Adolescence is a frightening time for
both parents and children. Your cute little darlings who used to follow you around
worshipfully trusting and believing that everything you said, did, or thought could only
be rivaled in wisdom by God, suddenly, seem to turn on you and to hold the opinion the you
are among the most intellectually challenged people on the face of the earth. They no
longer hang on your skirts or pants but seem to want to get away from you as much as
possible and idolize people of questionable worth. The harder you try to love them, the
more they reject you, or so it seems.
Fortunately, I remembered this hard time with my own mother and myself. So, when my oldest
daughter was about eleven, we had a talk. I asked her if she loved me. She gave me many
assurances which warm my heart to this day. Then, I told her that some day soon she would
feel differently. I related all of my memories of the anger, frustration and almost hatred
that I had sometimes felt toward my mother during my teenage years. I explained that she
too would have these feelings toward me, sometimes, but that she should not worry too much
about them when they happened because as she got older they would pass. "You
see," I told her, "If you keep loving me as you do today, you can never leave me
and start a new family. This is natures way of making our parting possible. When you are
established in your own home with your own family, we will come together again and love
each other as much as we do now. But, it will be better because then we will have a new
friendship as well." Later, after she was grown, my child told me that this talk
prior to adolescence greatly helped her during the rough times we had.
The good news for parents in the thick of it now is that by the time they are 30 almost
everyone becomes a pretty descent adult. So, hang in there.