Feb 28, 2011

My Daughter, The Teenager

Just typing those words makes me uneasy and a bit sad. When did my little girl become a teenager? How did this happen so quickly and so covertly?

But more importantly, how do I handle being a mom of a teenage girl and doing a good job of it? Some say it can't be done. Mothers and teen girls are just meant to not get along--it is written in the cards, as they say.

I am determined to do this teenage thing with her successfully though. But I am scared, what if I fail? What if I fail her?

I worry constantly about her now. I always have, of course, since the day I held in my arms for the first time. She  was then and has always been, fiercely independent. I love this about her, and I am nervous for her because of it.

It is hard to get her to listen to and take advice from me or her dad because of her independent nature. She is less likely to compromise because of this quality.

But I hope this characteristic of her personality will also keep her from being easily persuaded by her peers as she gets older and spends more time away from my protective arms (shudder).

I still see so much little girl in her, she is after all, 13, not 16. I want to reach out and grab that little girl that sneaks out once in awhile, and hold her close. I see it in her smile when she talks about her latest crush, Justin Bieber. I see it in her face when she finds out I am taking her shopping for new clothes. I hear it when she is in her room giggling with her best friend. And it warms my heart. And it makes me sad for I know tides are turning.

I see the teenager coming out in her when I catch her looking in the mirror at herself, and not looking happy with the reflection she sees back. I hear it in her voice when she argues with me about school work not interfering with cheer-leading  (though my point was that cheer-leading was interfering with her school work. See what I mean?) I see the teenage girl in my daughter when she wants the latest issue of Seventeen Magazine, and privacy. LOTS OF PRIVACY.

I am worried about the boys. Not my boys, the other boys that will be coming around soon. I am worried about peer influence, drugs, sex, and boys. I am so scared she will be hurt, confused, and will not come to me for advice as she becomes more a teenager and less a little girl. And the boys. Did I mention I am worried about the boys?

I want to hold her tight and not let go until she is, say, about 25. Is that possible?

My daughter, the teenager.

Are you the mom of a teenage girl? How are you handling it?


Small Town Mommy said...

My daughter is only 11 and I am terrified about the boys. Already there are boys sniffing around and I can only imagine once she hits the teens. Good luck and if you figure it out, definitely share it.

Lynne said...

I am the mom of a 14 year old, 15 this coming Friday. I have to say that truthfully, I probably fail just about every day. But then again, I do have moments that pay off. For example, after my daughter had had an extremely busy weekend with her softball teams, friends and homework, she actually told me that she WANTED to go to the grocery store with me yesterday afternoon. When she got in the car she said "I didn't really want to go to the store, but I wanted time to talk to you." That's right, she actually said she wanted to talk to me! I wanted to reach over and give her big fat kiss and hug, but I restrained myself and relished the moment instead.
So, I guess we all fear for our children, no matter what their age, but my goal is to keep open communication and hopefully, in the not too distant future, I will again hear those magic words, "mom, I wanted to talk to you"!
Good luck, and hang in there!

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 8 but I always say she is 8 going on 13. Even strangers will ask "how old is she" and I reply "8" and they give me this look that I never forget and say "wow you are going to have your hands full" She is already doing a lot of what I feel "teen girls" would do. Not boys or anything just the independent attitude and stuff. I am not ready for her to be a teen ... ugh! Good luck Mama I know u can do this!!

Henrietta said...

My little girl is 10 and I know just how you feel with the worry! I'm scared I will mess it up and she won't want to talk to me as she gets older. I pray that she will though! Our 15 year old son has actually gotten better and happier the past few years but I have a feeling this will not be the case with the girl once she hits teen years! Drama at school has already started blah!

Irene said...

Hi Henrietta,

Oh the school drama! I know it was there when I was in school eons ago, but geesh, how do these girls learn anything in class with all the angst going on everyday??

Laura said...

Don't listen to what others say about mothers and daughters. I have 2 girls(15 and 21) and we have a great relationship. They talk/tell me everything (some things I would rather not know). When my oldest was around 13/14/15, she went through a rough patch, because of emotional abuse she suffered from her dad, but she still pretty much told me everyhing (again some things I would have rather not known). My youngest is always telling me what her friends are doing (some of this shocks me) but it opens up the door for us to talk about it.

I blog on dangerous teen trends and here's a post I did on talking to your teen and what worked for me, because you can talk to them without all the yelling, screaming, door slamming (of course, I'm not a yeller, so that's why there's no yelling in my house...it's not allowed).


(And I'm not trying to promote my blog, but this is just some advice from an old pro (although I'm not THAT old.)

Irene said...

Oh Laura, Thank-you so much for your comment! I am going to check out that post--I need all the advice and help I can get because I want to do this right (or as best as I can, anyway!)

I love your blog, btw, you always have great information for us parents.

p.s. I bet I am older, hehe!