There have been many benefits to waiting longer in life to have children. We’ve had time to excel in our professions, see a bit more of the world, play the field longer, build our own nest eggs and splurge on those Jimmy Choos every once in a while. Those are just some of the benefits. However, it pays to remember that time isn’t always on your side.
Eventually, you have to pay the piper and like many of you, I’m paying him right now. I knew the day would come where my daughter would be passing through puberty at the same time as I’m flashing, swinging and battling middle-age madness!
Here are a few things that will stop you from crashing and burning along the way:
- Remember you’re the boss! You can be benevolent, but you’re still the boss.
- Teenagers are completely self consumed; particularly teenage girls. As far as they’re concerned, the world revolves around them and don’t get into their rotation unless you’re invited.
- You will get limited reassurance that your child still needs you; so don’t look for it even though they do. The rare compliment will probably be backhanded and ‘Thank You’ probably won’t be heartfelt.
- Don’t waste your time and energy trying to get the last word. It’s not worth it. You know you’re right. They know it too, but they don’t know how to take the high road. Set the example.
- Encourage your teens to exercise and get involve in constructive extra-curricular activities. Make sure they eat properly, even if you have to force feed them! Strive to achieve balance in their lives.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do lay down your code of conduct and make your teen stick to the rules or pay the consequences. Pick your battles carefully and make ‘No’ count.
- Respect your child’s privacy. I’m not a snoop by nature; however, I am extremely observant. If my daughter’s was experiencing extended moodiness/anxiousness beyond the time of her period, I would reconsider having a look around her room for obvious signs of trouble including drugs and alcohol. Don’t wear blinders, but if you’re going to look, be prepared for what you may find.
- Recall how you were as a teenager. I find that this really does put things in perspective and will help put your mind at ease…or perhaps not! At least it can give you an idea of what to expect.
- If you need help, medical or therapy to get you through this stage in life, just do it. Too often we think we can make the change without help. This is a time to reach out and talk about what you’re experiencing body, mind and spirit. Talk to your friends, your coach, your mother or therapist. Remember your mom has at least done the menopause thing before and doctors say your passage can resemble your mother’s. I nearly cried when my mom said she had hot flashes for a decade! God help me.
- Don’t over indulge, especially in alcohol. You will only regret it. Everything in moderation including moderation which means you can have a blow out every once in a while.
- Take care of your body. Exercise yourself physically and mentally every day.
Remember that this is a time of reinvention, letting go of the past and starting anew. Be good to yourself and treat yourself right. I highly advise purchasing a Dammit Doll for those occasions when you find yourself full of anxiety, frustration and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. My very clever mother bought me one for my birthday this year and I can’t tell you how therapeutic it is slamming it into something hard!