Being 14 and a freshman in high school is like a GENERATION away from being 13 and in the eighth grade. It is indeed the beginning of our adventure in teenage hood and with it- I realize I have a Lot to learn about how my role as a parent needs to evolve in order to accommodate our changing relationship. While I still look at her and see this cherubic red-headed little girl I would dance around my living room with while we listened to the Overture of Walt Disney’s Cinderella– THIS 14 year old sees herself- and wants me to validate and see her as very much NOT THAT LITTLE GIRL. So I am holding the reins to our relationship ever so delicately to try and strike that balance between parent, confidant and maybe just a little bit of a friend.
I am now acutely aware of the fact that I need to let go of the past and embrace the evolutionary changes that are happening in our relationship. And so here Three Things I’ve Learned About Myself Now that I am a MOM of a Teenager.
#1 I am NOT A COOL MOM . I always thought I was the cool mom. But saying you are the cool mom automatically strips you of your cool mom status- and so I have been forewarned to never ever mention that I think or even believe I am cool in mixed company- lest I want to be labeled that Amy Poehler Mom in Mean Girls.
#2 My opinion is not ever warranted. I just took my sweet little baby girl on a jaunt through Chelsea and the West Village with a starting off point at The Highline. My daughter has become fascinated with creating artistic images on instagram, but is incredibly critical of her own features and pictures of herself. Of course I think she is practically perfect in every way. But THE MINUTE I saw the picture she snapped and said, ” oh you look so beautiful” that was code word for her to DELETE said picture. The lesson I learned is- The less I say, the better.
#3 It’s NOT ABOUT ME. I don’t know what it is about me but I like to talk about my feelings a lot. My daughter is MUCH more like her father- very pensive and needs a lot of time to formulate her thoughts before she reveals them. Being the opposite in nature I sometimes get a bit hostile towards her and yes maybe I BADGER her for information. What I’ve learned is that Car Rides can be the MOST CATHARTIC and greatest times to talk to my daughter, and that I need to let her come to me in her own time (which is usually when we are driving).