This is the Medlin (my maiden name) Crew...sorry mom & dad, hope you don't kill me for putting this pic up?
Raising daughters...it's a whole different world! Right moms & dads? I just hung up the phone with my mom & dad. Let me preface this post with telling you that at the age of 27, I absolutely adore my parents. My mom is my best friend and my hero. My dad has a heart for people that I want to be more like and has accomplished a goal of having a "daddy's girl."
I fired my parents when I was about 15. They persevered and tonight I asked them some questions about parenting a teenage daughter. This feels really vulnerable to expose my folks to you but I think it's important for you to hear from normal parents who have walked through those years and aren't too far out of it (well, almost 10 years since they had a teenage girl). I told my folks this tonight; but I was a pistol in my teenage years. I was just awful! I was the girl that thought my parents were clueless. I was mean and closed them out of my life.
Girls, if you are reading this...PLEASE don't do what I did. I promise your parents do have a clue. I know they can embarrass you at times; but cherish your parents each day knowing that they punish you, give you rules, and discipline your life because they LOVE you. I PROMISE!
Hope this encourages you or simply lets you know that you aren't in it alone.
Question: What was the hardest part about raising a teenage daughter?
Mom: "I just hated going through the times when you didn't want me as a friend. You just didn't even want me around."
Dad: "You were just more emotional [I have 2 older brothers] than the boys. The highs were higher and lows were lower with you. Really it just was more drama." (So well put! Any dads agree?)
Question: What would you have done differently as a mom/dad in my life through the teenage years?
Mom: "I wish I would have known how to do more, like, braid your hair, make bows [Bows were cool in junior high, I promise]. I really wish I would have done more tea parties and things like that [I had to remind my mom here that I was asking about teenage years. She's so cute!]. Really I just wish I would have done more thing with you. Really fought for that in those years."
Dad: "I don't think I would have done much differently. Actually, I wish I would have put less pressure on you to perform or to live up to what I thought was important, like basketball [I was an 100% 3-point shooter...but I only shot 1 3-point shot per game. It would make him so mad, awww, memories!].
Question: What would be your one piece of advice for parents of teenage daughters?
Mom: "I probably have 2. One would be to try everyday to keep communication lines open with her. Keep asking questions even when your daughter doesn't answer except with a, "It was fine." Be there, not harshly or forced, just be there. Two I would say to moms to BE A MOM. Don't try to be a best friend, that will come."
Dad: "Oh, man, dads need to know that they are THE important factor in helping your daughter develop in the teenage years. Their view of themselves, insecurities, view of men/boys, it all is shaped by the role of a father in her life."
(p.s. I love that I am completely aware of the embarrassment of these pictures and yet, I'm choosing to put them up. I wish I could write what I was thinking or what my parents were thinking for each picture. Goodness, gotta love those bangs to the left. Those bangs never moved!)
The Medlin Crew: Me, Dad, Mom, Michael, (back row) Pauline, Jonathan, Jason