Parenting is one of the most challenging things that I have ever done in my life! I’ve done a lot of challenging things, but parenting is truly at the top of my list. Sometimes, I honestly tell myself that I’m going to make it through this, or this too shall pass. The struggle is real! Have you ever heard a parent say to a child as they are being chastised, “this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you”? I’ve heard of people saying that, but now I understand the full meaning of that statement. 

My desire as a mother is to not only provide my child with her needs, but also many of her heart’s desires. Yes, it bothers me when I’ve promised her something and I find myself canceling those plans or taking away her electronic devices. In our household, my husband and I do not believe in rewarding bad behavior in no shape, form or fashion. So, yes, I hurt when she is being chastised, but I do it because I love her. 

It’s amazing how we can think we are the only one going through a situation. It’s not until you start talking to other parents and realize that this teenage phase is crazy. I can hear my grandmother clearly say, “they smelling themselves”! LOL! I didn’t know what she meant at the time, but now I understand. I am not the first and I won’t be the last parent to navigate through raising a teenager that dislikes me because I don’t agree with her or see things her way. Yes, I’ve tried to listen to her and attempted to see her perspective, but I simply can’t. Sometimes there is just no logic. 

I can remember growing up and not being able to do what all the other kids my age did. There was no such thing as being dropped off at the movies or the skating rink without supervision.  I was not allowed to do sleepovers with random friends, only my cousins. My mother always generally had us with her and she was very strict.  She simply didn’t play about her girls. She had rules and guidelines and we had to comply or suffer the consequences.  I can remember the days that I would miss curfew or be a little slick with my tongue. Yes, I received punishments and no I didn’t like it. I felt as though she was my worst enemy, I strongly disliked her. But now being a parent, I can understand her reasoning. I realize that she did it because she loved me and had my best interest at heart.

I’ve heard people say that the child goes from your lap to your heart as they get older. When a child becomes of a certain age, we should let them go and find their own way and pray that we did the best job of parenting that one could possibly do. The way I was parented may not work for my daughter, therefore, I’ve taken what I experienced growing up and tweaked it a little to make it work for my child.  

I’ve said all of that to say that our children may not like us as we navigate through this thing called parenting, but they will love and appreciate us for it later. As parents it is our responsibility to love, nurture, protect, teach and provide for our children. Our number one priority is to be a parent first and the friendship will develop as our relationship grow. So be encouraged and hang in there! They may not like you now, but they will love you for it all later.