This post is brought to you by Shamin Brown Consulting. Shamin Brown is a social worker and certified health and life coach. Her aim is to educate, equip and empower women through her services.
Did you think the teen years would be easy and find out you were wrong?
For me, it often felt like I was in a bizzaro version of the terrible two’s where discipline was futile. Raging hormones resulted in moodiness and attitude. My attempts to connect were snubbed for video games, social media and friendships.
Where did my baby go?
The one that told me everything, loved to cuddle and was always going to be Mommy’s helper? When I started thinking about the teen years as a lesson in letting go, it became easier not to personalize it all.
The teens are a period of transition. they are pushing back, sometimes against everything you taught them. They are defining themselves as individuals and learning to navigate social lives apart from their family.
The teen years are a painful gift where you are given the time to prepare them for independence as adults; and to prepare yourself for their absence in the empty nest years. This period involves setting limits; having clear, consistent consequences; and being available.
It also involves gradually standing back, trusting the lifetime of lessons you have instilled in them, and believing that the relationships you’ve built with them will encourage them to turn to you in hard times. Even then, our role is to listen, ask questions, and guide them back to their inner knowing.
You likely worry about it all…grades, peer relationships, fitness, nutrition, school attendance, girlfriends, sex, drugs, etcetera.
You may wonder, as you find new ways to connect: Are they okay? Are they safe? Do they know enough to make informed decisions about x, y ,z? Yes.
Yes they are okay. And, yes, they know enough. Because you taught them well.
For example, your kids may know how to prepare snacks, cook, do laundry or other cleaning, have good sportsmanship, healthy relationships, be creative, undertsand money management, strong work ethic, great people skills or a number of other skills for good living that they learned from you or others in your community.
You have taught them more than you acknowledge and you will teach them more.
Today, spend some time thinking about all the ways you have prepared your kids for independence. Write a list of how you’ve prepared them to go out into the world.
Then, take a deep breath and repeat after me:
“I’m a great Mom, I’ve taught (child(ren)’s name) well and they are going to be okay”
Way to go, Mama! For an extra challenge, pick something from the list you made and go tell your child how proud you are of that skill, knowledge or attitude.
Say yes to yourself. Choose you. You’re worth it.
Author of I’m an Addict: In Bits & Pieces and Owner of Shamin Brown Consulting, Shamin is a social worker and certified health and life coach. In addition to the multiple roles she serves in as an Art & Story Activist, Shamin supports youth and adult females in finding their voice, owning their story and living their truth. She currently offers health and life coaching to women in Canada over 21 and therapeutic counselling to female youth and adults in Manitoba.