Okay- there is going to be show-offs out there reading this saying, as a mom, what are you talking about? Those moms have this unicorns and rainbows relationship with their kid.
This article is for the Moms out there that can appreciate that it is not all candy and roses and that sometimes you need a double shot of expresso or fireball. I am talking about the teenagers that were your babies and then somehow at 12, when the honeymoon is over, they change before your eyes. Granted it may not be from the lack of effort (if you were married- this is the point the romance is gone), but oh no, it feels like a really bad marriage you can't get a divorce from.
How So Do You Ask?
- Hygiene. Let's face it- some teens are not the best with smell, hygiene, face washing or even putting their dirty socks in the laundry. For the adult marrriage- women and men let themselves go through weight management, not shaving or not picking up their dirty clothes off the floor no matter how many times you ask or leaving wet towels on the bed. For teens, we still have to remind them at times to wash their clothes or take a shower.
- Moodiness. I don't care what you say, men have pms too. Teens are like on permanent PMS- you have to tip toe around the moods before setting off the diva roller coaster. God forbid, you should forget something your husband asked you to do or there was traffic on the way home, you may be the recipient of some griping.
- Stubbornness. Are you married to that man who will only listen to a co-worker or friend who gave them the exact same advice as what you gave them the night before? Oh yes, teens can be the same way.
- Sneaking Around. Ever suspect your spouse of cheating, covering something up or being a little tricky with the truth? We find ourselves turning into Inspector Gadget when we know our teen acts the same way- we become Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible- we can break into email accounts, smart phones, social media- we become overnight experts like a bloodhound on the scent. Hell hath no fury like a suspicious woman.
- Social Life. Like it or not- many times, our social lives morph into coupledom with our spouses much in the way our social lives become taxi driving and their games- their friends' parents become our friends- sitting on cold bleachers freezing along with us.
- They are Expensive. Kids are the worst investments. Money wise. Believe me- the money you pour into them isn't going to come back to you in nicer nursing home accommodations or in Norman Rockwell-esque painting moments that you imagine holidays will be. Truth is- your kid will be on their smartphones at the table in the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation movie. Much like divorce, it is expensive. So you are keeping that kid for eighteen years of expenditures.
So How Do You Improve Your Relationship?
- Kids block you out much like your husband does when you continually nag- you sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown. Make sure to have a no fly zone activity that you enjoy together. Swear to yourself- you won't use this activity to nag or ask annoying questions.
- Make-Up. Of course many couples usually have the joke of make-up sex. But with your teen- do you make an effort after a fight- to connect and get back on good footing? Teenagers can be grudge holders and guess what- they magnify everything in their lives. Everything in their life is like on steroids and they don't always put things into perspective on whether this particular incident is going to matter a year from now.
- Just like you want to be sexy for your mate- be the silly parent or the fun parent or whatever parent that your kid looks to you as. Occasionally they will remember those moments of why they loved you in the first place even when you cramp their style with all the rules and boundaries you are giving.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. A lot of times, by the time a married couple makes it to the marriage counselor, it may be past the point of saving. If you see issues going on with your kids: go to a counselor, ask their teacher, etc. Don't be too proud. You can catch it early if something is going on that is deeper.
- Pick your battles. Ask yourself is this is going to matter a year from now- just like your husband will probably keep forgetting to take out the garbage- your teen may have a moody spell and be a jerk and come back and hug you two hours later.
- Don't be afraid to say no. Just like you can't be a doormat to your husband, don't be one to your kid. Have boundaries with your personal relationships.
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