Oh, the joys of raising a strong-willed daughter. Mine, she is unwavering in her persistence to get what she wants. It’s like it’s a game with her — and she doesn’t plan on letting anyone else win.
In fact, if you look up tenacious online, you might even see her picture where it says synonyms. Or maybe I was just imagining that!
Tonight she wanted to “hang” with a friend. Thing is, I hadn’t really seen her since Wednesday night, because she had been “hanging” with friends each evening, leaving before I got home from work and spending the night at various girlfriends’ houses. While I’m glad she has friends, not to mention a driver’s license (which means I’m no longer a chauffeur), I do like to spend time with her.
It’s only a couple years before she’s off to college, so I like to take every opportunity I can to spend time with her. So tonight, when I told her she had to stay home, she got her tenacity on and kept digging at me about why she should be allowed to go out. “My friends can’t go out tomorrow, so it has to be tonight. And I have to clean tomorrow anyway.” And then “I’m a teenager Mom, that’s what we do.” And then “It’s only for a couple hours.”
Husband was working and she knows this won’t work on him, but might on me. Truth is, it can. Not all the time, but sometimes. I try to find a compromise, because I know that never would have happened when I was growing up. In my day, (groan — I’ve become that parent), you asked once and if the answer was no, you didn’t ask again. Part of me (probably that part that is groaning) thinks we respected adults more back then. More likely, I was probably a bit more afraid of my parents than daughter is of me. Whether it was respect or fear, I just didn’t challenge my parents the way daughter challenges me.
I’m trying to hold onto the belief that her persistence is a good character trait. One that will serve her well in adult life. One that will help her get ahead in life. So I guess I’ll have to find a way to deal with it for the next few years.
For the record, the compromise tonight was letting her and a friend go to the park in our subdivision for a few hours. I figured it was a good one because I made them walk — no car meant no wheels to taunt them to go elsewhere.
But I feel like I’m going to need some help in the future. Any and all suggestions are welcome.