We have recently undergone some pretty heavy teen drama and bad attitude around the Miller household. Which naturally has led to a lot of fighting, disrespect, and anger/sadness. This is not to say it has all been doom and gloom but more a white elephant of contention. My oldest Vanessa has been acting out a lot in the form of general sassiness and “not-caring” which is not new for teens. IT IS, however, different for her. I have witnessed her go from a loving and laughing kid to a miserable and hedgehog-like tween not wanting anything to do with anyone or anything.
What this has led to from my end is a range of wild emotions from rage to sadness. I want her to understand so much more than she can comprehend. I wish she would see how her actions/words affect the world and those around her. However, this is a lost cause given the narrow-mindedness we all go through as teens when we are discovering ourselves and our personalities.
I had this idea from my own upbringing about losing interest and care for a child. I am sure this is something that can only happen between step-parents or even adoptive parents. I expressed my concern with Megan regarding this growing lack of care which she pointed out is driving a further wedge between her and my other kids (Hayden and Kaitlyn). This could be for a few reasons, shortened temper, deep sighing, loss in affection and I am sure much more. However, this hit me particularly hard after we finished talking. Just like my tween I too had forgotten how far reaching my actions and words reach. Same can be said with my own emotion.
This new-found emotion that is coming from parenting is something I am not used to. I pride myself on being able to stay neutral in almost any scenario. However recently this has not been the case within my own family. I have tried to wrap my brain around how I grew up and how Megan grew up and what made us tick and act the way we did when we were her age. Then “WHAM” just like before Megan provided some great insight regarding her lack of a mother figure growing up and how she is torn with how to parent because she never had that. I had my own challenges as well but nothing to bitch about. This led to the epiphany that while our past experiences are not meaningless they don’t hold a ton of weight with my kid’s now-days. The way I handled stress back then is different from how Megan dealt with stress when she was a kid and the same is true for my kids today. The same can be said for our parenting scenarios I had a mother and an adoptive father, Megan had an adoptive father and lost her mother when she was young. While our kids have 4-5 parents (Me, Megan, Her Ex, and the Ex’s Parents) in their life pushing and pulling trying to help shape our kids in their own image and own way in order to be a good adult.
All of this realization has led me to understand that I as a parent need to live in the now. Trying to relive the past to understand how to shape the future is not always best. This is something I have to work on within myself to make sure I keep myself grounded for my family and our future. As I am sure any parent would express this is not always easy which is why I am putting it in writing so my thoughts can be conscious and coherent and without second guessing.
A father to 3 amazing kids Hayden, Kaitlyn, and Vanessa . I am happily married to Megan Miller (@Megan_Bethann) and we live in Pleasant Grove Utah.
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