My children are like Jaws and I’m the swimmer in the water. Some times, they suck me in and chew me up and spit me out. Today I’m physically and emotionally tired from yesterday’s events. Yesterday, my oldest daughter, Child C, had one of her moments where anything set off her powder keg. The simplest statement, “Make sure that you wear your coat in the morning because it is supposed to be below freezing” set her off. For those that have been following me for a while, you know that my daughter has a disorder that makes her mood very unstable. Yesterday, I expected to come in and get packing done for our impending move and get some things that we don’t need for the rest of the week in boxes. That plan shifted and I had to deal with her behavior. I know that it’s not her fault that she behaves this way, or at least I wish to believe this, but my words of wisdom for today for parents like me, that have girls that are going to be teenagers one day, or just are raising children in general, get a thicker skin.
The old saying “I’m rubber, your glue what bounces off of me sticks to you” may have worked in the school yard, it doesn’t work in parenting. You have children that will throw what ever daggers they can at you to ensure that they hurt you. Some parents take this to heart, I used to be that parent. My daughter reminds me on a regular basis that I do nothing for her, she doesn’t need my help, and etc. I listen to her logic and do not ever remember being as bold as she is in speaking to my mother. I was scared of my mother. I try to think back to 14 and I was just content to be left alone with my walks in the woods, video games, and my music. But of course, I think that I was as close to normal as possible if there is any such thing as normal.
Children today are of a generation that believe that material things make us happy and hand me things instead of time, love, and affection. I am facing this battle with my daughter. We fight a lot of battles, I am consistent that we do not get something for nothing, this disrupts our ability to function often in the home because of a sense of deserving something that is not a necessity. We do not live in a time, at least I don’t, where I have extra money to buy $200 headphones and $50 jeans. I don’t have $200 or $50 jeans and I coupon for necessities so that we can afford the things that we need.
I used to feel like the bad parent because I wasn’t able to give her the things that she desired, but the more that she began to slide down the rabbit hole into this disorder, the more I began to see that no matter what I would hand her, she still would not be happy. There would still be a problem somewhere. When my daughter is even, she is the sweetest and most helpful child you have ever seen. When she is off, she says the most mean and hateful things that could pop out of her mouth. I have gotten a thicker skin. It bounces off of me. She can say what she feels, it no longer penetrates me the way that they used to. It no longer gets under my skin and fester.
So I say to parents that are dealing with a teenager or a teenager with a mood disorder, hang in there. In our case, we need to find the right course of medications to make sure that she is okay. I have no doubts that she will be okay. I have no doubts that she will be alright one day and she will be on her own. She will be fully functional. I am just waiting patiently for that day.