To be honest, I’m not sure what the fight was about. It started with some eye rolling and nit picking. Everything I said yesterday annoyed my daughter from my mention that she had eyeliner running down her face to the suggestion that she consider driving lessons. By dinner, her annoyance with me had escalated and ended with her screaming “I hate you” and locking herself in her room the rest of the night. What happened to my sweet little girl, the one who gives her friends a smile and a giggle?
Normally, I would be devastated and furious. But I have been watching recorded episodes of My So-Called Life, which has been running on the Sundance Channel. The show, a high school drama filmed in 1994, stars Claire Danes as a 15-year-old who has just these kind of clashes with her mom (and dad) as she goes through the normal teenage drama.
Also, I feel fortunate that I just read a book by Anthony Wolf called Get Out of My Life: but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? It’s a great parenting guide. Wolf suggests when you fight with your teen, end your participation in the battle by having one last line, but one line only and say no more. “Don’t get sucked into ongoing battles. It is that simple.”
Today, I will stick to my wits and avoid an ongoing battle.
Readers, have you tried this approach to dealing with teenage meltdowns? Does it work?