Sunday, October 3, 2010

Picking Your Battles!!!

I’ve gotten many good parenting tips over the years, but the very BEST piece of advice that I ever heard was, “Pick your battles.” And I’ve tried to apply that over that past 15 years.

There are SO many things NOT worth arguing over.

That’s not to say that I don’t put my foot down from time to time…

But there are just some things that aren’t worth it.

ESPECIALLY when it comes to raising a teen.

I hear, all the time, about how difficult it is to parent teens. People talk about raising teens like it’s the hardest thing on earth.

Now, yes, it might be different for me (us). My child isn’t in school (and is with me—and a lot of other moms—the majority of the time). And I only have one child (of my own) to deal with on a daily basis...

But that’s not to say that we don’t have some of the same teen challenges.

It’s just that sure, raising teens can be difficult…but some things just aren’t worth arguing over!

Again, we go back to the “letting go” phase of parenting. Teens are different. (REALLY different.) They want to be independent. They want to make their own decisions.

I’m not saying to let them run wild. Not at all.

But if I picked a fight every time my kid spoke to me in a way that wasn’t completely respectful…or if I complained every time my daughter forgot to do her dishes…or if I fought with my kid about, a. what she wears, b. what music she listens to, c. how long she’s on the phone or if she’s texting at the table, or d. what she’s eating or what time she’s going to bed at night, we’d be going head-to-head every single day.

But I’ve chosen not to fight these battles.

Believe it or not, there’s a LOT of respect in this house, between Becca and me. It’s not a one-way street. (“It’s my way or the highway… What I say, goes around here!”)

I respect her (and her rights as an almost-adult), and in turn, she respects me as well.

Of course, it helps that we’re not exactly alike. (That whole “opposites attract” thing, I guess…)

We just kind of mesh well together.

Again, everybody’s family is different (as well as everyone’s situation). What works here, may not work for everyone… BUT, a little bit of give does go a long way…

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