Oh teenage daughters. They are beautiful. They are sensitive. They are funny. They are dramatic and irrational…
I will only ever experience one and not yet a year in and I am feeling relieved about that. First born went through the grunty one-word answer stage, he spent what felt like years staring at screens, being unsociable, but there were fewer emotional outbursts. And now he is a hard working sociable adult. (His next challenge is to not spend every penny of his well-earned money and save up for some grown up things like a car or a deposit for a house, but one step at a time).
Now Smalls hasn’t had an easy year so far – a confusing fallout with her best friend and some lonely months spent unsure about who her friends were, left her very withdrawn and sad which led to a change in schools, which seems to have brought back our happy, and a little crazy girl. But we are still left with two issues – once home from school she can spend many hours on her phone watching youtube videos or boxsets on netflix – my parenting has been terrible, I have been too preoccupied with working and being too tired to monitor what she is doing and by dinner time she is unable to string sentences together, is grumpy and can be quite rude. (When she hasn’t been staring at a screen she will be singing and dancing round the house, a completely different child).
The other issue is her complete hatred of chores – she has to be asked a ridiculous amount of times to doing something, eventually she will do it, but unenthusiastically, and badly and it leaves the house with a really stressful atmosphere.
I realise that most households containing these poor hormonal teenagers are experiencing the same things and the simple solutions come down to me, I need to give her more of my time and attention, I need to be stricter with her, she will only learn that way, less screen time and having her help round the house more will only be beneficial for her, although she sees it as the end of the world, there will be tears, there will be screaming, there will be slamming of doors – but isn’t there anyway, but there is also laughter, squealing and lots of squeaky songs about potatoes. I can do this.