Recently, I was at an appointment making small talk with a woman I had just met. She asked about my kids, and how old they were. As soon as I mentioned that my daughter had just turned 13, the woman's face got serious, and she gravely said "Oh....I am so sorry,"
"Um...thanks, but she's really pretty fun." I replied.
The woman continued to look at me with a deeply sad look, as if I had just said we all had some excruciatingly painful disease. "Yes, but that's the age when they really turn on you."
Turn on me? What does that mean, anyway? I think she was implying that I could say goodbye to sweet little girl, and get ready for a rebellious demon. Well, that's a little negative and dramatic, I thought.
There are all sorts of comments I could make about about people sharing their unpleasant forecasts for the future, but, since I'm on the "no smack talk for Lent" pledge, I will instead focus on some of the many things I love about my newly teen aged daughter.
Now I'm not saying that teen hormones don't change anything- of course they do. Hormones are a powerful force of nature that we all have to learn to reckon with. But, that's what I think we parents are supposed to guide our kids through- the process of learning to deal with our hormones. I don't think retreating for a few years and leaving them alone to wallow in a pit of teenage angst is the answer.
While I'm not a fan of the gloom and doom advice, I do love encouraging words of wisdom from parents who have already gone through the teen stage with their kids. How did you keep joyful and connected as your kids transitioned into young adults?