One of the most challenging things I have found in my forty-plus years of being a human is the act of raising teens and young adults. No amount of training nor experience can prepare you for what you will endure. Mix all this parenting with mood disorders, and it’s just hard. As with anything we do in life, the experiences we witness can be teachers and shape how we perceive and react in future situations. Because of this, it is so important to be emotionally intelligent when navigating the journey of parenting.
What is the Problem?
Sure, you have many great moments as a parent, but you also have not such fulfilling moments, and those often seem to be the ones we remember. You know those moments where the wannabe adults stay out late and worry you to wee hours in the morning. The talking back mixed with the attitude reminds you that you never want to be a teenager again. They are defiant and yet responsible at the same time. These kiddos often get caught between being a teen and an adult and confuse us. They want you to respect them, yet they seem to revert to a child when told they need to be accountable. Is that what they call trying to find their place in the world? Let’s just say being a parent is not for the faint at heart.
What Did I Learn?
So what I have learned in surviving one teen with a mood disorder is that I have become a much stronger advocate for mental wellness. I have become more assertive at recognizing when things are not right. It wasn’t that long ago that I went on my journey to heal myself. Sometimes those wake-up calls punch you in the gut with a hard dose of reality. For me, it was a medical condition that brought me to my knees and propelled me on that journey. It forced me to heal my body and dig deeper into why I was having success in my life but always following it up with a crisis. Through my healing, I learned that I was doing exactly what I hated. I was chasing crisis and chasing goals in my pursuit to find happiness.
What Do I Do?
Right now, my middle is struggling a bit to find herself, and once again, I find myself having to make tough decisions. It’s not easy. I am healthier this time around, which gives me an advantage. But make no mistake, it’s not easy. I work on myself daily. What do I mean by that? I mean, I have habits in place that I do every day as if they are vitamins to help support me and give me the confidence I need to make emotionally intelligent decisions. Nah, I am not perfect by no means, but I control my thoughts and recognize when they are troubling me. That work I do every day sets me up for success and has allowed me to find my happiness once and for all. It sure makes it easier for me to be grounded in my decisions and live with the consequences of those decisions.
What Can You Do?
Life isn’t perfect, and nor is parenting. Mood disorders are real and should never be ignored. Whatever route you choose to heal yourself when suffering, you should consider a long term solution. I am no doctor, but I have found that when I work on myself daily by strengthening my mindset, I am stronger, healthier, and more equipped to take on challenges even when they involve some of the most precious people in my world; my children.
Check out my blog Sneak Around Sabotaging Behaviors – Jennifer Loehding or 5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mindset in 20 Minutes | SUCCESS for a few tips on how you can start strengthening your mindset and improving your emotional intelligence. Whether you have a mood disorder or not, whether you are parenting or not, having the right attitude can set you up for success in all areas of your life.