Meditation & Health #22- Menopause and Adolescence When Life’s Major Transitions Meet
Menopause and Adolescence When Life’s Major Transitions Meet
By Hui Xin & Juliana Sun
Adolescents can experience a rollercoaster of emotions when they enter puberty, and mothers can experience severe mood swings, hot flashes and body aches as they transition through menopause. With mutual respect and love during this trying time, you and your teen can manage a healthy relationship.
An adolescent’s feelings of resentment toward their mother tend to manifest as increasingly difficult behavior. He or she may feel hurt and bewildered by the changes in their mom, while their mother may feel despair and frustration that the relationship with her teen has grown complicated and tense.
When the height of adolescence coincides with the menopausal years, you get a volatile mix — cranky, grunting adolescents and impatient, irritable mothers. With compassionate efforts, it is possible to navigate major life changes together in a way that strengthens bonds.
As your child is growing into an independent individual, you will need to treat him or her with respect. It is important to keep cool and exercise patience. Strong bonding holds far more power than any form of discipline. Experiencing the world with them and walking alongside them rather than imposing your will helps to create a loving connection.
Keep up with the latest in technology
The Internet gives adolescents access to far more information than any of us ever had growing up. Learn to use social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, so that you can reach out to them in the same language and media. A solid grasp of technology is essential to building bridges between yourself and your teen.
Engage in their interests
Take an active interest and learn more about your teen’s favorite pastimes and their good friends. This makes them feel that you care and want to connect with them; it will also help to create more conversational opportunities. Set aside quality time for shared activities: Watch movies with them, cook meals together regularly, or play card games. The most important thing is to keep the lines of nonjudgmental communication open.
When faced with teens, mothers need to understand that it is “less important what you say, and more important that you listen.” Stop whatever you are busy with, look them in the eye, and don’t interrupt as they speak.
If your priority is to listen without judgment, you help to create a caring relationship in which they see you as being “in their corner.” Being in this secure relationship will help your teen to become a resilient, responsible, and loving young adult who is open to your guidance.
Build closeness with your adolescent by having a secret between the two of you. For instance, plan a surprise birthday party for their father. Alternatively, agree to give a family member or mutual friend a surprise gift and shop for it together. Sharing secrets is fun and can enhance warmth and intimacy.
Gradual Letting Go
Letting go is not a form of abandonment. It may be a challenge — painful at times — but it allows freedom for the young person to develop wisdom from broader experience that will serve them for years to come.
Gradually letting go is an expression of respect for your teen’s privacy. Don’t attempt to eavesdrop on their phone conversations, read their diary, or enter their room without knocking. Respect for privacy builds trust between a mother and their young adult. Adolescents treasure their moms trusting them to make wise choices. They value being allowed to figure out solutions to problems independently, and receiving guidance and a listening ear when necessary.
Life is a journey. As our adolescents grow, so do their mothers. When the erratic moods of a teen coincide with the menopausal emotional ups and downs of their mom, it’s a challenge to be overcome by both, and an opportunity to show tolerance and love. The relationship may blossom and mutual understanding may deepen because of this happenstance — a happenstance meant to be guided by love.