Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago · 4 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Girls, Their Teenage Years and Beyond- There Is Hope!

Parents have many nostalgic moments, tonight was one of those nights for me. I was watching a program on TV and it brought me back in time, it reminded me of the struggles my daughter encountered when she began High School. 

Prior to entering High School my daughter had hung with the same group of girls since Elementary School

This all changed within the first month of beginning her 9th grade year. What changed, boys became interested in her and her friends became jealous. I'm sure you've heard the phrase over and over, "girls can be catty," well this is very true. One day she had a group of what she considered best friends, the next day, they were all ignoring her. I kept telling her to reach out and she tried. They wouldn't answer her calls, they turned their heads when she walked by them and began to speak badly of her. She would go to bed crying every night. My heart just broke for her because other than listening and trying to give her advice, I wasn't sure how to help her. I encouraged her to get involved in volleyball and chorus. She did this until her self-esteem was so low, she gave up on volleyball. She did stick it out with chorus until she graduated but never tried out for Accapella and her Choir director begged her to. Again, she didn't want to be in the limelight. 

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She made new friends

My daughter began hanging out with friends that gave me bad vibes. We called the group of friends she chose- the skateboarder crowd. I was hoping she would outgrow this crowd and find her way back. This did not happen. Even her choice in boys was not well thought out but then again, how many teens really think things through? I contacted her guidance counselor to share my worries and she told me that my daughter would find her way. The counselor went on to say, "She's a smart girl and has morals but at this time in her life she found a crowd she feels safe with. The counselor also said my daughter was more the leader, not the follower. Ok, try accepting that as a parent when you know your daughter is hanging out with kids that smoke and more! I have to admit, I earned every gray hair I have from lack of control and worry during her teen years.  I believe this is when my insomnia (the pattern) began because I could not sleep until I knew she was home safe.

Time for College

My daughter decided she wanted to become a nurse. We were thrilled and helped her to find a school out of the town. Getting away from the kids who weren't College-bound was a fresh new beginning for her.  She attended one semester at College and became homesick. The problem wasn't that she was homesick for us (she tried to make us believe it was just too much for her), she was homesick for a bad boy back in town that she began dating before she left for College. 

Tough love 

My daughter lived at home and began her second semester at a Community College for nursing. She didn't do well because she was too busy spending time and obsessing over this guy who treated her like crap. She decided to drop out of College. We told her she had to get a job and help pay for food and her student loans. She thought we were so mean. She worked as a waitress for a short period of time and decided that wasn't something she enjoyed. So, I told her she should take the nurses aide certification course and become one. We talked about the idea that if she worked as a nurses aide she will at least find out if nursing is the field she wanted to go into because she was still talking about going back to college. I was praying she wouldn't become complacent as an aide. I wanted more for her, like most parents. 

Finally

After being a nurses aide for 6 months or so, my daughter began to complain how hard the work was and how unfair the pay was. We then had a conversation again about going back into nursing. She broke up with her loser boyfriend and believe me, I'm being polite when I call him a loser. He abused her, did drugs and more. Once she broke up with him her mindset changed. She enrolled back in College and 2 years later graduated as a nurse! Through so much trial and adversity, once she experienced the real world she realized she wanted more for herself. I still worried about her choice in guys because she had a loser boyfriend prior to the loser number 2! They were good looking guys and some girls find bad boys attractive in some warped way. Time would prove that she learned some very important lessons and she made a pact with herself, she wasn't going to repeat her past. We were so proud of our daughter on graduation day.  She is pictured in the middle. 

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After many lessons

Ah, my daughter was becoming a woman in all sense of the word. She took her career seriously and didn't date for almost a year after she got rid of her final loser boyfriend. Once she did begin to date, she met a really nice guy and he asked her to meet him for a drink. She literally had a panic attack and almost didn't go to meet him. My son and his wife were home visiting from Colorado at the time and they told her they would go with her. They said, "We can sit at another table, and you know you have an 'out' if you need it." The man she met is now her husband. She met her best friend that night. He treats her with great respect and likewise, she treats him with a lot of respect too. They were married last year and had a baby girl 4 weeks ago. They make great parents too! I am so proud of my daughter. A photo of my daughter and grandson's from Colorado prior to walking down the Aisle last August. 


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To those of you raising teenage girls right now and may feel hopeless or extremely worried- don't lose hope and never give up on them. I was known as the witch and I wore that title with pride. I never gave up on her, I never stopped checking in on her and I always reminded her that she could trust us. Mom's aren't meant to be buddies with their daughters when they become teens. There's a fine line between being a buddy and a parent. I will admit, there were times (many) I thought she hated me. Actually, I'm fairly certain she did for quite a while. I can say with pride today, my daughter is my best friend now! 


                                                     How blessed we are, My daughter, her husband and baby!  

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                                        I couldn't resist this last photo, she wasn't posed . She loves her hand against her cheek!


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Header Photo courtesy of Google Images and: 

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/school-girls-bullying-three-poor-sad-girl-classmate-40834220.jpg


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Comments

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #22

Very true Anees Zaidi, we learn lessons from our children too. Its vital forto our growth as parents and human beings

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #21

#33
Thanks Anees Zaidi, very challenging but if we can set our sites on the end reward- a family that is blessed with love, it's so worth it. I'm not happy she experienced some of what she did but I'm happy it taught her to be the wonderful young lady she is today. i guess that's one thing to keep reminding our kids, this will pass and until then, remember WHO you want to be in life and let go of what you don't want to be. We also have to learn to be somewhat accepting of those we don't feel are good for our children, and try to embrace them. Many of those kids did turn out to be good adults, there were a few who weren't reachable.

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #20

#32
Hi vanessa ropiha, what a sweet age, 5 years old! What a great idea by giving her the book to understand female clicks better. We had a project when my daughter was in HS called the Ophelia Project, it was to help girls learn more about each other, learn they aren't all that different but experience different situations in their lives, learn to accept one another etc... it could have been great but the Volunteers who ran it were snoody and actually created more clicks. Many gals dropped out. There are a few books about the Ophelia Project, one with stories from mothers about their daughters and how they came out well on the other side. That's the best we can do is arm them and hope they know how to use their artillery​!

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #19

#27
Brian McKenzie, I did our 10 year reunion because I got roped into actually organizing the entire event. I never went back to any reunions after that. Pretentious and I wasn't close with any of my former classmates. I have one friend I've stayed close to since HS, other than that, met through work or our move!

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #18

#26
Very introspective CityVP Manjit!! Your so right, I remember reading quite some time ago that the frontal cortex isn't fully developed in the female until the age of 21 which control emotions. And, you mentioned hormones- wow... your not kidding, up and down!! Having extended family that is part of the children's lives is a definite benefit. My parents loved my children and they knew that. However, we didn't live near anyone in my family and I can't tell you how many times I longed for them. We moved, they didn't. We can laugh and talk about the past now. It's great that even my daughter is able to say, "I can't believe I said this, or did that." It's nice that is part of her past and she learned from the past!!

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #17

#25
Thanks Savvy Raj, well put- it sure does require a different set of skills. I used to tell people I'm amazed I lived through my own teenage years lol

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #16

#24
Thanks for reading @david prestney! Hopefully, both of your daughters will get through HS without many scars!

CityVP Manjit

5 years ago #15

Teen years are like re-entry of a rocketship to Earth, you know there is going to burn and fiery entry into adulthood and we are only glad when the kids have got through it. We underestimate (even when we know it) the heavy impact of hormones during the teenage years and even the period when the challenge is a not-yet-adult child engaging their independence. Yet the adult we know at 25 barely resembles the battles of a 17 year old. The brain also changes and with that comes the reward of having been there for them. The good news is that there is a whole team of adults now who are extra support as our grandkids grow up - it is way difficult to raise kids without a support network, so I understand the challenges you went through. What may have once horrified us become the stories that that now create bonds, so long as their is light at the end of that tunnel and the kid has reached adult Earth better for the experiences. It is fascinating how changes in brain development during that phase impact on choices and no wonder it is called "growing pains".

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #14

#20
It does start at the middle school level Shaun Dares, I did see some of it then but my daughter wasn't affected by it like in HS. I think they just get better at hiding it in HS. Teens can be ruthless because they are all trying to figure out where they fit in, they want to fit in and if they don't they rebel, retreat or become bullies. I would not want to go back to that time in my life. Thanks for reading and for your comment. Glad you enjoyed.

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #13

#19
Extremely admirable job your wife and daughter are doing Aaron Skogen, not everyone could do something like they are! Where do they stay? And wow, it's so hot over there- they must be tough gals, kudos to them!!

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #12

#16
Hi Jennifer Schultz, watching your child be bullied is angering, sad and even scary at times. I'm sorry your daughter has experienced it. I have to admit, there were times I questioned my parenting skills. I don't think any parent, no matter how well informed knows just how to handle situations like that. Bullying is widespread, the good news is- most kids are more resilient than we are aware and do pull through. As part of the lyrics from Kelly Clarkson's song goes: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." I hope it helps moms going through similar situations now to know things will get better and our children do mature! Thanks for you comment Jennifer.

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #11

#10
Julie Hickman, sadly I gave my mom the ride of her life during my teenage years too. It wasn't until my daughter became a teen that I asked her how she did it and survived it LOL. Thanks for your nice comment, as you can tell, I'm very proud of both of my kids. The teen years are extremely trying. I would never want to go back in time and be a teenager again!

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #10

#13
Well said and very wise words! Couldn't agree more. It's still true to this day and will be their entire lives.

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

5 years ago #9

#9
Lisa Gallagher Not all the fingers are of same size...and likewise kids, in any family, vary by their attitudes, faculties and moods. It's tough, but you have to deal with them wisely. To have your kids living more blissful is all the treasure you can count.

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #8

Thanks for sharing my buzz Aaron Skogen!

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #7

#7
Aaron Skogen, your daughter is just at the grand age where she's beginning to separate and needing to find herself. I can look back now and say, this is a healthy thing. Oh how I remember telling my friends many times what a roller coaster ride it was with my daughter, I can totally relate. I think constant guidance and reminding them during the good and not so good times that we are always here, and yes, love them no matter are key ingredients. I'm sure it's hard today knowing that your wife and daughter are so far away but kudos to them for doing a mission trip to Haiti! What a great experience for your daughter. It's experiences like this that will shape and mold her in her latter years. How long are they going to be gone Aaron? Keep busy my friend! Thanks, I love the photo of their family. They had professional photos taken when the baby was 3 weeks old!

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #6

#6
Thanks for reading , and yes, quite the challenging years. I never had a moment where I felt like I wanted to give up. The more she pushed me away (which teens will do) the stronger it made me. My son was the easy one. He was a homebody, addicted to his computer gaming - which we weren't thrilled about. But, he didn't go to parties and his main thrill was skiing. I worried he would have a hard time transitioning to College because he seemed to be my introvert. He blossomed once he went off to RIT. He's definitely not an introvert today. He even travelled to London after graduation and lived there for 3 years with his wife, they both worked there on visas. My daughter had to experience what she did in order to find her place in this world. I'm glad she worked towards a healthy future, couldn't be prouder. Well, I'm proud of both of my kids :)

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

5 years ago #5

#7
Aaron Skogen May the Almighty Lord safeguard your daughter and may she grow into a sincere, virtuous lady.

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

5 years ago #4

Lisa Gallagher I took time to read your post...aha...how well you have traversed into your past and narrated an inspiring story of your own daughter. Dealing with kids amicably is a most challenging task because during the teenage periods there's always hovering 'turning point' in kids' lives. If at all you don't mentor well, you will sadly find your kids in deviations. Counseling, with patience, is the right solution. And, fortunately, you have done that. Be a proud mother of a successful daughter. :)

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #3

#4
Thanks for taking the time to read it Javier beBee! Appreciate :))

Javier 🐝 CR

5 years ago #2

a wonderful story! Lisa Gallagher thanks for sharing it

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #1

#2
Thanks Vincent Andrew. It sure was a long road for her (and us) before she got to this point in her life. Well, lets just say, it felt like a long road. Thanks for reading and your comment.

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