Remembering My Teen Years Through My Daughter

It starts with waking up at 6 or 615am every morning for school. Most mornings start with a half-hearted attempt to wake up my daughter, making sure she gets moving since her school bus picks up at 740. If she's had enough sleep, waking her up only takes about 5 minutes, but if she hasn't, it takes her 15 minutes just to get out of bed. I remember times when it wouldn't take much cajoling to finally get out of bed, but it seems that as soon as she turned thirteen, her body clock just refused to cooperate with just cajoling.

But it doesn't stop there. Is it part of the Teen makeup to not be motivated to move quickly when getting ready in the morning? It seems that moving to be on time for the school bus is not as easy to do for her as it is for me. Don't get me wrong, most times she catches her bus, but there have been mornings where the bus has driven past our house just as we're heading to the bus stop and I would have to drive her to school.

We have done things like preparing her clothes, taking a shower or making her snacks the night before, but sometimes, even after doing all or most of these, she still misses the bus because of something she may have forgotten to do before catching the bus.

In addition to the morning routine, the whining factor seems to escalate as the day progresses. The whining may start as a way to prolong what needs to get done (making sure she has packed her snacks and lunch), but as the day turns to late evening, the whining becomes more like an  overtired plea to finish schoolwork or project as painlessly as possible. Now I'm not saying that I don't understand why she's acting or reacting this way, but it has made me think about my own teen years and if I was the same way as my daughter. 

Growing up with two sisters in an apartment that had two bedrooms and one bathroom definitely had its challenges. Mornings comprised of making sure we kept to our shower schedule by nature of seniority, and if one of us missed it, we were out of luck. Getting ready for school the night before was necessary since we wanted to make sure we had everything for the next day. Since we lived in an urban area, I took public buses to school, not a school bus, so while I was not tied to a bus schedule, I still had to make sure that I could catch the public bus to get to school on time. 

Looking back, I can relate to how my daughter is in the mornings. If I've had enough sleep the night before, I'm in a pretty good mood and wake her up with an upbeat tone. But nine times out of ten, I'm tired from not sleeping well the night before and I'm cranky as I wake her up. I also remember not wanting to do half of the things I was told to do while I was a teen, but there were consequences for not getting schoolwork or chores done. For me, it meant not being able to be with my friends or having my parents take away my allowance for not doing what I was told. I'm sure that whining was part of my teen makeup, and most of it was done to get out of any schoolwork or chores.

While my upbringing was a lot stricter than Shaina's, I can understand why she does what she does most of the time. She may not have the same consequences that I used to have when I wasn't prepared, but she does understand the consequences of her actions or inactions and how it affects her. As for me, there will be days when things may not make sense when it comes to my Teen's makeup, but there will also be times when I can just let her be herself and wait until we can both be on the same page and get on with our day. That's my take on this, what's yours?