9 Reasons You’re Not Crazy, You’re Not a Bad Mom, and No Your Teenager Doesn’t (Actually) Hate You
I hate you! You’re a horrible mom!
Have you ever had your teen tell you they hate you?
How about them doing something stupid?
Maybe you’re lamenting, “Where did I go wrong?”
Maybe we’re not the crazy ones after all!
If you ask me, we don’t need permission to be a little crazy; we’re raising teenagers after all, and if you sometimes feel a little crazy, you’re not alone!
Here are 9 reasons that you’re not crazy, you’re not a bad mom and no, your teenager doesn’t hate you.
1. Their brain is under construction – think missing puzzle pieces.
Buckle up moms – the social, emotional and cognitive changes happening in your adolescent’s brain won’t be fully developed until around 25 years of age.
But don’t despair, there’s good news! As their brain develops, the puzzle pieces will begin to fall in place. Phew!
2. Their hormones are going crazy.
Maybe you’re not quite in menopause, but let me tell you, the change has given me a newfound respect for the power of changing hormones. Understanding how hormones impact a teen’s behavior can provide us with some needed empathy (towards both ourselves and towards them).
3. The emotional part of their brain is disconnected from the reasoning side.
Have you ever tried to turn on a lamp that wasn’t plugged in? How about sticking your finger into a light socket?
The connections in your teen’s brain aren’t properly plugged in. They’re in the process of being rewired. No wonder they are moody, irritable, impulsive, and a roller coaster of emotions.
4. They want their way and they’re mad you’re not giving it.
Teenagers, by nature, are selfish (be reassured your child’s not the only one that is self absorbed). As the parent, staying strong in the face of protest can be like riding a bucking bronco. Hold on tight and ride it out!
5. They are “breaking away” as they attempt to develop independence and want to be with their friends more than you.
Don’t be surprised when they don’t want to be seen with you in public or scoff at the idea of going to a movie.
The truth? You’re not cool. Their friends are. Just be grateful that they’re not still trying to crawl in bed with you at 5am (that makes me a little sad, actually).
6. They will argue and disagree in order to discover who they are apart from you.
You will be tempted to correct their ignorance, but don’t take the bait if you want to stay sane. You will never win. This is a normal part of figuring out who they are. And, by the way, did you agree with your mom at 16?
7. Thanks to their prefrontal cortex being underdeveloped, they are impulsive and not so wise (or stupid) sometimes.
They will make mistakes and decisions that make no sense. Papers may be everywhere, items will go missing (we joke we must have the “little people” living in our house), they won’t think with their heads, and you may wonder what planet they’re living on.
8. Their brain is like a car without brakes and steering – yep, it can be a wild ride!
When you consider all these changes happening in your teen’s brain and body, what is prone to happen?
There will be some bumps in the road; they may need correction and a little realignment with boundaries and natural consequences.
9. You are not alone. There are many, many other moms feeling just like you with teenagers under reconstruction!
This may be the most important point.
Your teens are not the only ones going through the change. When we talk to other moms and realize that our teen’s behavior is fairly normal and that they feel a little crazy too, we’re less likely to freak out. We relax, ease up and we’re able to enjoy our teen more.
Moms, I believe raising teenagers grants us permission to be a little crazy together and we need to remember to reassure one another –
You’re a good mom!
And, even though your teen might not show it, I’m confident your teen loves you in spite of themselves!
Let’s keep the faith and love them like “we’re crazy” no matter what!
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