It's Monday morning and the day started with my two girls, ages 13 and 14, fussing about getting ready for summer school. Notice I use the word fussing instead of something more graphic, like screaming at each other and accusing each other of taking their precious personal items. Mornings like this are not rare, whether in summer school or during the regular school year.
If this was the only thing I needed to concern myself with, well, life would be so easy. However, disciplining two teenage girls can be frought with it's own problems.
Prianna, age 14, and Destiny, age 13, are my two adopted girls. They came to me from the foster care system in St. Louis when they were very small. Prianna was just 2 years old and Destiny was one. My only naturally born child was 19 at the time and we were so happy to invite these two into our family. I adopted them 11 months later and now they are teenagers.
I have always used humor to get through difficult situations. And being a parent seemed like a perfect situation to use humor. When they were very young and wouldn't go to sleep, I used the, "I will huff and puff and blow the house down," to get their attention. They would laugh and then go to sleep.
As they got older, my comedic skills needed to mature. Often I would say, "Hold me back, I am coming to get you," as I ran and grapped them up in my arms and snuggled them until we would laugh so hard we would gently fall on the couch.
I realized that would not last forever. Now that they are teenagers and of course, they know everything, I take away things like computer time, t.v., and the phone. But I still feel the need to use humor to let them know they are in a safe place and need to learn to be independent.
When they roll their eyes at me when I ask them to do their chores, I can't help but laugh. They don't appreciate this response. In this blog, I will share the struggles of a single mom with two teenage daughters and the subject of discipline. I hope you can laugh along with me.