Category Archives: teen angst

Tough Love

Today I got my daughter’s mid-term report card and let’s just say, I am not very happy and satisfied. Although her grades are average, she can improve more but she’s just not doing it. The teacher even told me that she noticed how my daughter was so complacent while the others were serious with their studies.

I have been through this tough road before and my daughter knows that when I finally give an ultimatum, that is is! I have extended her ultimatum so many times since her Grade 6 days. I just don’t understand why she cannot focus on her studies while her classmates and friends can.

I asked her if she has any issues or problems she wants to discuss but she just shrugs her shoulders. I know she’s going through a phase and I have been through that too but she has to adapt too. It can’t be just a one-way road for us where the parents keep adjusting to when she is finally ready to take things (studies primarily!) seriously. I keep telling her that she will make her future for her. We, as parents can only guide her towards her dreams. But by the looks of it, my daughter is simply satisfied getting average marks, not excelling on anything, just drawing manga stuff, engaging on anime forums but never to her study.

People can’t say that my husband and I are spoiling her. As a matter of fact, she is still grounded since her Grade 7 last term because again, she did not deliver good grades when we had a deal.

I am really mad, lost and losing my patience with her. She can’t keep pulling the “teen-angst” card on us because not all teens go through a dark phase. Like I said, I have been a teenager too but then, I knew exactly what I would like to become and I never, ever treated my parents with disrespect.

I feel like throwing her stuff out of the window and just sending her home for good. I mean, I would rather spend money to a poor kid whom I don’t know than pay her exorbitant tuition fees when clearly, she is not interested to study. What does she want to do with her life then? Throw it away? Be a bum? Be supported even through our old age? Common on, we can only do so much as parents but we need to take credit too. It can’t be a one way street here!

So, I punished her and this time I am not going to feel guilty about it. I already brought her a Christmas gift but I feel she does not deserve it because all she wants, she gets. This time, my rule! If she wants something, she will definitely work triple hard to get it and she has to prove us that she deserves what ever she wants. Drill-sergeant mom or iron-clad, call me names but I don’t care anymore. I have reached the point where I have to give her tough love. How else will she learn how to prioritize and set her goals and actually achieve them… if she even has any.

Parenting is tough. It is even tougher if your only child does the exact opposite of what you silently dream him or her to become. Don’t get me wrong, I want the best for her and only the very best but with how she is performing in school and practically in everything, I am now wondering…

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Talking to Your Teens

I have the privilege of experiencing a first-hand account of teen angst. I am still thankful because my daughter’s raging hormones are still controllable. However, this emotional journey with her is anything but pleasant in many instances. But as a parent, I am learning enormously in every angle of the situation we are in, be it at home or in public. Understanding and compassion is the key.

It has become a bit of a challenge to discuss things with my 13-year old (going on 30! Just like the proverbial saying.) lately. She is in Manila right now for her summer vacation. My husband and I call her every week to check up on her activities and how she is doing in general. We normally hear grunts, uhmmms, and ehhhhhhs. Just sounds which I cannot decipher if they hold any meaning at all or it’s teen-speak that we have to decode. We’re lucky if we get a decent phrase out of her. But like I mentioned earlier, understanding and compassion is the key.

Most parents will jump at that opportunity to shout or reprimand their teens but my husband and I decided to tread the road less traveled – being more patient and understanding. So, the next call went like this:
Me: Hi princess! We miss you so much and Millie barks to say hi. How’s everything there?
Daughter: Fine. (At the back of my mind…”Wow, that’s one WORD! Ok Ria, keep going, keep asking questions so you don’t end up hearing grunts and sound effects).
Me: I bought you some Aeropostale shirts and they’re all for you.
Daughter: *Shrieks with delight*  (Well, it did sound like she was so happy). Really Ma? As in only for me? You didn’t buy anything for yourself? (My mental head was brimming with glee. She was actually saying more than one word which is now leading to sentences. Thumbs up! ).
Me: (Still reeling with joy because I have engaged her in a decent conversation already) Yes baby! All for you. I didn’t buy anything for myself, just for you and Papa because I love you that much.
Daughter: Awww! Yey! I have new shirts!
Me: I’m sure you’ll love them because they have nice prints of the places we went to in New York!
Daughter: Oh wow!

Okay, the rest of the conversation went from shirts to her stories about my mom visiting her in my in-laws’ house to her getting bored at home because it was raining and so on and so forth.

I guess I may have just cracked my daughter’s teen-angst wall a bit to have her talk to me for more than 5 minutes. Here are some tips that I want to share to all you parents with teens out there.

  • I think the first thing we have to consider is to understand what they are going through. Next, try to be emphatic and offer a listening ear.
  • Don’t ask with a commanding voice because that will push them in their dark corner. I stopped raising my voice at her whenever I wanted to get a decent response. I noticed when I do that, she tends to shy away. I realized that I have just made it worse.
  • I offer her reminders about how I and her Papa grew up as teens. Sharing our stories made her realize that part of being a teenager is experiencing what she is going through at the moment.
  • I strike a conversation about her interests. My daughter loves Aeropostale stuff and animes so I tend to talk about that with her. Then I try to inject some topics about travel, her dreams, and her plans for the future. There comes a point where she will even ask me a question or two. That means she listened to my story too.
  • Always maintain a cool head. My husband and I are guilty for raising our voices at her one too many times. In the end, it didn’t make us feel good. Also, it just made the emotional gap between the parents and the teen wider.

Well, I am sure other parents out there have more tricks up their sleeves. Feel free to share them to other parents who are having trouble talking to their teenagers. Leave a comment here and let’s all learn from this adventurous ride with our teens.

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Mother-Daughter Squabble

I am not a nagger. I try my very best not to be because it’s a very suffocating behaviour and I don’t want to smother my family with that. However, I do leave reminders repeatedly when not followed especially by my daughter who is now 13. Sometimes, it seems that my sounding like a “broken record” gives me that nagger impression. My point is, you won’t hear me repeat myself over and over again if you had listened and followed the first time. Isn’t it?

I noticed that I and my daughter have been engaging in squabbles lately and too often that I lost count already. Let me just point out that, my daughter is generally a good and sensible kid. I just attribute this “surge” of emotions to her raging hormones, being the teen that she is. But I get hurt in the process and the facial expression together with the way she answers back is just too much for a mild-hearted person like myself to handle.

We don’t fight about petty things but we always argue on her education. She doesn’t seem to enjoy studying as much as I have had when I was her age. She’s like her dad, carefree but smart while I am the studious and conscientious one. She has been slacking in her studies ever since she got hooked on animes.  She almost failed her Mathematics and was barely hanging there on Arabic. I’m not blaming anything nor anyone. I just hope she will be more responsible.  That’s all.

My hubby and I have sat down with her and laid out our expectations from her. We even requested her to bear with us because it is our first time to handle a teener. Is that too much to ask? As parents, we even have to condescend to her level just to get our message across. I keep reminding her how lucky she is to have us as her parents because we’re cool and we’ll try not to embarrass her in exchange of a good communication, respect and “good grades” from her. Again, are those things too much to ask given that she already has everything a young girl her age can ever ask for?

I sometimes say things I don’t mean because I am so pent up with emotions. I just told her this afternoon that I would not enroll her next year since I was just wasting money on her. I asked her to just tell us if she really didn’t want to go to school so we could just use the money to some deserving kid. I even told her that I would let her bum around and give her time to think things through until she is ready again to go back to school. Am I that bad? I know, the tongue can be very sharp especially when you’re at the peak of your emotions but I honestly don’t know how to get my message across to her. We just want her to have a bright future and that everything we say and do is for her own good. We, as her parents can only be there to guide her but we are not the ones who will make the decisions for her. She will pave her future and we are helping her to get there if she will only listen.

Is being a parent really this painful? How painful can it get?!?

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Soon To Be 13

My daughter is very excited because she will be crossing the much awaited teen world. She will turn 13 this February 15. I cannot help but feel excited and a wee nervous because this will be the first time I will handle a teenager. It is different when you see your nephews or nieces or even young siblings and cousins pass through the most awkward phase of our lives. The anxiety is heightened when it is your own kid you’re going to see through the teen angst period.
She has not reached 13 yet but she is wise beyond her years. She is very smart (bordering the “smart-aleck” type sometimes with her quips) and rather mature for her age. I am thankful that she is a sensible kid. However, like any other kid, she has her moments. Those moments are getting very frequent now. I wonder how it will be like when she’s pushing adulthood?
I just pray that my husband and I will pass a flying color raising a smart, and respectful (I pray so hard for the latter!) daughter who will love us in spite of our shortcomings.
Ah, the joys and worries of parenthood.

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Parents to a Teener

Being a mom of a soon-to-be-teener (actually, my daughter will be a bona fide teener next week) gives me the heebie jeebies. For one, this is my first time to handle a teenager. I know how it was like being a teener because I was once in that stage where raging hormones dwarfed sense and sensibility. However, I don’t recall giving my parents any headache at all. I was the goody-goody two shoes daughter of my parents. I did see my sister go through some growing pains throughout the pubescent stage. It was frightening and I place myself on the same spot where my mom and dad used to be – a parent of a teenager.
My daughter is a good kid. She has her moments especially lately. I just noticed how she would snap at me  if I remind her about this and that. She won’t let me kiss her anymore nor hold her hands. We just casually walk together like two strangers but going towards one direction.
It’s so difficult to comprehend what my daughter is thinking and going through these days. She keeps to herself. I am lucky if I can make her talk for a minute!
Teen angst – I think that’s what she is feeling now. Raring to be a full-grown woman but yearning for the affection of a little kid. She is torn. I keep reminding her that going through a rough phase in her young life is part of growing up. On her way to adulthood, she will encounter many things and she will learn from them. I just hope she’ll listen more when I tell her my story so she can pick up some moral. 
My daughter is growing up. Next thing I know it, I’ll be sending her off to college and then marriage and then grandchildren! Oh my! I am not sure if I am ready for that yet but it will come.
So for now, I settle on the bugging calls she give me to ask me nonsense stuff. I don’t mind the small talk, at least she still bothers… I just hope she doesn’t set me and her papa aside. She has to cut us some slack and be patient with us the way we are to her. Besides, this is our first time to be parents to a teenager. 

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