Sunday, March 18, 2012

Daughter Chronicles: Lessons Learned


I have learned a very important lesson in dealing with the wardrobe of a teenage girl. First, let me just say that with boys (who will someday be husbands and therefore must learn), I simply tell them that what they have on doesn't work. They ask me what does work. I tell them and they change into something that is somewhat acceptable. Won't they be great husbands? You're welcome girls. The training is free.

Oh to have a girl who would do the same.
Unfortunately, they don't exist. The sooner we come to terms with that and learn to deal with it, the better. There are two common situations with girls. One is bad. One is frighteningly good.

Scenario ONE:

It's Sunday morning and you have thirty minutes to get everyone ready. Teen girl stomps out of bedroom breathing fire and spreading gloom. She's dressed in ripped jeans and a shirt that is holey not HOLY. Let's pictures something off the shoulder and more 'I'm twenty-five and going to a bar' rather than "I'm a young teen going to church."
Let me just clarify that I try to buy modest clothing for said teen but she insists on 'restyling' with scissors. And when that happens, I insist on not buying new clothing so she has to save money to buy her own.

Mom's first reaction is to scream and threaten. This is never a good way to start a Sunday morning.

You have 3 choices on how to deal with this:
B. Tell her you'll pick her clothes and she'd better change right now.
C. Smile (probably not a real smile) and say: If that's really what you want to wear and if you don't mind what everyone thinks of you. I mean, yes, that's really disrespectful to the people in the church and to God. But okay, its your choice. We need to leave now.

At our house A and B result in major battles and with my blood pressure near the stroke level. Option C, I walk away with a smile and pretend I don't care. When I'm ready to leave for church, she has changed into something more respectful. If she doesn't, I've at least planted a seed and hopefully she feels really guilty the entire time we're at church.  Either way, I win!

This scenario can be almost as troubling and frightening as scene one. Maybe more so, because it takes us by surprise and leaves us vulnerable and unsure.

Sunday morning and teen girl walks out of her room smiling. Yes, smiling. You immediately wonder what alien planet has invaded. The unknown and smiling species asks a reasonable question: "What's the weather going to be like today and should I wear jeans or capris?"

You choke a little and wonder what's really going on. You calmly say, "I would wear capris." IN THIS SITUATION NEVER EVER TELL HER WHAT SHE SHOULD WEAR!

Teen returns a short time later in capris, a reasonable shirt and her hair brushed. Something is up but you don't know what. You aren't even sure how to react.

Now you have to make a critical choice. Your entire day is at stake so choose wisely.

A. Tell her she looks nice.
B. Question who she is and ask her what she's done with your real teenage daughter.
C. Head for the car as quickly as possible and once you are safely on the road, tell her she looks nice.

The answer is obviously C.
If you make the mistake of telling her she looks nice while you are still at home, she will immediately run back into her room and come out wearing something that starts a whole new argument and makes you thirty minutes late for church.

Accept the small blessings and enjoy what might be a peaceful Sunday. Even if she is an alien, you know they'll bring the real teenager back as soon as they try to dress her for church.


Jessica Nelson said...

Wow. My lesson here is to be glad I have 3 boys. lol

brenda minton said...