I am raising a teen. I have been now for 1.75 years and I will be for the next 14.5 years. So I am studying them. I am studying their behavior and brains and nuances and intricacies and likes and dislikes. I am confounded on a daily basis. I am at one minute in awe of the connection we have and in the next I am shocked at the disdain she holds for us as parents. Her existence is nothing if not passionate. Truly. Whatever she is feeling, she feels it full on with all her heart, mind and body. So as to not be telling tales about her without permission I would like to add, that in my studies, research and polling of other parents, passion seems to be a recurring theme amongst all teens. Whether they are feeling bored, pissed, happy, silly, mad, sad, or other, they are feeling it passionately. Even their lethargy is passionate in that it is intensely felt and shown. It is a roller coaster ride to be sure.
In 2009, before my teen became a teen I came across this amazing post on Salon.com by Cary Tennis. It reminded me that my children were merely being human in their displays of behavior – good, bad and indifferent. And now as I read this again, it hits even closer to home and serves as a good reminder that behind the behavior is my amazing human teenage daughter, feeling, loving, demonstrating all her humanness. It isn’t about me, getting my way, it is about our connection, here on this earth, as fellow humans. And man, do I need that reminder on a daily basis!
“But if you think that the child’s project is much broader: to become, to unfold, to fully realize every merest spark of genius in her being, then you may agree that to accomplish that project, she needs more leeway to figure things out. She needs to make some mistakes.”
You can read the rest here. Whether you have toddlers or teens or no kids at all, it’s a good reminder of the connection we are hoping to build.