Madrun (madrun) wrote,
Madrun
madrun

As a parent of teenagers

I wrote this as a comment on someone else's journal, and want to keep it for my own record, so I'm posting it here.

Is it possible that she is putting effort into something you do not see?
I am asking because what you are saying here is basically what my parents said to ME as a teenager. I got below-average grades and made the barest effort at school. I didn't have many friends. I didn't play sports or join after-school activities.
However, I was putting extraordinary effort into my own self-education. I read ALL OF THE THINGS. Stacks and stacks of books, magazines, comics. I observed, and journaled about my observations. I listened to a huge wide variety of music and learned a huge amount about music styles and music theory, even though I wasn't interested in playing an instrument. I had a very hard time relating to people my own age so I spent huge amounts of time envisioning social encounters, playing them out in my head over and over and over, just so I could cope with people in real life. From the outside it looked like daydreaming perhaps. For a time my parents were fighting a lot and that drove me deep into my own shell. Just coping with my own emotions took a huge amount of processing space and time, there wasn't much left over for that ridiculous thing called "homework".
I came out of high school as a fairly well-adjusted person with my sense of curiosity and self-esteem intact. And that's no mean feat.
It's good that you can remember how much it sucks to be a teenager. I do too, and it really helps me be sympathetic/empathetic with my own teenagers (who are 18, 15, and 12). But I also try to remember all of the things I WISHED my mother would have said to me at that age, all of the things I WISHED she had done, and I try to do and say those things, too.
Hope this helps.
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