I often write to help myself find some kind of lesson in my daily confusion or at least to help myself, and hopefully others, find some answers. I guess that is why I haven’t been posting much lately. I find myself opening a blank page and then staring at it. Where are the answers when you watch your teen dig herself deeper into a hole of her own making?
With the Dudes I can take away toys or withhold promised treats… motivating a reluctant teenager is like nothing I have experienced before. I feel like the character the boys’ favorite story book Sleeping Dragons All Around. I must “tip toe, tip toe, softly as I go” for fear of waking the angry teen and facing the wrath of near permanent PMS. Only I don’t get the mocha maple chocolate cake at the end of our story (though comfort eating is, unfortunately, in full force for me).
This is also where the great disadvantage of being a step-parent comes into play. I have taken on all the love, worry and responsibility of being a parent yet only Daddy gets the unconditional love. We try to do what’s best for her. We try to instill a sense of responsibility she so desperately needs as the end of high school looms closer and closer. The more she fights us, however, the more I fear my relationship with her may not recover.
I’ve tried playing the softy. I’ve tried letting Daddy do the disciplining. I’ve tried being her friend. The reality is we’re just going to have to hold on and ride out the rebellion ride. I knew there was a reason I never like the amusement park rides. They are too much like life; careening out of control and then coming to a screeching halt. I’m hoping summer is the end of this particular ride, or at least at least the valley before the roller coaster goes back up another big hill.
When do I get my girl back?