Monday, June 25, 2012

Emotional Growing Pains

So we had one of those conversations the other day. The kind that start one way about one thing and end up another way about a total other thing.
If that sounds convoluted...we are sorry…

Life is complex like that.

We were discussing this blog. Then we were discussing a past issue that should have made it here. The next thing I knew there was real hurt on the table.

It surfaced through anger and frustration of course.

We were sitting together watching tv and then poof she was gone away from me.

The argument we were discussing was of course not the real issue.

I swear this stuff keeps me on my toes.
I let things cool down then I want to try and unpack what was so upsetting.

What it came down to was our communications styles and the fear or discomfort she has experienced trying to gain her independence.
A typical modern day teenager she is all but surgically attached to her phone.

Through it she keeps tabs with those she is friends with and plans her activities. My phone on the other hand is likely to get misplaced which is further confounded because it is usually on silent.

So when she has a random thought while out with friends and calls me I do not answer.

Instead of leaving a message or sending a text to let me know what the issue is she calls again and again or not at all. 

Eventually we reconnect and I figure, crisis averted.
In her mind to not have me at her beck and call feels like abandonment.

Thus she feels alone in the world which makes her angry.


Yes people feel how they feel. Those who love them have to deal. It is as simple and complicated as that.

To her credit she has tried multiple times doing the same thing so it is not just one instance that she is annoyed about. 

She has also brought this issue up to me from time to time. 

Again I would say once she is home safe and I do not feel like she was stranded somewhere in peril that is enough for me.

On my end she knows I ignore my phone so it is not personal. 

I tell her all the time if she would text or leave messages more I would reply more. I do not think she believes me.

She also has not had an emergency that I regret being unavailable to help her attend to.

There have been situations and heightened emotions maybe that is half the tricky part.
I sent her a note.

I told her some of these issues, since it morphed out to more than just her and I, were about growing up. 

We learn to create what makes us comfortable from the things that drive us insane.

"Go into personal assistant mode" I told her. 

"When you are going to leave the house, find my phone. Set it to ring and bring it to me. Don’t call me on a whim unless you just want to chitchat. This will improve our communication when not at home together."


  1. Have you ever read the 5 love languages of kids, it is really helpful when communicating.

    1. I have been meaning to have her do that and figure herself out. We have had some harrowing experiences in the past few years that have left scars. Things were so bad it looked like my language was gifts because we were so needy. The truth is my language is time spent.

      Add to all this the fact that raising a teenager is an emotional whirlwind. Then there is the missing father issue. I guess I should really not be surprised when issues arise.

      I know my daughter needs words of affirmation. She can also push boundaries and sometimes just needs to know what her options are.

      These are our stories. There is no one answer. It's complicated. Life with teens. They are growing and changing, challenging and demanding.

      I need coffee...