Would you ever have believed anyone who told you how hard being a parent is? I don't think I would have believed anyone if they tried to warn me. This past year has been one of our most difficult years. Our daughter turned 13 and is in 7th grade and this year has been full of drama, anger, difficult situations, bullying and heart break.
Over the past year we have dealt with so many difficult situations. Cell phones and the Internet have increased our teenagers problems tremendously. As a parent I am way over my head with the problems we are dealing with.
I am sick to death of the media and all of the trash that is being pushed on our kids. It is so hard to protect our kids from the trash, but still allow them to experience life. I am conflicted with keeping my daughter away from outside influences and protecting her from the big bad world, but am I not really just delaying these influences? Wouldn't I really rather have her living at home when she enters the world? If she is living at home then, I can help guide her through some of the issues and bad decisions. What if she is in college when she first gets a taste of the world? How much control or influence do I really have when she is in college?
One of the biggest issues that we have dealt with is the lack of respect that is shown to TV parents. When you watch shows aimed at our kids, the parents are always idiots and the kids treat them disrespectfully. We have been able to filter out the shows that deal with inappropriate subjects, but the shows I am talking about are clean wholesome shows. We don't want to be one of "those" parents who don't let their kids watch anything or do anything, but we also want to help her see how wrong this attitude is.We have talked about it and we watch almost every show with her as she watches them. This has given us a great time to discuss behavior problems, but it is very hard to overcome what the world says is right. So many days I just want to sit in my closet with the door shut and cry. I just feel so overwhelmed at times.
One day last week I was feeling very low. It seems like all my daughter and I do is argue. I don't even have to do anything but breathe, and we get into an argument. Some days I just want to pull my hair out. Well, I was having a day like that when I ran across a book that I had read many years ago. I was putting it in a get rid of pile, but first I thumbed through it and I realized that I hadn't read the tweenager/teenager chapters. Obviously, when I got the book she wasn't going through that stage. When I went to the section on 13-15 year olds it was a relief. You see, I like many of you, think that you are the only one with a daughter like this. I was so relieved when the chapter began describing my daughter and her attitude toward life to a T. I know that I must have sighed loudly. It seems that most of our daughters go through the same stages. It is just in different degrees.
The book that I read was Raising Girls by Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff. This book gave me hope. Both of these women are counselors working with teenagers and their parents. The information that I got from this book truly made me realize that my daughter really is normal after all.
What book (s) have you read on raising your child that made you sigh with relief?