Handling the “Invincible” Teen

Monday, March 16, 2015 0 Comments A + a -

The yellow giraffe, a picture of my color pencil art
 copied from a picture from Monday Mellow Yellows.

I remember my children when they were small and I took them to the zoo.  They liked big animals—hippos, elephants, zebras, and giraffes.  Now that they are teenagers, they do not care about the zoo anymore but other things excite them now.

I have not blogged regularly this month because of some events happening lately.  I have been busy with my daughter.  Yes, she is back.  It took some police “getting” her, sending her to juvenile hall, her appearing in court for failure to appear, me bonding (her) again, and placement of, yet another, ankle monitor.  She cut off the one previously before she ran away.  But most importantly, she returned home, and my new insurance this year has better coverage for mental/behavioral health.

She is back but my family still needs a lot of help.  My son is still on a run.  Yes.  I have not seen him for more than a month.  My birthday passed and I did not hear a word from him.  Anyway, I cannot wait for his return before we start with family therapy.  We started last week.  I see a hint of hope.

Monitoring Teen

With monitoring, I do not push on putting an ankle bracelet on each teenager.  My daughter’s is required by the judge while her case is pending.  Long story.  

What I mean by monitoring is being aware of her whereabouts and school attendance.

I check my daughter’s school attendance closely during school hours online.  One day last week, I saw that her name was marked absent on her last period.  Good grief.  Where did she go?

I picked her up at the usual time.  Thank goodness she was in front of the school. She did not run.  I should have realized that because I did not get an alert about her ankle monitor being tampered or her being not in school.  Anyway, can you blame me if I feel paranoid?  She had ran away many times.
Her lip bled in school, she said, so she went to the bathroom and missed the last period in school.  She has pierced her lip for a lip ring before the last period.

My goodness.  “That is self-mutilation.  What if it gets infected . . .?"

“I will take care of it, mom.  I know what to do—salt water rinse, mouth wash rinse, brushing my teeth three times a day.”

My daughter thinks she is invincible, like nothing can happen to her.  I feel scared for her doing crazy and dangerous things like this.  Is it to prove herself she can do it not matter how dangerous and painful?

“I did it myself because I don’t have the money to have it done, mom.”

“So what’s next, a nipple ring?”

“No, mom, I will stop here,” pertaining to her bloodstained lip.


Guiding the Invincible Teen

I hope she keeps her daredevil attitude in the sports field.  The volleyball season is over.  She does not want to do tennis for school.  So now what?

Thankfully, her volleyball coach (and Physical Education teacher) encouraged her to sign up for Track and Field.  When I asked her to join before, she said no.  Nevertheless, she said yes to the coach, so that is good.  

Inspiring the Invincible Teen

To get her excited (and prepared) for her new sport, we went to a running shoes store where a staff worked with her one-on-one to get the best pair of shoes for short-distance sprinting.  She picked blue and black which is the color of her school.  It has spikes she has to screw on.  

“It feels so light and comfortable.  I feel like I want to run so fast,” she said after running back and forth on the carpeted floor in the store.

“Don’t get in trouble and kick other students faces . . .” Of course, I was kidding, a little.
She picked two Capri pants to go with them—black-fitted ones that look girly.  One pair has ties on the bottom legs.  She looks like a little woman with curves.

“You’re going to run, right?  Not just look cute on the field?”

“Yes, mom, ha-ha.”

Another pair of shoes bought for a sport that I hope will keep my invincible teen busy, challenged, and out of trouble.  Speaking of shoes, I have not bought shoes for myself in a long time but I have for my daughter many times.  I buy her shoes as often as Imelda Marcos buys hers, I think.  Only, Imelda’s collection probably does not consist of 99% sporty-looking black and/or white shoes that look so identical with each other.

A good pair of shoes can be a motivator. What motivates you? If you have teens, what motivates them?

I would love to read your comments.