I keep asking other moms whose children have passed the teenage stage..."So, does it or when does it get better?" From what I hear, there is hope but I worry. I worry because teenagers in todays generation have a lot more stress and temptations that we did when we where young. I know I sound like an old lady...Lol
Bullying was really never a big issue when I was young. Yes, there were the mean kids, the nerds, the popular ones, the easy girls, the boys that were the jocks and the smart ones. But from what I remember as a teenager, we did not have to deal with so many kids killing themselves because they were so horribly bullied and the divorce rate was not so high as it is today. We did not have to deal with social media, sex texting, internet & inappropriate pictures. The worse that one would hear was someone talking bad about someone else and either horrible or good rumors spreading. But we all know what is bad tends to be spread more than what is good. Even in businesses, people tend to make the time to complain but not much of the effort to let someone know how awesome they are.
Not sure if it is just me, but I feel teenagers are having more low self esteem these days. I currently have 2 beautiful, smart and creative teenage girls. Some in my family and/or friends might even criticize me for having my blog and spilling out my guts about so much. I personally have a different outlook. I know there are some that do not talk about there home life, some act as if they have the perfect family while others feel that they are not alone. Well, I am one of those that believe that no matter what one will be criticized and I know there are other moms out there not suffering alone. I am also sure that I am not alone with trying to figure out the best way to help & cope with your teenager whom you adore with all of your heart and would give your life for.
I have tried so hard to always let my girls know how proud I am of them, how they can achieve what ever it is that they want in life and I try not to put a lot of stress on them as far as there grades. I always tell them that as long as they truly are trying and just doing the best they can and of course, I do want passing grades, is fine with me. I try & TALK & EXPLAIN how important having an education is and getting a career. How important it is to do what you LOVE and not what others tell you what you SHOULD do. How money is not all that matters but what MAKES THEM HAPPY. I tell them that they DON'T have to get married, have children and live the family life, if that is not what will make them happy, because if they are not happy then they will not be happy being a mom and we all know how tough being a mom is on its' own. YET THAT ALL STILL DOES NOT SEEM TO BE ENOUGH.
I have spoken to others, have done some reading and even spoken in regards to get some help. I know going to a therapist can be so helpful in anyones life as we all have our own issues to deal with & try to figure out but when you mention THERAPY TO A TEENAGER, they assume that they have some horrible problems and that we, as there mother, think the worse about them and that is NOT THE CASE. I for one just feel I cannot help as much as a therapist. I know if I were to mention to my ex husband, he would get upset at me and that is not what I would want at all. BUT I know that since our divorce and they just do not have a very close relationship with him, that they have a male void in there lives. The reason why I also say this is because every time I mention the word "Father" to one of my teenagers, when having a serious conversation, it is like a fire hydrant that has exploded from the tears that she sheds. If that does not say it, then I have no other clue what will. See, my ex is a very good man. He is a VERY hard working man but is not very affectionate. He shows them that he cares by working hard, being able to buy clothes, a laptop that they need for school, gear for the clubs they join and spend some time with them when he can. Since we live in different states, he does not get to see them every other weekend either. But I also have to admit that he has been very good with me. We get along very well now and I know he adores them with his entire heart. I continue to try to explain and let both of my girls know that he adores them but is just not affectionate yet I do not think they totally understand. So I have spoken to my ex and we both agree that it is time to see if I can find a therapist for them both and PRAY a therapist can help them both with there self esteem.
I sit here and think what have I done to have them feel this way. I know part of the reason is my ex but I also have to admit that thru the years, I was not the perfect role model. For many years, I rode the Divorce Roller Coaster ride of emotions. There were times I was angry, working too much, stressing, not giving my children the quality time that I should have, dealing with the guilt of the divorce and so much more. I know we all, who have experienced DIVORCE understand my feelings. This is the one ride that I do not ever care to ride again because it is just not fun. There are so many emotions that one has to try to cope with and at the same time be a parent. Then I also had added to my list to be a business owner in a small town and ended up having to close the doors because I had an employer, that I trusted way too much, destroy my business and put me out of money. But during those years of anger and going thru many financial hardship where I even lost my home, I had too LOST FAITH. As I lost my faith, I became negative towards life,men and my future. That was not good. I feel as if that is why they also have low self esteem because they have seen it in ME. We all know that our children absorb and mimic what we do & how we act. So I think that between both parents, it would not help to get them to find a way to feeling better about themselves.
I now am a different mom. I am still struggling financially but my attitude towards life is different. I also have FAITH. I am grateful for what I have. Every day I take a few minutes to say THANK YOU to God & the Universe for all that I still have because I know that even if I do not have a lot, I have much more than others. I LAUGH A LOT MORE TOO! I joke around so much more than I use to. Well, not too sure about that because I have always been a jokester but not as much as with my girls as I am now.
My oldest and I, recently found out about Gilmore Girls on Nexflix. YES, I KNOW I AM SUPER BEHIND. Lol.... We have watched the first two episodes together. We have made a promise to watch it together. So far I LOVE IT! It has a bit of the relationship that we have but I do not think her daughter has low self esteem. I am excited to continue to make the time & have that be our "MOM/DAUGHTER TIME". Watch a show that we each can relate too, laugh together and see how it goes. This will be our first actual chic flick. As the others we watch together is The Voice, Blacklist and The Chrisleys to name a few. All I continue to hope is to get closer to both of my girls, have them know how proud I am of them, see them happy, helping them with whatever I can, see them having fun in life but at the same time having to be the Mother. So I hope that our Mother/Daughter time can help. I TRULY HOPE THERAPY WILL HELP and that all will be fine. I know that she posts on social media things that are not true like me telling her that she is worthless but I know she is asking for attention and just hoping she does not get the wrong attention. Now mind you, I have already sat down & spoken to her about all of this & she even admitted that she does not know why she does it when she knows it is not true. She keeps saying that she just does not feel good about herself and that is WHAT MY JOB, AS HER MOTHER, IS TO FIND A WAY FOR HER TO BE HAPPY & FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE PERSON THAT SHE IS. I just know she will not be happy that her mother has a blog that writes about all of these things too...Lol but I truly believe that I am not alone and maybe if others talk too, we might be able to help each other but most of all, our children.
I wish anyone else who is going thru such situation, the best of luck. I don't think one needs to be ashamed as a mother. We, as mothers, know the internal pains that we feel and sometimes knowing we are not alone is a good thing. Maybe by sticking together, talking, we can help each other!!