in on little secrets. You have to read
between the lines to hear her heart. You have to be a
parent paying attention. It is hard but don't give up because

in the end your relationship is what matters most.
(probably talking to self here)

Sometimes the words say leave but the heart tugs else
where and wants what the words don't say. For awhile
I was disheartened by the pushing from me but then I noticed
that the needing was a bit different but still present.
I'll always be her mom after all. It never goes away.
She doesn't need me as much maybe as before or maybe
she needs me even more. It is just more suttle.

The other day we got home from an activity and I stopped the
car. She got out and came to my side and stood. I opened
the door and she watched and helped as I took the baby
out. Silent words. She needed my security in that moment
without words. That's what I mean. Those simple moments
of just being with your teen. Not telling them how it is
or isn't but just being quiet with them. Their minds are
constantly moving and thinking. That silence forms a bond
that maybe you didn't know existed and helps them think
through their new Independence.



  1. Found you on work boxes and now following would love a follow back:) I have a 9 year old who is going on 18. Boy is it tough allowing her freedom to grow but at the same time getting her to understand the need for being careful and not reckless with her choices. I hope a navigate these waters as it seems you did with your two:)


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