Questions about teenagers

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7348
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Questions about teenagers

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Oct 2014, 20:05

Just wanted to ask for some perceptions from my veteran StayLDS parents. Many of you know I have a daughter. She's a good kid, strong in the LDS gospel, and very TBM. For many years we had a very strong relationship.

I've noticed lately she's gotten a) moody b) combative when we disagree with her and c) sleeps a lot (often due to Seminary) and d) rather demanding and persistent when she wants something, and also somewhat unappreciative when we acquiesce. She's very touchy on certain matters, and often seems extremely resistant to helping with anything that doesn't provide an immediate benefit to her own life, such as family responsibilities or otherwise. She also seems rather disapproving and critical of myself and perhaps my wife as parents for certain habits we keep -- such as how we parent our son (who irritates her sometimes), our housekeeping, orientation to Mormon life, and the way I react to her in conversation. Often seems impervious to reason and the facts of her own behavior, and often, at the end of conversations I feel like an old fuddy-duddy that just doesn't get it. Often, she leaves conversations in a huff and doesn't seem interested in preserving the kind of harmonious relationship we once had.

At the same time, she's more than willing to go to church, to plan for a life in the church, at BYU (her dream etcetera). She lives the church standards, and is generally a good kid -- except for these sudden rough spots I've never seen in her character until recently.

I'm just curious if this is typical of kids when they enter the teenage years. It sort of breaks my heart a bit as the "celestial" kind of relationship we once had seems to have disappeared. I'm hoping that's what it is -- teenagerism -- and wondered if anyone can share if they went through this kind of experience with their own kids when they became teenagers.

Hopefully this isn't too far off the mission of StayLDS, but it does have to do with family unity, which is a core LDS concept. I also hope this isn't the beginning of a schism in our family regarding unorthodox versus TBM Mormonism, but perhaps that's too early to tell.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16852
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Questions about teenagers

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Oct 2014, 20:09

I'm just curious if this is typical of kids when they enter the teenage years.


That would be a resounding, YES. Nothing you described is atypical, especially of highly intelligent kids.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
Sheldon
Posts: 455
Joined: 14 Aug 2013, 13:44

Re: Questions about teenagers

Post by Sheldon » 19 Oct 2014, 20:47

Not to make light of your situation with your daughter, but..... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :lol: :lol: :lol:

I have three daughters. So I went through everything you are experiencing times three!!!! All at the same time!!!!!!
They are all now married to wonderful men, all are great mothers of my seven grandchildren. Just keep doing what you are doing, it will get better.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7318
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Questions about teenagers

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Oct 2014, 02:46

To some extent you just described each of our 4 kids as teenagers. It pretty much describes our current 15-year-old to a T except for church (he is active but not ultra orthodox).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7348
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Questions about teenagers

Post by SilentDawning » 20 Oct 2014, 05:39

Whew! Thanks guys -- I feel much better. There are times when I come away from our conversations (myself and my daughter) feeling like a bad parent. Now I feel better.

At times I wonder if I was the same way when I was a teenager. It was a long time ago, so I don't remember. Someone once said "The fact that your children grow up behaving like you did is JUSTICE".
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Porter
Posts: 33
Joined: 30 Jul 2014, 08:53

Re: Questions about teenagers

Post by Porter » 22 Oct 2014, 07:04

I'd say this is pretty typical and mild.

We used a professional approach to raising children called positive discipline and I think it made these sort of problems quite a bit less. It requires years of laying a foundation to be really effective. It would be unproductive to make drastic changes in the way the family functions at this late stage. No parent is perfect and all could stand to improve, but I'd give you at least a 95% based on what you describe.

This might not be exactly what you want to hear but at this point, even if the problems were very severe there is little you could do about them except make them worse. By about age 15 or 16 the children are not really children any more and are on a track to do what they are gonna do. They are genetically programmed to pull away from parents. They might listen to another trusted adult or youth but they mostly harken to their own internal voices which at this age are still confusing and vague. These internal voices are based on experiences and perceptions that have now been developing for several years but need to be sorted out. Don't discount hormonal surges in the mix which can drive even the most stable mind off track.

This will pass in a flash and they will be gone so soon and leave you feeling old and lonely. So I'd say enjoy it while it lasts, even the rough patches.

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2950
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Questions about teenagers

Post by LookingHard » 22 Oct 2014, 14:13

I don't have daughters near this age, but several boys (some already out of the house). It is part of growing up and the stresses of being busy and figuring out who she is outside of "daughter of Brother SilentDawning."

The only suggestion is that the bigger the argument/disagreement or just "where did that come from" with her, after a short while - reconnect with her and not talk about the issue at hand, but just let her know you still love her and she is important to you no matter what barking she does.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7318
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Questions about teenagers

Post by DarkJedi » 22 Oct 2014, 14:41

And not to be a Debbie Downer here SD, but it will likely get worse before it gets better. :thumbdown:
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
Heber13
Site Admin
Posts: 7219
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Questions about teenagers

Post by Heber13 » 23 Oct 2014, 14:35

My prediction, SD, is that over time, she'll remember those days you and her were best buddies and super close because you were her dad and her hero...and the years she went through her other stages she'll remember was part of her growing up phases...and then she'll return to feeling close to you.

You've given a good foundation for a close relationship over time. Cherish the moments and accept that there will be ups and downs as they grow.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7348
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Questions about teenagers

Post by SilentDawning » 23 Oct 2014, 19:33

Thanks...there is a story about how kids go from thinking their parents are heros, to abhorring them, to considering them wise sages they consult over important matters again. Looking forward to that third stage!

I don't think I'll be lonely though -- I have far too much to do that is interesting to be lonely as long as my wife is with me.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Post Reply