Aliens often abduct my girls and replace them with highly emotional beings, which have outbursts of irrational behavior mixed with the passion and glory of womanhood. Sometimes the aliens stay for only a few minutes but then there are other times that the aliens will stay for several days. It’s tempting to throw on the army boots, the camo’s., the AK 47’s and suit up to conquer and fight these foreigners, but we have come to realize that warring with aliens gets you nowhere fast.
11 years ago, when Stephen and I found out we were pregnant with a third girl, we would often joke about the future when all three girls would be going through adolescence while I would ride on the heals of pre-menopause. It wasn’t a day we could fully grasp. Now that my youngest is 10 and my oldest is 14, we are in the midst of learning how to manage through the surging hormones, mood swings and emotions. People tell me its not just girls too. Apparently boys have their own fill of the fun.
While most of the time my girls have a sweet nature about them, there are these moments, ….
sudden moments, ….
out of nowhere, ….when the abduction takes place and the child before me is crying over something that does not make sense to the adult mind.
Obviously, as a woman, I have a bit more patience for the hormone rage that attacks my girls here and there. My husband is learning to hand the reigns over to me when things get out of his realm of understanding.
To the adult mind this seems ridiculous, over the top, absurd, but to this hormonal teenager or pre-teen in front of you, the topic is life or death.
Another confusing behavior that comes with adolescence is the mirror stare. It can be shocking how long a teenager can stand in front of the mirror, mesmerized by what they see. What seems like only 3 or 4 minutes to them is actually a half an hour to the rest of the world.
I did find out that this is a normal behavior for teens. It’s actually because of the amount of changes the adolescent body goes through as well as the ever changing facial structure that causes teens to be fascinated, or insecure regarding their appearance.
Did you know the word “hormone” is derived from a word that means “to stir on?” Ok…now its starting to make sense.
I have been trying to be a good parent and figure out how to help win back my girls from the alien takeover. I did a little research and I have come to realize that the aliens will be with us for a few years. Sorry Stephen…. They say at 16 or so, the intruders will begin to retreat. So only 6 more years. In the meantime this is what I found out to help us understand the invasion.
First of all, the brain of a child going through puberty is rapidly changing until they are about 16. Their emotional part of the brain develops faster than the area of the brain that helps them rationalize. This makes it difficult for the teen mind to control and regulate their emotions. That is why it seems like teens don’t always think before they act.
Second, hormones are necessary for kick starting the growth, development and energy needed for a person to pass through puberty. Unfortunately, the adolescent has surges of hormones that cause these mood swings and irrational behavior. The odds are against them during these times, and so as parents, we are going to have to coach them through the swings.
So as a parent, I am learning how to live with aliens. I have come to realize that I should not go on the defense when the aliens come. Instead, I need to lend a sympathetic ear to these beautiful girls and do what I can to help them through these years.
OK, so I also learned that stress in life, a poor diet, lack of exercise, and lack of emotional support can lead to a complete alien invasion. On the serious side, an unhealthy lifestyle contributes to the mood swings of an adolescent. Sugar is the enemy…. Uh oh.
So bring it on… bring the hormones, the emotions, the highs and lows. It’s time to celebrate parenthood again. We will get through this time with victory. We made it through diapers, potty training, terrible 2’s, tantrums, broken arms, and swimming lessons. Now, we get to take on the challenges of hormone surges, emotional distress, boys, dating, ….
OK OK now I need to stop before I panic.
It’s another season to embrace and enjoy what God has created in the lives of these girls. It’s another season as parents to work on patience and understanding.
What a blessing it is to be a parent and to walk this road with my girls.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
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