Hang on for the bumpy ride
My 15-year-old teenage daughter reminds me of a cat—since I am never sure if I’m living with a cuddly kitten or a ferocious feral animal. Her favorite phrase these days is, “Mom! I am in the middle of a crisis right now.” The first few times I heard the word “crisis,” I panicked. But I’ve wised up. “Crisis” for my teenager is another word for just plain life! As a longtime meditator, I thought being the emotional anchor for a daughter adrift on the stormy sea of hormones would be in my skill set, but wow, it’s more of a challenge than I imagined. At eighth grade graduation, as my friend and I sat watching our girls poised toward womanhood walk across the stage, she turned to me and said, “Hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” Here’s how to not only survive, but also enjoy the ride.
Take care of yourself—seriously
If there was ever a time for self-care, it’s now. There’s not much I can tell my daughter to do, but there’s a lot I can show her. Our kids are watching our every move. Rather than harp on healthy eating and sleeping habits, keep yourself healthy and well-rested. “Self-care also means pursuing your own interests and taking some ‘me’ time too,” says Elizabeth George, LCSW, a licensed clinical therapist specializing in adolescents and young adults. “By doing this, you not only model healthy habits for your daughter, but you ensure that you’ll have the energy you need to help her when she needs you.” Helping your teen manage her avalanche of emotions is one way to raise an emotionally intelligent child.