The teenage years – I now welcome this new phase into my parenting karir career.
Daughter Patch turned twelve early this month. She’s not quite into the teen years yet, but the inevitable changes are happening so fast. And I’m talking milestone after milestone here.
Days before her birthday, I noticed a tiny red bump on a corner of her nose – the official first zit.
A few days after her birthday, she finally volunteered to sleep in her own room – the official first solo night.
Despite wanting her to leave the family bed for the loooongest time (masikip na eh), I felt some pangs of separation anxiety that night. I went to check on her at 11 PM – she was snoring so soundly. *sigh*
Oh, the official first period? It happened months ago. (She is so gonna kill me for blogging this! )
Her taste in music is also shifting – from HSM and Camp Rock soundtracks to Taylor Swift, Black Eyed Peas and Greenday. (I’m surprised she knows Greenday!)
The other day, I was talking to a couple of mom-friends from school. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to hear that this girl and that boy already broke up; this boy likes this girl but the girl likes another boy; this girl is nursing a broken heart…
As a mom of a teenager, I get palpitations when I hear these things.
Grade 5 kids – and they’re already in that stage of crushes, infatuation, heartaches and zits! It’s only a matter of time before “this girl” will be my daughter.
No amount of reading parenting books or attending workshops can prepare parents for the real things of teenage-hood. But talking to other parents and sharing experiences are helpful.
I also try to make sure I am in touch with my daughter – in touch as in day to day. I try to be there even for the small things (such as skin care advice and acne treatment). We shouldn’t wait for something major to happen to “be there”, because then methinks that’s too late.
Fathers certainly have a role to play here – more significant than they realize. I remember what Francis Kong, a noted motivational speaker, said in a parenting seminar I attended (to this effect, not verbatim, but the last phrase is):
“Fathers, hug your daughters. Let them know the feeling of affection from you. Because, if they are not used to that, and some other male starts giving the affection, makukuryente yan!” (The last phrase literally translates to “she will be electrified”.)
So true, isn’t it? A study shows that “daughters who had good relationships with their fathers had significantly better communication and trust with their boyfriends.”
How do we deal with common teenage issues? How should you react when your teenager cusses? Gets the first period? I interviewed some moms and I got some good pointers. The article is published at wmn.ph.
Do you have teenage parenting tips to share? Leave your comments here.
Oh, by the way, Patch has been sleeping solo since.