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Sunday, March 3, 2024

As a Parent, What Should You Never Say To a Teenager?


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I am not a teenager anymore, but I was one once many years ago. The deepest scar I have had and still carry around with me comments my mom said to me. Specifically two things. No matter how old I get, these comments are always in the back of my mind, deep inside a file that keeps changing location so my attempts to destroy it are hindered.

Comment 1: “Are you getting fat?” I was always thin. Even when I was at my thinnest I wanted to be thinner. My mom judged others around me and made comments about their weight. It should not have surprised me when those comments turned around onto me. Her constant belittling of my body was not funny to me. She would get others in on it. I would run away crying, which only made it worse. She would tell me she did not know why I would get so mad at her as my weight issue was not her fault. I began to see myself only worthy of love and affection if I was thin. I stopped eating and worked out all the time. However, my mom only praised me and never seemed to notice this so I kept going. Finally, when I was sick all the time in college as I weighed nothing, I got help. My mom was never there to support me along my healing journey and would not accept any responsibility. I still struggle with weight. I cringe at the thought of seeing my mom and what she may say to me as I am overweight. Please, do not ever comment about your teens’ weight, even in a funny manner as there is nothing funny about that. Teach your teen that it does not matter what you look like on the outside. Beauty comes from within.

Comment 2: “Yeah I love Laura as she is my daughter, but that does not mean I like her.” Even typing this is causing me pain. Who would say this to someone about their own child? If I did not do what my mom wanted, this is what came out of her mouth when she was talking with her friends. It felt like a slap in the face, a blow to my gut, and a stab to my soul. I thought something was wrong with me as even my own mother found to be unloveable. My self-esteem plummeted. I had so confidence. I learned to be someone I am not just to fit into the family. I tried so hard to get my mother’s love but nothing worked. I made horrible choices trying to have someone love me. I put myself at risk to feel something. I just wanted to be loved. Please, never say you do not love or like your child. I get it, when people get mad they say things out of anger and hurt; but think about how this digs down deep. You can’t undo it. It festers and starts eating you alive until it explodes. Think before you say. Teach your kids to do the same. Always let love win!


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