Friday, February 12, 2016

My most stressed out time as a parent is ahead of me

There are things that as a parent you can't prepare for. I like lists, so here is just a few of them:
  • The amount of time you will spend talking about your child's bowel movements
  • The way you will react the first time your child has a public meltdown 
  • The random things your child learns at school from their friends and then parrots back to you at home
(It's that last one that makes me realize why I have friends who homeschool their children. Listening to the nonsense he gets from other children drives me insane, and I completely understand wanting to control what goes into his beautiful sponge-like brain for as long as possible. But homeschooling is stressful, and I really like my job, so that is not going to work out for us. Sorry, I digress.)

The point is that you can't prepare for most of your life as a parent, especially when it comes to what's going to stress you out. I have this long-held belief that my son will turn into a complete stranger in his high school years, become a goth and hate me before finally coming around to appreciate me right before he leaves for college.

Now I've learned that this will probably happen in middle school instead. Blame the facts that children are dealing with more peer pressure or entering puberty earlier, but most mothers are reporting that their most stressed out time of life has become the middle school years.


How do parents survive the onslaught of moodiness, independence and pressure? They say that the common sense rules still apply: Communication, listening to your children and knowing when to let them do things on their own.

Do you have any advice for handling a middle schooler? Share your wisdom in the comments.


  1. I don't write often but having four adult children with their own babies now prodded me into responding. It is an extremely difficult time and harder than when they are babies but you can't tell those with young ones. You are on a different playing field and they push you away but want you and need you to be close and involved. You are almost like their last hope to make sense of their life because it is changing fast and they don't like it anymore than you do. Don't draw lines that force you to act in a way you don't want. Just as babies love them unconditionally and that means remaining calm during outbursts cause it isn't about you and your feelings. Even if it appears to be they hate you, they don't trust me. They just need to release anger and you are tho one they can pour it on. Remain calm talk gently not selling out your own thoughts but not becoming the enforcer or retaliating in any way. They are not your enemy and you are not theirs even if they make it appear that way. ON a clear thinking day they are glad you didn't shut them out and they will talk. Those days are far between and you have to live through it without going to their level. Tey are mixed up but once they know you are always there for them regardless of heir speech and atics they will TRUST you. It is not easy but necessary to give some privacy and freedom but with the idea of how much you trust them. If they lose your trust you state they can gain it back by proving to you they are ready to try. They need to know you are disappointed in what they did but never never in them. That is unconditional love. They must know they can't ever lose your love even if you hate what they are doing. Talk and listen a lot without criticizing. They throw things out and then remark on what you say but they are always listening. Keep discussing and find the time when you don't have it to talk something over no matter how minor it appears to you because sometimes it leads into a more profound issue.Sons are vulnerable to their fathers insults and any kind of physical pain. They are attempting to become a man and if the dad challenges the son the son is forced to pick up the gauntlet even if he doesn't want to and knows he is going to lose. It is pride and honor for a young man and dad no matter how right and strong must allow the young son to save face and bow out of the fighting. Girls test moms with snotty remarks and know it all attitudes but again are just as vulnerable about identity. If we crush them we win but not really because they lose and they lose some trust in us and the feeling of unconditional love. Don't let that happen and one day you will look back on these days as a roller coaster ride that you will honestly both laugh at but not want to relive. The love is there and always will be so trust that and remain calm firm and with a loving heart. Think of it as a teen temper antrum that will eventually pass. My best good luck and God Bless Pam

    1. Thanks for sharing, Pamela, and for all your thoughts that are clearly straight from the heart!