What is the Importance of the Tumultuous Teen Years?

Every parent hopes that their child makes it through the tumultuous teen years unscathed. By most standards my parents were lucky. I was the easiest teenager any parent could hope for. My biggest flaw was my love of sarcasm, something that was surely difficult but far from fatal.

But I’ve come to realize that this stage is an important one. It is during these years that teenagers practice skills that they can use as adults. They learn to fight against injustice. They learn their self-worth. They learn who they are. They learn to make their own choices, and they learn to live with the consequences of these choices.

Because I failed to rebel as a teenager, I allowed myself to be controlled for years. When I met the man I would marry the foundation was set. I had no demands, no expectations. I lived by his rules because I knew no other way. When we disagreed I eventually gave in, learning over time that it wasn’t worth the effort to fight with him in the first place. When things got tough I reverted to the childish tactic of doing what he expected when he was around and doing what I wanted when he wasn’t. He was a pilot and gone half the time so this was easy.

It wasn’t his fault. He is the way he is. I am the one who should have wanted more for myself. I didn’t rebel against this situation for many years. I didn’t know it was wrong, and once I had the realization I didn’t know how to change it. I was stuck. How can a 37 year old mother of 2 learn to rebel? I suppose the same way a teenager does. I had a tantrum and stubbornly refused to change my perspective.

Now I am entering the teenage years with my daughters and it scares me. I want them to rebel. I know they need to. I don’t want them to blindly follow the rules the way I did, but I hope every day they choose to follow the important ones. I feel my daughter already pulling away and I’m fighting the urge to pull her closer. I don’t have a model to follow. I’m just now learning to rebel in a constructive way. I need to teach her to do the same.

I don’t know how yet, but every day I’m learning. I will figure it out.

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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Rebel

22 thoughts on “What is the Importance of the Tumultuous Teen Years?”

  1. I am finding a lot of similarities in our personalities. That is also an interesting perspective about wanting your kids to rebel – and I appreciate why you say that you would like that – makes sense! I didn’t and I am a conformist as well – even though it is sometimes at the stake of what I actually do like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been hoping for years that my girls will be nice boring teenagers like I was. But I recently started thinking about how I ended up in the relationship I was in…And I think a large part of it relates to this. But at the same time I just want to lock the kids in a room until college. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. awesome…I was a teen once, I feel more of a teen now. I still do not know how to act. So conclude into my world and move on. Yes it is scary but they are growing up, that is even scarier. They will do great because their mom is there for them and full of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent commentary. I don’t have any children but I totally get what you are saying about your marriage, luckily for me my rebellious stage kicked in about 18 months after the wedding. Im sure you are doing a great job with helping your girls be strong women. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

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