Written By:Erin Diffenderfer/The Mommy Trainer
We all know the teen years can be hard. I wrote this to my son when he was having a tough time. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again!
To My Son,
If I could be the perfect parent to you, I would. IfI could waive a magic wand and make sure your father was always the perfect parent to you, I would. The love I have, and I know your Dad does too, is a huge love and one that comes from a place of wanting all the best things in life for you. But, maybe even though we love you so much, we aren’t supposed to be perfect. Maybe that is part of the plan for all of us as people – for us to experience pain sometimes even from those who love us most because when we do, it forces us to find strength within ourselves and in the end all we really have is ourselves anyways (and God who made us to be ourselves). I am sorry for the failures you have experienced from me and I apologize in advance for the times I will fail again – I will try and be and give more of what you need from me, but I know because I’m not perfect (even though in the Mom dept I wish I was) that I will blow it again. But when I d,o and when Dad does, I hope that you won’t turn that in on yourself. I hope you will love yourself enough to not take it as a reflection of yourself when we aren’t there for you in the ways you need. I hope you will find a way to fill those spaces for yourself. My hope is that you will learn to be at peace with yourself even when you feel that people don’t “get” you – that took me a long time in life and I hope you find that place sooner than me – it is a good place. You can never lose the love we have for you – that is a constant and I know you want our approval of all things you do but when that approval doesn’t come at every turn, know that the love is always there.
I have no doubt son that you will find your way through this difficult time you are in and that when you come out of it you will be a better you. I hope I can be a help to you on the way but if I am not, find your way through it anyway – read things that help, listen to things that help, look for other people who are examples of what you want for yourself and learn how they got to where they are (read/ listen to autobiographies or ask other adults you admire how they got through tough times and what makes their life work for them).
Yes, you need to respect, and, even at times trust our rules and decisions while you live with us even when it doesn’t make sense to you, but you don’t need to live your life trying to figure out what will make us happy with you at every second. This will only exhaust you because the truth is, if any of us in this world try and do that with anyone else we only set ourselves up for disappointment and a loss of self. I can’t even do that as your mom or as dad’s wife or as other people’s friend; I can only be me and not who others want me to be or else I wouldn’t be me (I have learned this the hard way trust me). Sometimes people won’t always understand us, sometimes people won’t always “get” us (I know you don’t always get or understand me but I know you love me) but surround yourself with people who love you anyways (and I do I promise) – but you have to be first on that list.
So, son, try and accept that you don’t have all the answers yet, accept that maybe you don’t always feel like you “fit” in. Accept that you are 15 and growing up is a tough process – harder still when you feel like you don’t always fit the mold that the world tells you to fit in. Accept those things but don’t be defined by them be defined by the good things you know about yourself and be defined by what you see for yourself ahead of you because there will always be struggles and difficult people along the way and if you can find a way to accept that and be at peace anyways then you will be ahead of most people. Life is a journey and you will experience new things that will teach you more about yourself as you grow so while defining yourself to help you be strong inside right now be careful not to box yourself in - be open to new things and ideas.
Son, I’m here when you need me. I won’t always get it right, but I’ll always be here and I’ll always try. I know life holds wonderful things for you and I hope you see the good that is in you and around you. I see it, and I am sorry if I ever make you feel like all I see is what is wrong – that is wrong on my part and not a reflection on you. Parents are just that way sometimes. I hope that in spite of your dad and I not always getting it right, you have peace within yourself. I know that you are a strong person and you will turn the struggles you have gone through, are going through (even the ones we may be part of) and will go through in the future into lessons that help you be the best you you can be.
I love you son, Mom
Erin Diffenderfer, The Mommy Trainer (TMT), is the leading parenting and life coach in the South. She provides sensible, no-nonsense parenting tools and advice to help parents have the confidence to tackle their parenting challenges. She resides in Anderson, SC. Learn more about her at www.themommytrainer.com, on facebook, twitter and youtube.