Sure you love your teenager, but there may be times when you don’t like him or her very much. There may be days when you enjoy him, and there may be days when you really can’t stand to be with him. This may leave you feeling guilty. You may feel like a bad, uncaring parent. But guess what – you’re simply a normal parent. Recognizing your ambivalence and making the distinction between loving your teen, disliking his behavior and hanging in there can make a positive difference in your feelings and in your relationship with your teen.
Having and accepting your ambivalence can make you a better parent by making you a real parent. Perfect parents exist only in the movies and on television. Accepting your ambivalence about your teen and parenthood in general can remove some of the stress you may have felt to be all perfect, and perfectly altruistic. Being in touch with the full range of your feelings about parenthood can diffuse much of your anger and frustration, not letting these overwhelm your underlying and loving feelings for your teen.
An expert in the field of adolescent behavior, Ms. McCoy has authored eleven books on the subject including the best selling “The Teenage Body Book”. Additionally she has written hundreds of articles for major national magazines. Coordinator of the Clinical Ph.D. Program at California School of Professional Psychology and Staff Counselor at the Center for Individual and Family Counseling in North Hollywood, California.