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.
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.