She stood, arms crossed, body language screaming of defiance with eyes that said “go ahead, make your move”.
Her height beat mine and she knew just how to intimidate with it. How did that happen? I swear it was just yesterday she was running on chubby little legs with tiny little pigtails and a sippy cup. No longer can I count to 3, or cross MY arms and give HER the look, and my mind raced to think of how I could handle this situation and still maintain control.
Did I ever have it or did I just give her the impression I did and now she’s on to me?
Where is the line?
She never questioned the line before or the boundaries of it. We had a complete perimeter breach. Mayday! Mayday!
Since she’s the oldest she gets the “fun” of testing those boundaries and our resiliency as parents. I thought the “whys” of a toddler were exhausting…when a teenager debates you?! Lord help us.
As each year progresses into full “teenagehood” we have to take a minute to pause and think about the line of control.
- Where it ends for me as a parent
- Where she needs to take responsibility
- Whether the situation calls for me to step in or let her handle the consequences
- Am I helping her become an adult who can make a decision?
- Does her age and emotional age allow for her to handle this?
It’s so hard as a parent to step out of the way and let your child, whose becoming an adult, make life altering decisions. I’ve been encouraged along the way to not step out completely because they are still our kids and they still need us. (Whether they think they do or not!!) So let me encourage the same. They may begin to look, act, and talk like adults but the truth is they will always need us to varying degrees for the rest of our lives-just as much as we will need them.
As much as I wanted to fight fire with fire I said a quick prayer in my mind and calmly talked to her through her laser cutting eyes. She didn’t agree with me. Bargained a little. In the end we came to an agreement where we could both be happy.
Until next time and the next episode of…
MOM VS. 3 TEENAGE GIRLS
Spoiler Alert: Mom leaves for ice cream and silence