Surviving the Teenage, Alien Invasion Years

Posted by Danna McCall on

Surviving the Teenage, Alien Invasion Years

I have a wonderful, caring and kind 24-year old daughter. Eight years ago, and for multiple years, my husband and I were really struggling with her, wondering if we would find the light at the end of the tunnel that so many friends and relatives promised us was there. 

We were not perfect parents, but we kept trying. We looked for new ways to reach her. We kept strict rules in place. We required accountability and hard work from her. 

I won't lie. It was really hard. But it paid off and is evidenced in the young woman she has become.

So as I read this long ago - almost forgotten post from myself - an at-her-wits-end-mom - I say hang in there. Persevere. I know you're tired, but it will pay off.

I know this because it did. 

The alien teenage invader left my daughter, but not because we sat around and waited for it to leave. We coached her. Invested in her. Loved her. And she became her own person who was too strong for any longterm invasion.  

The best hard work you can put in is in your children so keep at it and hang in there tired parents.

The post from eight years ago:

Okay parents, ever have one of those days (or weeks/months) when you look at the teenager you gave birth to and wonder if they truly are yours?  Could it be an alien being donated DNA?  Or maybe it's just that teenagers are the true aliens?  Aliens who save all their newly acquired personality traits just for their host family. Anyone else have an alien living in their house?

I have read many books attempting to explain the teenage mind. I am seriously convinced my family could be the next case study for some new psychology.  It should be a new movement directed at parents called, "Teenage Years:  Surviving 8 Years of Alien Invasion."  We get it.  It's hard.  It's stressful in a way no one can ever explain.  Only a teenager can make you long for the days of potty training and getting them to sleep through the night. Maybe a greater power designed it this way. Some sneaky reverse psychology to make you truly appreciate all the little things with love and affection.

Daughter Annie in highchair

I know I will survive the trials and tribulations of parenting a head-strong, willful teenager.  Some say I will be stronger for it.  Will I enjoy it? I doubt it. I am tired.  Tired of finding new punishments. Tired of reiterating right and wrong to a person who should obviously understand it at this point.  Tired, tired, tired.  There is no other way to describe it.

So to anybody else out there tired and struggling, here's a recommendation.  Look at an old photo and remember all the things you couldn't wait to get through.  Remember and smile.  If you are still in that phase with your young kids, enjoy it.  Treasure the simple days of little kids, preschool, kids crawling into your bed.  Keep the memories fresh in case an alien invades your child's body as they hit middle school.

Child psychologists reassure me one day the alien will find a new "host child."   Leaving me with the person all my discipline, rules, hard work strove to develop.  To all those people telling me this I say only one thing, bring it on!

Danna and Annie-Papersalt

Danna and Annie Today


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