Parenting is a tough job, we all know that. No two kids are the same and each one requires a different approach to really reach them. I have two older daughters and I think the years between 13 and 16 were the most challenging. My younger daughter, Briahnna is a high school senior and over the years, she has been a little harder to really talk to in general. She’s a high achieving IB student and is very involved in extracurricular activities, but when it comes to serious topics, she seems to want to hide inside her shell. My older daughter was the complete opposite and would want to talk about anything and everything. Over the last few years, I figured out that the drive to school and back home were great times to catch up and chat. We sometimes listen to the radio and do a little car dancing which ends up leaving us in tears from laughing so hard. This is usually a great ice breaker and gives us a few minutes to discuss school-related things. There has even been times when I bring her favorite snack or drink as an after school treat to help lighten the mood after a long day of classes.
Briahnna applied to four colleges and we had to stay on her about making sure she didn’t wait until the last minute. She’s the type of student that cranks out outstanding work although her work area is almost always a complete mess. Organized chaos seems to work for her. I have to come to the point that I really don’t waste my breath sweating the fact that she is messy. I more focus on working with her to make sure she is achieving and even exceeding her goals. I have recognized that she likes to have her personal space, but also respects my time when we need to be serious. Chatting in the car seems to take some of the pressure off of her instead of doing it in her messy room or with all of the rest of the family around. I am sure there are times that she wants me to shut up, but as an old family friend and mother figure told me many years ago, “Always talk to your children. Even when they act like they don’t want to hear it, talk to them anyway.” I have taken this advice to heart and you know what? It works!
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