parenting is difficult

It was just yesterday when they trustingly gave their little finger in your hands and held on to you tightly, as they talked animatedly. Now they know their way confidently.

They held on to your every word, believing it like God’s universal truth till they discovered the teacher, the peer and then the internet.

They were quick to forgive, easy to give opinions and chores to. Now they have discovered ways to wiggle out of them or quite simply forget them.

They loved your stories and your talks. Now, they get instantly tuned off as they categorize all conversations that do not praise them as lectures.

It is difficult to make them follow routines, to make them actually listen.

It is difficult to tear them from their gadgets.

It is difficult to make them understand that you may have knowledge too as they defensively hold on to their erroneous bits of information.

It is difficult to strike the balance between being a parent and a friend.

It is difficult to put the foot down and not hurt them as they turn extra sensitive.

It is difficult not to feel baffled at their weird mood swings and perpetual sulks.

It is difficult to have a conversation when they are already switched off.

We wanted them to grow up quickly. Now we miss the sweet, adorable, mama’s and papa’s boys they were!

Welcome to the life of being a parent to a tween.

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61 Thoughts on “It is difficult…

  1. Very well said! It is difficult for to handle my 8-year old, so much that I am dreading the day she turns a teen.

    • Me too, Rekha! I am really looking at the teens with a lot of trepidation. We all know what we put our parents through :-D. It is our turn to get it back in full measure.

      • Rachna, I really don’t think you need to worry. Touch wood, I’ve never had a day of trouble with my eldest out of her teens, the younger still in them and the third almost teen. You won’t have any problems, I am certain of it. You love them too much and they know it. Also, you are too reasonable and open to make them feel alienated.

        Don’t worry. 🙂

  2. I think every teen’s parent can so relate to this. Very well written! I know I was nothing short than nightmarish to my mum as a teenager. Now I understand…have matured 🙂 and the friendship that I have with both my parents is so special. 🙂 🙂

    • Thank you, Aditi. I think I really appreciated my parents truly for the first time when I became a parent. Now every step of the way in this parenting journey, my regard for them increases. You are right; they do become your buddies, don’t they? Very special buddies.

  3. I am not there yet, but I will bookmark this post for the time I get there…. so well articulated.. I think that’s what the phases of parenthood mean right 🙂

    • Oh yes, Seeta! This phase is so confusing and they are not teens yet. Uff, I am swimming choppy waters just now. The only advantage is that I can vent to all of you and get some sympathy :-).

  4. Oh yes I miss those days gone by. This tween or whatever it is called phase comes too soon nowadays or was it always like this.

    • At least for me it has come just before the teens as it is meant to. I guess, we didn’t really have this stage when we were growing up or maybe our parents are better judges of this.

  5. If my son argues with me and when I scold him…he simply says, “Puberty ma, deal with it.” 😀 So, basically we have to do all the adjustments. Having two teens sometimes is like being in the eye of the storm. No wonder I suffer from – Irritable mood syndrome 😀

  6. Why do I feel this is already the case with my yet-to-be-3 teen? 🙂 Very exact, very true. I was a teenager once, and I agree, especially now that I am a mother too! Seeing it from both sides of the fence.

    • Yet-to-be-3 teen, hahaha! Yes, oh they have a mind of their own but their cuteness just melts you. As they grow older, we can’t even hold on to that. Like you said, it is a surreal experience being on the other side of the fence now. Circle of life, I guess. I am swimming in choppy waters. Some days I just don’t know how to behave.

  7. I think I baffled my parents quite a bit when I was growing up. Come to think of it, they still get rather exasperated with me !

    • I was an obedient girl, never rebelled, never threw tantrums. I don’t even remember fighting with my mom. And I was dad’s pet. I guess, my parents may have a slightly different version than that :-D. But, being a parent as they grow up and then trying to strike a balance on some days just drains me.

  8. Saru Singhal on March 7, 2014 at 5:04 pm said:

    It’s a difficult balance to strike. Most of my friends say that they miss that stage.

    • Don’t know, Saru! Maybe, once they are older, I will fondly look back at this stage :). It is bittersweet being a parent. You are trying to do your best with all your failings. Yet, you are trying to hold on to the time when they are younger. I feel that way about my younger son who is 7. I still cuddle him and smother him like he is a baby, but I know very soon he will start pushing away :-D. It is also a proud moment to see them grow older and more mature and independent.

  9. View it as this: A necessary part of growing up without which a child cannot develop into an independent entity.
    This is a child’s way of asserting and moving away from being merely a part of the parent to being an independent unit. Not that that will lessen a parent’s bafflement. But it helps a lot to look at it that way. Good luck! 🙂

  10. what re…if you also say that, mera kya hoga? we will need a lot of each other to rant in the days to come 🙂 You’ll do a wonderful job, I know..
    Every day morning I yell, do your stretches….today he sits on the floor, leans to sofa in a nice comfy position…when I look at him, he giggles at his sister saying, comfy you know, comfy…if I scold him, he is hurt….if I don’t then this is what happens 🙁
    For me each phase is a terror with this man….but the one that passed is always better than the one that is yet to come 🙂

  11. Some kids are born with negotiation skills and the art of compromise but most teenagers lack the skills to assert their independence without hitting out. As for parents, knowing how unsafe the world is, how vulnerable our kids are under that veneer of confidence, and knowing we Must let go – so very hard.

    • What irks is when every decision of yours, even the most miniscule, is debated to death. I have always allowed them to speak their mind. They are extremely independent. But now they start showing rebellious streaks. Rebel for the sake of rebelling, sometimes so selfish too in the bargain.

  12. Aage aage dekhiye hota hai hai kya! They will be fine 🙂

  13. Ah kids!! There’s always something to deal with at every stage, although I admit I’ll miss all the cuddles and cuteness!! Nicely expressed!

  14. Parenting is such a learning process and at each stage there is so much to let go and so much to receive. nice post !

  15. Rachna,that is normal growing up process which only shows they are normal kids

  16. This must be the most difficult time for the mother! I My son is 6 and will treasure every moment. Thanks for sharing

  17. Every stage of parenting has its own challenges right

  18. Hah…a cry from the heart?
    I’m sure parenting remains an ongoing process throughout life. Parents and kids both keep adjusting their dynamics with each other every few years.
    Looking forward to meeting your children soon.

    • Yep, a cry from the heart :). I think as they step into tweens and teens, there is a complete equation change and behavior adjustment both for parents and children. There are times when you feel so lost as kids. When Sid read this post, he asked me, “I am really this bad?” I said, “Figure out for yourself.” Yep, the meet looks very promising :).

  19. Good to pick up foreboding of my days to come from blogs such as yours. But I don’t think I have it in me to be a parent. I suspect I and my son might join hands and end up aggravating my wife unless my son develops early maturity and decides to take me in hand.

    • haha Don’t think for a moment that the harassment is reserved only for mom. I wrote this post both for me and my husband. Some days, both of us are stumped. And you have met the boy I am talking about. He is quite well mannered otherwise :-).

  20. Bang on Rachna…I had thought messy nappies was the toughest part to handle..but as they grow, they throw new challenges at you. My sonny is also a in-betweener. As recently as yesterday I had a sit-n-chat session with him…he listened too…and I was so happy later 🙂

    • hehe Bushra! Seriously, now when I look back, I think that phase of messy nappies was a breeze :). Yes, I agree that it feels good when they actually listen. Though, I must say that their attention spans are growing shorter :). Thanks for reading, Bushra!

  21. The subscription link is working fine now 🙂

  22. I’ll be reaching this stage in another year and I am worried already! 😛

  23. Good luck to you, Shilpa :D.

  24. Every stage has its own challenges. For me the most difficult was communication. With boys it is tough as they refuse to open up.

    • Yes, I agree, Alka, about each stage having its challenges. With me, till now communication has not been a problem. Let’s see how it goes as they get older.

  25. Very true Rachna….i see it all around me …..thankfully i am out of this phase but you young parents do have to face many challenges.

  26. Rachna this sounds really difficult and frankly scary :(. My elder one has just turned 5 and already he has strong opinions about so many things. I am dreading the coming years when both of them grow up!

  27. I already have your blog bookmarked in all my browsers in both my laptops … You are my ‘Guide book’ ( I mean this in a good way) for the phase of parenthood whenever it might start!

  28. But in the end I believe it all turns out well. Super mom that you are, I don’t think you need to worry. 🙂

  29. Shipra on March 13, 2014 at 1:11 am said:

    So cute………:)
    Very well written.

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