parenting

Where’s the ON switch on my teen!?

Dominique, my first born.  After I’ve considered all the ways that i’m blessed to have such a good 17-year-old (ESPECIALLY compared to how I was at her age!) and how much she’s changed my life for the better, there’s almost always that record-scratching-to-a-halt sound that brings me back to reality and reminds me, “this is the same girl that watched me to go work very early this morning, watched me come home rushed from a long commute to take my son to football practice, and waited until I got home at 8 pm(ish) to say, ‘should I have made dinner or something?'”  What the frack?!

Then again, as everyone says, “she’s a teenager, what do you expect?”  What do I expect?  I expect that I raised my child to be more considerate than she lets on sometimes and can actually lend a hand JUST BECAUSE she wants to, instead of when she wants something in return.  (Yes, I live in La-la Land and totally believe that it’s possible for that to happen.)  There’s just something in that pretty little head of hers that doesn’t always switch on.  Another switch I can’t find is the one that makes her want to read instructions on the packages of things like ‘how to make soup’ or ‘how to use cleaning spray’.  Or the switch that turns on when it’s time for her to look for something because, we all know that if it isn’t already in her hand, she can’t find it.  Or how about the switch that reminds her that she’s tired of asking for things that she wants, but doesn’t need, and that she could purchase herself if she went out and got a job.

I can’t be the only one who can’t find these switches on our teens, but what I did [take forever to] realize is that she may actually need more than a mere mention of the idea.  She needs solid instruction.  She needs step-by-step directions.  She almost needs you to push her off that ‘ledge’ to force her to get stuff done.  She’s gone most of her high school life playing some sort of extra-curricular sport which, oddly enough, she will do almost all that she needs to do so that she can be on the team, but I digress.  She’s never had a job because sports and homework take so much time.  Well, not this year!  She’s getting a jay-oh-bee – job!  She’s going to go work for someone who’s not her mom or dad that will let her know that she can’t be lazy and expect to survive in the world.  She might hate it and quit, or not, but hopefully she will have received her dose of reality.

I love her to death and she’s truly a good girl who tries, considering her serious ADHD issues.  (More on that later.)  I’m going to give this one a go and pray that, in this last year of high school, I will have started to ignite the fire in her that I’ve always told her she had.  She can do whatever she wants in this world and I’ll always support her 100% in her mission to get there.

My Mission: Find that ON switch!! (help me!)

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