I have a teen, a tween and a toddler. That’s a whole lot of changing hormones, and uncertainty in self expression going on in my house. There’s a lot of eye-rolling and meltdowns happening here, and several times a week, I’m left feeling like the worst mother in the world. It’s hard.
So far, knock on wood, I’ve been fortunate that it’s been one kid at a time being miserable, and making me miserable. Normally, I have one kid unhappy with whatever situation, almost always involving, usually caused by me, and I have at least one other child reassuring me that it’s okay, and I’m not a horrible mom.
Getting through these events is tough on everyone involved. Normally there is a hearty dose of attitude, along with some tears. There’s also a lot of indignation along with a lecture about respect. It’s not pleasant for anyone.
I write this post, not to make my kids feel bad for their behavior, but to leave myself, and any other Mom’s a reminder. I know that this is all typical, and I want my kids to know that their feelings are normal.
Sometimes I need to remember that in the heat of the moment, I need a distraction. Make a cup of coffee, and just savor it. Think things through before immediately grounding them. Try to see where they’re coming from and understand their frustration. Also know that when hormones are involved, sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason to what’s going on, and that’s okay.
Listen to them. Maybe they’re acting up because of something completely unrelated to anything that I’ve done. Maybe something happened at school, and they’re just taking that frustration out on me. Maybe they just need to vent, and let it all out. Maybe they just need a shoulder to cry on, or some advice, but aren’t sure how to ask.
Treat them how you want to be treated. Don’t yell at them, unless you want to be yelled at in return.
Talk to them. Calmly. Don’t throw accusations. That will be a never ending war or “You did this…” “Well, you did that…” It’s pointless, and a waste of energy.
Always remember, that when they are angry, they are hurt. Even though you may want to just send them to their rooms, and they seem to want to be as far away from you as possible, it is normally then that they need a hug the most. And I know that in those moments, I need one as well. Say nothing of the fact that hugging it out is far better than stewing in anger and resentment.
The hardest thing of all, is to remember to apologize. Apologize to them, and hopefully they’ll remember to apologize to you, unprompted. Seriously, sometimes a simple heartfelt apology from my kids makes all the difference in the world.
Always remember that this is just a phase. It will pass. Soon they will be grown, and you’ll miss the young defiant child they once were.