Would you be happy if you found yourself having to parent your teenage self?
Frightening or piece of cake?
One parent posted a frightful notion onto parenting forum CityData.com, what would you do if you had to parent your teenage self?
Some commenters thought it would be a walk in the park to parent themselves during puberty while others couldn't think of anything worse!
I don't really know how I would feel about being a mother to my teen self but with how much my daughter and I are already alike I'm sure I'll get a taste of it!
The original poster wrote;
"Interesting thought experiment: If you found yourself having to parent your teenage self, how good/bad would it be? Would you be very difficult and such?"
Within a few minutes of posting, the responses began to pour in and some were of course hilarious.
"I would do whatever was necessary to afford to send me to boarding school for four years."
Others weren't quite as harsh on their younger selves and called themselves out for what they were;
"Apparently I was very snarky... but I got straight A's in school, never drank, did drugs or even dated. I didn't go out, just did school and my couple of sports, then came home. So, all in all, very little to complain about if I had to parent my teenaged self... just a moody/snarky kid."
This is pretty close to how I was as a teen. I was extremely angsty which sometimes led me to be very sarcastic and a bit cheeky, but I never got into any major trouble and while a lot of my classmates were sneaking into nightclubs I was just trying to sneak my heavy metal CDs past my grandmother.
Some felt that they could have done a bit better than their parents and heartbreakingly shared what they would have done differently;
"I'd have yelled less and had heart to heart talks more. I'd have grounded me less."
"There would be a lot more hugs."
"A lot of us did have to parent our teenage selves. We had parents who were abusive, chronically ill, addicts, utterly self-absorbed, or whatever other excuse, and just couldn't parent us. Sometimes they decided to have more babies and we had to parent those kids too."
One poster commented something that particularly struck a chord with me;
"I would struggle to come to terms with me, and accept me without all the criticism, embarrassment, and anxiety. I’d be more upbeat about me. I’d give me more freedom."
When I was a teenager, and honestly even in my early twenties, I put myself under massive pressure to be the absolute best at everything. I felt like I would be a disappointment unless I excelled at everything whether it be academia, dance, acting or singing.
Because of this, I had little or no self-esteem because it all hung on other people's approval of me and I was a nervous wreck when it came to any sort of criticism. I was constantly waiting for one of the adults in my life to tell me that winning or getting the best grades didn't matter but it wasn't until my last year of school that it actually happened.
One of my teachers found me hyperventilating in the school bathroom. She grabbed me by the shoulders told me to breathe and said 'Melissa, no exam is worth this.'
If I saw my own children putting themselves under that kind of pressure I would tell them it wasn't necessary to try so hard. Your best is good enough.
I honestly don't think it's until we become parents that we realise how hard it is to be parents.
We suddenly come to terms with the fact that our parents weren't perfect as we struggle to make our own children understand that we're only human and can't get it right all the time.
I don't know how I would cope with being a parent to my teenage self but one thing I know for certain, there is no amount of money you could pay me to BE my teenage self again!