Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How Many 14-Year-Olds Does It Take Make You Lose Your Mind?

I recently read a quote in a book that described 14-year-olds as emotionally four years old one minute and 30 the next. As a mother of a 14-year-old daughter, I would have to disagree. Emotionally two years old would be more accurate.

The last few days at our house have been full of drama for no apparent reason. A friend she chats with occasionally is no longer logging on to the computer. This has resulted in a full-blown emotional meltdown.

One minute she seems fine. The next minute she is crying. She won't talk about what's bothering her because "no one understands."

She came home upset from school one day last week because she claimed no one at her lunch table would talk to her that day. When I suggested she call one of these girls who is a good friend to find out if there is a problem, she looked at me as if lobsters were crawling out of my ears.

I had to remind her that I was not born a 40-something woman with a harried look on my face and bags under my eyes. As difficult as it is to believe, I was once fourteen as well. I don't think she believed me.

Apparently, at this age, it is easier to be upset than examine the root of a problem. The only saving grace is that these situations and moods seem to be fleeting. After a weekend full of trauma and crying jags, she is now fine.

I can remember going through similar trying times at that age. Although my mother was not willing to listen, I had a grandmother, an aunt and many good friends who weathered those storms with me.

At fourteen, I know now that hormones are changing and it is perfectly normal for mood swings and emotions to get out of control. What I can't understand is that you would want to go through such emotionally trying times alone when there are family and friends wanting to help. I would also be willing to let her talk to her doctor or even a good therapist if she feels she needs to.

I suppose we will just have to weather this emotional hurricane and hope she realizes that a sympathetic ear is always nearby. In the meantime, I'm not sure I will get through this phase without a good therapist of my own. And a glass of wine.

1 comment:

JGA said...

I will relay this article to Erin so she is prepared when my granddaughter, Haylee, approaches that age.
I could have used this article when I coached girls softball at Conemaugh Valley High School.