Raising Olivia - Don't Interfere with the application of makeup

Those of you who follow my blog know that my wife and I are raising a teenager. My step daughter Olivia is now 13 and she is both a joy and a challenge to have. More importantly, she is putting my parenting skills to the test, skills I get to use every day.


My wife and I were having a discussion today about some errands we were going to run. During our coordination, Olivia shouted from her room that she wanted to see the new movie Transformers 3. I was delighted because she isn’t a real big fan of going to the movies and I was interested in seeing it myself. After a few more minutes of discussing our plans, I threw in that we could all go to see the movie in about an hour or so. My wife agreed and I walked to the door to Olivia’s room to find out how soon she could be ready to go.

Standing in front of her closed (and usually locked) door, I called out her name to get her attention. The sharp response of “What?” told me that she was most likely in her usual position in her room; sitting on the floor directly behind the door, putting on makeup in front of a 4 foot high floor length mirror. I then said, “If you want to go to the movies, could you be ready to go soon?” She quickly snapped back with, “Oh my God! No I can’t!!!” Her angry-toned voice reminded me that it usually takes her several hours to get ready to go anywhere. I responded with a calm, “OK,” and walked away smiling.

I was smiling because that brief encounter reminded me of how dramatic she is in response to just about anything her mother and I present to her, especially if it is unexpected or it interferes with her prep time at the start of each day. Anthony E. Wolf wrote a great book for living successfully with today’s teen. It is titled “Get Out of My Life, but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?... a parent’s guide to the new teenager.” He defines the differences between the boy and girl teenager and how they act and speak as they go through this tough time of transition.

Dr. Wolf will be joining me on the set of the taping of my next episode of CREATING COOPERATIVE KIDS. The show is filmed at the public access television studio in Enfield, CT and airs on many New England public access channels. If you’re in Connecticut or Massachusetts and would like to be in the studio audience of the next taping on July 18th, go to this Web site and register for a studio audience seat: http://www.CooperativeKids.com. You can also watch past episodes there as well.

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