We all have met a few Bridezillas; to be fair, we all knew plenty of groomzillas too, but that term didn’t flow off the tongue with as much ease. If you are a parent of a recent high school graduate, this is for you. You are in the home stretch of your graduate gaining speed down the runway and ready for take-off - this transition period is fraught with tension. If you live in this orbit, you are most likely dealing with some very messy nests before these little birdzillas are ready to fly. So fasten your seatbelts; turbulence is expected.
Psychologists came up with a term for this life stage- soiling the nest. When your “adult” child has graduated from high school, ready for their next adventure, they are confident you as parents have never held a map or stepped into the real world. No matter how many times you hear this is a normal process so it is easier for your little chickadee to take flight - it sounds miserable.
Your mantra is to not take their undesirable behavior personally. As a parent, you got that nest ready and have done your absolute best to cultivate it so your child could soar. Now that they are ready to fly, it may feel like all that hard work was unappreciated. Knowing something isn’t personal and feeling that way takes some discipline.
The best way to deal with an unruly histrionic teen is to remember this is your final teaching moment and you are being put to the test. Do not match their energy; understand you are the misplaced anger, and for every snarky comment react with calm detachment. Give your teen room to vent, but when the air gets too hot let them know they need to lower the temperature. It is a confusing time of excitement and dread, independence and uncertainty. They are trying to prove, to themselves, that they are not dependent upon you anymore. They have outgrown this safe cozy nest; so what better way to prove it than throw some sticks and stones? It’s a good idea to show your own vulnerability; express your apprehension or concerns so they know it is okay to respond in kind. Lastly, remind them no matter how messy they are making your nest right now; it will always be a safe space to come home to. Just a lot cleaner.