Jasmine - posted on 09/19/2016 ( 3 moms have responded )
First some background on my family situation. If you don't want to read this all feel free to skip to my question below.
I know this is circle of 'moms' but I'm here without a child. I'm a 16 year old woman who lives a very interesting life so to speak. My parents are divorced, and me and my 17 y/o brother live primarily with my mom. Both she and my dad struggle, and I'm in no way oblivious to this. Being only 16, I know my maturity isn't where it should be as an adult, but I also know I'm much more mature than most people my age. My brother had a very rebellious and difficult childhood but most recently has taken up a new sense of maturity and responsibility. My parents are both currently remarried to other individuals who both have kids from previous marriages. In total I have three step sisters and two step brothers alongside my blood brother. Two step sisters are older along with my brother and the rest are younger. My dad has been married for years but my mom just got married this year in April. I'm aware that both my parents put their best feet forward when it comes to parenting, but they have severely different approaches. My father is an alpha male type, and recently has been working to be more gentle in his approach; however, when he gets mad it tends to be "his way or the highway." He has strong Christian views, and although he never forces anything, he tends to manipulate/guilt us into doing things or more likely punish us hard when we don't obey. He's incredibly strict while my mom is almost completely opposite. She doesn't have any religious views, and leads her household with less of an iron fist and more of a comfy pillow. She doesn't make many rules and tends to stay out of our lives for the most part. She treats us like adults although she is weary of our decision making. She likes to have fun and always be smiling, but she gets very stressed and very angry at times. She explodes and goes on a big rant about doing chores and school work and so on and so forth. After she's done she aopoologises and continues with her loose parenting styles. After her marriage her husband advised her on how to parent us a bit. "Better" I guess in his words. My brother had free reign on the house at first but matured and came to take the soft parenting like myself, being responsible, helpful and responsive to hints she gave off. But since my step fathers arrival our mom has changed her style to be more stern and decisive. She's taken on his controlling way of doing things. As a family we've been through a lot. My brother had his rebellious years and I had my troubles. I've been hospitalized for suicidality and self harm. I was sexually abused by my fathers father which lead to a family feud and a burden on my fathers depression. I had a run in with Internet sexual relations although I always practiced internet safety leaving personal information and meeting up out of the question. I've had depression anxiety struggles as well and panic attacks due to anxiety or flashbacks from several sexual assaults by an ex boyfriend and a recent date. I used to be an open book to my parents but now I struggle to open up to them. Sexuality is a hush hush thing in my family so getting help with relationships and decisions about sex and etc. is almost impossible. Me and my brother are on our own. He has a long time girlfriend who he's very active with although the relationship is toxic and borderline abusive on both their ends. They insult and hurt each other daily but always go back to their romantic love story after. I've advused them to take a break but that only hurt my relationship with them when they're not fighting. As for me I've had two serious relationships and many failed attempts at ones. I'm currently seeing someone online who I don't think my parents know about. I've made a fair share of mistakes but I'm trying very hard to be a better person recently. I'm not the most attractive young lady, and I'm very aware of that. Dating for me has always taken place online. I've met one person who I dated online under parental supervision and the moment I was left alone he took advantage of that. My life is complicated and depending on which aspect you look at I can seem like a dream to a parent or a nightmare. And sometimes even a heartbreak. I struggle with bipolar and find it hard to fufil my responsibilities sometimes but lately I've just been trying to stay straight. And keep up with life. I came to this website to read posts that I thought might explain how my parents feel about me and all of my problems. How they view me. I wanted a second opinion to find out what they could be doing to try to protect me that I don't see. In all I want to understand them more and their motivation for each action they make.
All of that being said. My question is. As a parent in the situation of my life. How would you feel about your child? What might you do to protect them from making the same mistakes, and from other people making those mistakes against them. Knowing my situation is extremely complex, and I fail to communicate with my parents very openly although I long to do so, what is some advice on how I as a child can better make efforts to show my parents their efforts are appreciated. And help them understand me more. How would you want your child to communicate to you about their critiques on your parenting skills?
Thank you all in advance for your answers. I'm hoping this might allow me to become closer with my parents and maybe even establish regular open communication between them about my life. I want their approval and advise about many things I fear asking them about. And finally if any parents have questions for me about their children feel free to ask.