Rubrica from Italy; By Elisabetta Somaglia
Dear readers, what about teenagers? Have you guys between 11 and 18 y.o. at home? Or… are you a teenager? If you are a teenager, just read and smile and love yourself!
So let’s evaluate some characteristics of theirs! Before 11 y.o. you can buy every kind of clothing and they will tell you “Oh mum that is wonderful, thank you, I love you!”. Before 11 y.o. you can directly cut their hair, even if you are a nurse or a nuclear engineer and they will tell you, “Perfect mum, you know how to do everything very well! Look at me! I’m very beautiful with this hairstyle!” Before 11 y.o. you can organize whatever kind of trip in whichever kind of apartment or hotel and they will tell you “Oh mum, that’s wonderful! Look at the bed. It is perfect. And look at the bathroom, it’s so beautiful!” while you’re thinking how many bacteria there are on that dirty surface and what kind of parasites there are between the sheets.
Let’s assume he is a male just to keep it simple.
Then, your child is growing and suddenly you wake up one day and he has changed his voice. You think “WHO IS HE, MY GOD?”. And you ask for: “Everything ok, my dear?” and a new sort of monster answers “Don’t speak so early in the morning, I’m tired.” You are shocked. You go to the kitchen and cook the same old breakfast: toasted bread, butter, and jam, a cup of warm milk with chocolate and biscuits with cartoon shapes. He arrives and asks, “What is this? I don’t like anything!”. You are shocked again and eat everything on yourself. “Don’t worry, my dear. Would you like something else?” you ask and he replies: “Oh yeah! A coffee.”. You are baffled and think “Isn’t he too little for a coffee?” but you don’t say anything of course. You make the coffee and look at this new human being in front of you and try to tell, “Shall we go to school now?”. But that human being shouts, “What? I GO TO SCHOOL MUM! I don’t want my friends to see you accompany me!”
Now all of us have been teenagers, but the problem is… WE DON’T REMEMBER! We all have been so different from our childhood. The truth is that teenagers NEED to break away from their mothers. They always love you, but they also hate you a little because they need their independence and at the same time they are sad to break with you. They really don’t break, but it seems to be a detachment and they suffer so as we could suffer in seeing them in a different way.
Don’t worry! It is just a passage, it’s just a period, a right, necessary, essential moment of their life and of our life of course. A healthy teenager MUST live this period.
Take that in a playful manner. Smile at that! In a few years (I KNOW THEY SEEM TO BE CENTURIES SOMETIMES) they will come back as a man or as a woman and you will recognize in them all the principles of life, you have taught your children and you will love each other even more.
In my opinion the most important things you can’t forget are: 1) respect your children even if they aren’t like you imagined; 2) they are not the mirror of ourselves, so love them as they are; 3) always try to understand and not to judge them even when they make a mistake; 4) stimulate their passions; 5) follow and protect them as a distance, leaving them the maximum freedom.