The one thing I have learnt dealing with teenagers is when they share something with you, they don’t expect you to jump in and help them.  They just want a quiet listen.

I learnt the hard way. Until last year, when my teenager shared anything with me, I jumped in to solve her problem- lock, stock and barrel.

There was the time when she told me her Physics teacher was not teaching lessons quickly enough and so the big tests would be on them before the portions got over. What did yours truly do ? As a dutiful mother, during PTA, met the teacher and asked her if she would mind my daughter sitting in the next door teacher’s class ( where he took classes after hours) so she could get her two cents from that teacher too. You would think this would have gone very well with that teacher or my daughter- well, no. The teacher took it out on my daughter in class without naming names and shamed her there. She came weeping and crying home and I got a real, solid dose from her at home. What did I do ? I just tried to find a solution to her problem but it turned out she didn’t want me to do anything about it but just listen.

This is her last year at school and her last few months there. The Founder’s day practices are going on in full swing, so the 12th graders can have a last chance to be children and enjoy themselves on stage, showing off their talents. My daughter is in for a group song chorus. After a month’s practice, she told me yesterday, she wanted to quit. I listened without offering any opinion( I didn’t want her to participate in the first place, as she was losing out on classes which she made up by copying notes from friends). A few minutes later she told me why- it seems the practice is getting all boring and serious and there is no fun in it any more. A couple more of minutes later she said, she is losing out on her hours in class( music to my ears, of course) and so she wanted to be back in class. Five minutes on, she tells me – the real reason is that she heard one of the boys whispering about her that she was only participating half heartedly in the sessions and would need to be removed- she wanted to remove herself from the group before she got the sack, it turns out. I told her, she could take her own decision after weighing the pros and cons in her mind- both options were perfectly fine with me.

When children are small, mothers have that protective instinct to protect their offspring from all harm and it might work in many situations but when they are grown up, often, we need to curb our instincts to jump into the battle and take up arms for our children. They need to fight their battles themselves and the  funny thing is they don’t really expect you to fight their battles for them.

They just want a quiet space in which they can share their problems and maybe have a quiet cry. They can solve their problems themselves and you can be proud that you had a hand in that.

12 thoughts on “Teenagers

  1. So very true. As parents we need to know when the time is right to step back from being the physical protector, sorting problems out with our magic tongues and being the emotional soundboard with advice but no action… unless they ask for it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ritu,
      I am learning, learning all the time. I guess I can never give up as long as I live – the urge to be the mother tiger and protect my cubs and if these cubs don’t like it, then I guess I will be going all out to protect my grand cubs. The cycle never ends.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah but it is very rewarding too. On the one hand you constantly wonder if you are doing something wrong but when something turns out right, you know something has been right.
      So glad you are back. I enjoyed your latest post. God is great, isn’t it ? Weight loss amidst plenty ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh you took walking expeditions off on your own and explored by yourselves ?
        No wonder you lost so much food. You must have been enthralled watching all the glories of God’s splendour and forgotten completely about food.:)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We had a guide. But I did eat, I thought too much on this trip. But God is good. It was a lot of physical activity and I drank more water than usual. I also got all stopped up (TMI) & that kept me feeling full all the time. So I guess I ate less without being aware of it. God works in mysterious ways. LOL!


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