For the past few days I feel like I’ve been researching one of the most important topics ever to face us, and I wasn’t even seeking the information out.
But now I feel like what Freud or Einstein must have felt like when they made their breakthroughs.
Let me catch you up. I am lucky to live in a diverse town. We hold different faiths and ethnicities. We may have different points of view on many topics, but one that will unite us forever? For the past few days I have had a conversation with a Jewish Mom, A Latin Mom, and a Catholic Mom. What is up with our teenage daughters?
Our frustration identical. Why are they sooooooo mean to us? What is wrong with them? Why are they so angry? Why do they seem like they are in a bad mood when they wake up, when they get home from school, when we say “honey, I bought you a present.”
And what should we do? We want answers. We want relief. Now, before I share with you the answer, I’ll tell you what I have done that hasn’t been working for me. I get upset. I even cry sometimes. Fine, I cry a lot. I’ll say things like, “What’s wrong? Did someone die? Why do you hate me? What is my role in your life? Would you speak to your enemy like this? Did you notice my neck wrinkles yesterday?” (That last one I just need to check, I’m getting pretty upset about my neck too. )
And I realized something super important when I ran away from home last weekend. With a little space, alone time, some wise advice and alcohol, my perspective has actually changed. To put it in the most sophisticated terms possible.
We don’t suck, they suck.
We have to stop taking their behavior so personally. We have to stop thinking if we changed something about ourselves, or what we do, that they will somehow change. I can confidently say that they aren’t changing for a while.
Before, every time my daughter was mean to me, I would yell off my Mom Resume, and I know Julia would never accept my Linkedin request anyway. “Do you know what I do for you? I am always around to drive you, spend time with you, buy you clothes, take you and your friends wherever you want, and stare at your boyfriend.” Well, that wasn’t doing anything, it was just making me angrier, more resentful. Now, I will just choose to walk away, or say calmly, “I’m not loving the way you are talking to me, if you want to chat later, you can come to me.” Escalating a situation by I don’t know, taking her whole mattress out of her room and placing all of her clothes in garbage bags because you can’t take the messy room and arguing for one more second seems futile..I’m guessing.
I honestly feel badly for our girls. It’s rough out there. They have a lot of angst. A lot of confusion, insecurity, and growing up to do. They can’t tell their friends to fuck off, with fear of a snapchat retaliation and rejection, so they express their frustrations with us, because they know we are always accepting, always there with our love and support.
Listen, I don’t know if my advice will work for you. I’d love for your feedback and comments. And who knows if I’m getting the Nobel Peace Prize with my revelations, but…