After surviving the gut-wrenching tween years with my oldest daughter, I’m ready for a little less emotional drama and a little more more reasonable conversation. A mom can dream, can’t she?
While raising a teen daughter is definitely less fraught than raising a tween—mostly because my heart is calloused and my nerves like steel after surviving that learning curve—it still has plenty of challenges for us both. I’m learning when to keep my distance as she grows up and into herself, whooping up her successes and owning her mistakes along the way. She’s learning that it’s OK to make those mistakes, to come to me when she can’t handle something on her own, and to bask in the pure joy of her own light.
Parenting my teen girl, I can’t help but be reminded of what I was like at that age growing up in the ’80s and how different things are today. Nevertheless, there are a few ’80s songs that keep popping up on my favorite Pandora station whose titles seem to perfectly describe life with my teenage girl today:
1. Duran Duran, ‘Girls on Film’
2. The Clash, ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’
3. Madonna, ‘Like a Virgin’
4. Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, ‘Joy And Pain’
5. AC/DC, ‘Back in Black’
6. Pet Shop Boys, ‘What Have I Done to Deserve This?’
7. Salt-N-Pepa, ‘Push It’
8. Simple Minds, ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’
9. Guns N’ Roses, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’
Parenting a teenage girl keeps me on my toes, but as long as we keep communicating, whether it’s through selfies, more sex talks, fashion tips or a simple hug, I think we’ll make it through OK. Maybe I’ll make her mixtape.