Adulting v. Adolescenting
Adulting. When you are young and looking up the road of life, the concept of being “grown up” enchants you. It glows invitingly through your naive and eager eyes. Its freedom entices you. Its independence beguiles you. Its autonomy mesmerizes you. This future of not being bossed around looks wonderful!
Fast forward. You’ve got kids, bills, and a boss! Where is that freedom now? It looks and feels like responsibility fueled by demands. You’ve been duped! Adulting is over-rated. But it’s not all bad. In fact, it’s preferable.
Adolescents are anomalies. They can learn to play an instrument with no previous musical ability, program your phone quicker and better than you, and give sympathy and support to a just cause. Yet we shake our heads, wondering why, did he/she send a mean text? Lie about mowing the lawn? Give their $!75 shoes to the neighbor? We can blame the brain.
The Pre-frontal cortex, the decision making, reasoning processor, and judgement administrator of the brain won’t be mature until after the 22nd birthday. This means adolescents fly on empty. Risk taking, acting before thinking, and poor judgement plague them. Evaluating what will happen following an action is not on the radar. They can’t help this distinct disadvantage. They are developmentally normal. But you, you understand this predicament.
One of the benefits of being you, “Adulting,” is that you can easily decipher and discern information. When your daughter blurts out “I hate You” one day and “You are the best Mom is the world!” the next, you know her processing plant isn’t fully operational. Both are knee jerk reactions, not thought through statements.
It’s complicated being in the body of an adolescent. And, it’s frustrating being you, the Mom or Dad. Yet, you have the advantage! You have the determination, you’re armed with the facts and skills, and you have a heart of love for your transforming child.