I remember growing up my parents could not stand the mouth of a disrespectful teen, and now I understand why. We all want our children to respect everyone, especially their elders, and anyone of authority (meaning teachers principals etc.), and for the most part my children follow these rules. However, lately my oldest child (a new freshman in high school) has not treated me very well. She can be the sweetest child and think I am just the best mom ever but she can also do a complete 180 and snap at me in front of other adults, mainly my friends.
Just recently I had an episode with her where she tried to push my limits in front of a friend of mine she doesn’t know very well. She came home from school and had some horrid earrings in her ears that I know she didn’t purchase on my watch. I know it sounds lame, but they were the beginning stages of gage earrings. We have had the discussion a few times before that I will not allow her to wear those. What teenagers don’t realize, and I didn’t either at her age, is what they do now permanent or semi-permanent they will regret 10 years from now. I confronted her about it when she walked in and she instantly got an attitude with me. She wanted me to let her wear them because they were small. NO, that was not going to happen. I made her take them out of her ears and I threw them away.
The way she spoke to me was absolutely unacceptable. I was put in an awkward situation and wasn’t sure how to handle it; I’m not used to her speaking to me in such a manor. I stayed calm and handled her in a nice yet firm way. But she knew I was unhappy with her behavior and I sent her to her bedroom and told her I would speak to her later at a more appropriate time.
After we had dinner I pulled her aside and explained to her that I was not criticizing her or making fun of her in front of my friend. I was angry because she knows I do not allow her to wear such things. I also told her stories about my teenage years and the rebellious things I used to do. I had many friends that went out and got tattoos. I was petrified to commit such an act because of the trouble I would be in with my parents, and I could never come up with something I would want as a tattoo when I was 50 years old. Then I moved on to the fact that she just has me to deal with, when I was a teen I had both of my parents. My dad was always backing my mom up on everything– we have a different situation in our house and I don’t have that. Therefore I need her to appreciate and accept my wishes and trust me that she does not want gage earrings at the tender age of 14. When she is my age her ear lobes will be hanging to the floor and she’ll never be able to wear normal pretty earrings.
When I talk to her about things like this I try to bring myself back to how I used to be and how I would want my parents to handle me when I was a kid. Our talks always end with hugs and laughter.
You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and should be proud of the values you are trying to instill in your children…don’t give up even when you may feel like it, it’s rough being a parent, much more a single one!!