There’s a new television show premiering tonight, the title of which is “I Hate My Teenage Daughter.”
I have three daughters, two of whom are teenagers. I’ve also been a teenage girl: granted, that was many moons ago, but I still remember what it was like. The teenage years are a difficult time for parents and their kids. There’s the old joke that once you have teenagers, you finally understand why some animals eat their young. I get it–the hormones and mood swings and the constant battles as they struggle to assert their independence can be exhausting and emotionally draining.
But, c’mon. HATE?
There are times when my teenagers frustrate me, but even when they are fraying at my very last nerve, I still love them more than anything in this world. And, I make sure they know it, even as they’re storming up to their rooms thinking I’m mean and unfair and way too strict.
I know, some will say, “Oh, where’s the harm? It’s just the title of a TV show. It’s no big deal.” I disagree.
Being a teenager is incredibly difficult. You’re at a stage of your life where you’re just starting to discover who you really are and what you want out of life. You’re leaving behind old friendships and fostering new ones. You’re learning to take responsibility for your actions, and accepting the consequences that go along with the decisions you make. You’re growing, and maturing, and there’s a lot that is expected of you.
The teenage years are a scary time, when the only thing you need more than wings to fly with is a soft place to land. A parent’s most important role is to be that soft place, no matter what.
What bothers me most is that putting out a show with a title like that implies that it’s okay to hate your kids. It’s not. Sure, you can hate the angst and the drama and the stress that comes along with having a teenager, but you always, always, ALWAYS love your child. And you need to let them know that.
Especially when they’re teenagers.