My daughter was constantly changing throughout her teen years. During this tumultuous time, she fought for pure independence while as her father, I longed for complete control. My daughter questioned our family standards, beliefs and morals, which I interpreted as blatant disrespect and rejection. This miscommunication created lots of pressure in our relationship and led to many fights, rebellion, and power struggles.
If you’re raising daughters, hang on for a wild ride! You’re bound to hear one of these 7 phrases at least once in their teen years and it can be a real punch in the gut.
1. I Hate You!
She said this to me once when she was a toddler. It took me by surprise then, but it was easily brushed off because, well… she was a toddler. As a teenager, however, hearing this come from her – and for it to be directed at me – cut me to the core. It stopped me dead in my tracks.
It took some time and a very important conversation between my wife, her, and I to get to the absolute root of it. In the end, we were able to work through the “hate” words until a resolution was made.
2. Mom is being such a … !
Very few times have I ever gotten so mad at my daughter. Being the only girl, she gets to see the softer side of me more often than my boys do. But when she gets mad at her mother, she pushes the wrong buttons. It’s difficult for me when she is rude and catty with me or her brothers, but it’s beyond repulsive when she acts that way towards the woman who carried her into this world.
3. Everyone else is going to be there!
When I envisioned my life as a father, I pictured kids who didn’t care what everyone thought and who marched to the beat of their own drum. Then I actually had kids, and those kids turned into teenagers. It turns out, we all go through a phase of wanting to do what everyone else is doing. I just hope that when she goes to the places where “everyone is going to be,” that she remembers she doesn’t have to do what “everyone else is doing.”
4. He is so hot.
Oh my dear daughter – when these words escaped her mouth in front of me, I saw her cheeks turn bright red. I know she was embarrassed. More than that, I was mortified that she’d developed into a teen who was looking at boys with more than just friendship eyes. I know it had to happen eventually, but couldn’t she have gone on thinking boys cooties and that her dad is the only guy for her?
5. She told everyone I…
Why are teen girls so gossipy and mean? When I hear my daughter talk about the way her friends gossip about either her or each other, it breaks my heart. Especially when it leads to tears from my sweet girl.
6. I wrecked my car.
This is the phone call you never ever want to get. She called late at night to let me know her car was a mess, that she was alright, but that she didn’t know what to do and needed help. I’ll be honest though, it was nice to feel needed again.
7. I think I love him.
When this happens, you just know there is no talking her out of it. The guy could be covered in tattoos, smoking on your front porch, and divorced for the nth time, but nothing you say would matter. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope she gets the harder lessons on love out of the way before she commits to a lifetime with her partner. But until then, as her dad, I’m just gonna sit here and let her love whoever she chooses while polishing my shot gun on the front porch.
You were a teen once. Can’t you remember how silly you thought your mom and dad were being when they put their foot down on certain issues? Your teen is going to view you the same way more often than you’d ever like, but they aren’t going to like what they see.
If you’re struggling with your teen and looking for helpful ways to manage the parenting game, you’re not alone. Don’t forget that it takes a village to raise a kid. Find your village, make it a good one, and be brave! I’m sure you’re doing better than you give yourself credit for.