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Maiara Musings

"Problems can not be solved by the level of awareness that created them" Albert Einstein

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Hi, it has been awhile. I will no more make promises to write for it seems that I am completely out of my league in a time management department. I find being a single mom is so time-consuming that by the time I get time in the evening, I pretty much crash in my bed. And I have added Tarot course to the daily routine, which is turning out to being a lot of work and will last about 2 years. I have not, however given up my blog even though it may seem so. I just have to get my ducks in a row and  figure out how to make days stretch and eliminate all the unnecessary things from my schedule. But have to say that my personal life is just getting better every day. The things i have learned to handle after divorce and the strength that is coming back from being surrounded by very optimistic people is very amazing. I am simply happy, slightly over stretched but so happy. And to realize that my blog in 13 months have had over 4000 visitors is very wonderful. For that I just wanted to thank you all. I shall continue my writing once the inspiration strikes. Please come back to read my essays, it is kind of mixed lot because I have not dedicated this blog to anything other than love for writing.



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Hi Everyone, please enjoy the essay. I will be posting next time at the end of March. Most likely continuing on the subject of Dating, since it is so close to my heart now days.


Online Dating: Perils and Benefits 

Online Dating, there is a word to digest. And I know being single, woman, new to the dating scene, absolutely confused and  in danger to being depressed that this issue is one worthy of writing an essay on. I can’t really decide if the problem lies in me, the quality of men online, luck or lack of it more precisely, modern times or our society. To be fair, it would be not wise to pinpoint my lack of success in one singular item, but maybe it is all of above in various combinations. For certainly what ever the reason is, after only one month online I am heavily leaning towards the option of quitting my online presence in favor of reaching out through more conventional ways of finding man.

I have done what I consider a reasonable attempt to aid my success finding a companion, but to no avail. What is it with these sites that rub me against my grain; I think it is like being an advertisement in one glossy magazine. Most people put their pictures there and not only one but several pictures and I heard of one lady who has 10 pictures but men are asking even more. Then she goes to meet the man just never to hear from him again. Sadly feeling down and flawed afterwards, the man did like the way she looked after all, she can’t figure out what is going on? Is it then her personality that is not good? Of course not, it is the quality of men that are asking her out. They are not looking for a lady to get to know but a short time torrid affair and once they figure out that she is not one to engage on that kind of behaviour without first doing proper dating they are just not going to ask her out again.  The point of displaying so many pictures therefore is totally unnecessary because it seems to attract the wrong kind of crowd. One or two good quality pictures would suffice and give enough clues for the man if the lady is to his liking or not. I don’t personally have any interest on a man who posts many pictures of himself; it seems very self-centered thing to do. As a matter of fact picture is of no interest for me at all. I have certain criteria but that is not the face value. For the beauty of the person lies in his/her personality and soul, and the lines of the face show the map of life that he has traveled to get where he is now. The picture gives only a whisper of that person behind the facade. It would be a great mistake to dismiss anyone just based on their picture, for anyone who has ever fallen in love can attest that beauty is not the physical appearance but the person inside that body.

This brings us naturally to the importance of profile text. There are as many different approaches to that one as there are people looking for company. Some are very short and some very long. There are people with great stories and people with lists, and for sure there is a grain of truth imbedded between the words. Those words that are there to make us seem exciting and worthy a connection and they are important reflection of who we are. There is no right or wrong way to write the profile text, but it should be written from the heart. Such a way that it reflects who we are. For then, the person reading it can get a true sense of the writer and if that connection feels meaningful then the dialog that may follow can lead to the beginning of a new relationship. For the initial attraction is not based on the one-dimensional picture of a person, it is based on the personality that is hiding behind that picture. Here it would be good to remind everyone that there is a great power to the words, to the way one writes the profile text. We actually can do our own elimination of unsuitable suitors by writing our text in such a way that those on our “unwanted” list are not going to even be interested in us. This will save us the hassle and embarrassment of going for disastrous dates that leave us feeling confused and deflated.

So your profile has attracted a suitor, finally. And the first awaited message arrives to your mail box. With great excitement you open the mail and start reading, of course first satisfying your curiosity by going to see the profile of that unknown man on the other end. To your great delight or disappointment there may or may not have a picture of your dream man staring back at you with a profile text that sends your blood rushing through your veins and imagination running rampant for the romance and happy ending after all. Slow down my friend, take a deep breath and readjust your reality. You have no idea what you are getting into. Seemingly he may appear to be your dream solidified and it seems like a no brainer to start intensive exchange of the emails and little phone calls until one day he finally will ask to meet in person. But, as stated earlier, he may or may not be all that wonderful and you may be setting yourself up for a great huge disappointment and heart ache at the end. The picture might be very old, or not even his. The writing is easy, for those who know how and on paper very simple to lie and make things appear so much glossier than the reality. If  he is as good-looking as the picture suggests he might just have an ego as large as a mountain, where everything at the end is just about him. He is after all used to being in a centre of the attention and having women drooling over him. But if he has the looks and the personality, then you might just have hit the jack pot and you should count your blessings, go buy a lotto ticket and enjoy the ride. Oh yes, I almost forgot, you also better send out a prayer that you will be as perfect for him as he appears to be for you.

All right, now that the previous scenario is out-of-the-way then how about the rest 99% of us? We also open up that first message with the great excitement and there he is. Not a prince of our dreams but a man with an interesting profile text, a text that has that something in it, that something we can not quite put our finger on. So in order to satisfy our curiosity we reply, even though he might not have the looks we were looking for. And he replies back, with a wit that makes us smile and thus the exchange of messages starts to take place. Maybe those messages are not very passionate, but certainly they are very funny and interesting. And as time goes by, you will be more and more amazed of the respect he shows you through his writing and the intelligence that lies behind his words. Before you know you are getting restless, restless to hear those words of asking you out. Anticipation of meeting this man who makes you smile and giggle like a teenager makes you nervous, for now you start hoping that you are going to be equally interesting to him. You have the genuine interest to get to know him better. And sure enough, the date is set and as a true gentleman he is willing to drive to meet you. You get to choose the location to your convenience.

What to wear? How to fix the hair? Which shoes to match with the outfit? And the purse? Our mind is suddenly filled with all these live or die important decisions that we have to make in order to feel presentable. I have to say that although important, the physical outfit is not as important as the way we wear it. I would think that the man can appreciate the woman most when she is comfortable in her own skin, dress and shoes. In any case most men have no clue whether you are wearing the luxurious designer clothing or something more moderate. But I can guarantee that any man will be acutely aware of a woman with self-confidence and poise, a woman of inner strength and beauty who can walk in with any clothing and hold the attention of the room she enters. Be that woman, be the woman who with her presence signals to him that she is someone worthy his time and effort to be pursued.

Here ladies is what I have discovered from books, magazines and talking to others: Men truly are not like us!!!!! They like the challenge and they like to please, so the best gift you can give to your new date is to have him do the work while you relax and enjoy the ride. When you finally meet him face to face for the first date just put your head up and be feminine be proud to be you. Carry yourself with great confidence and let him feel how lucky he is to have asked you out. Be yourself and relax, let the past be past and don’t worry about future. What really matters is the present and the great excitement of getting to know this new person in front of you. It does not matter if he is the one. It does not matter if he is going to ask you out again. What matters is the experience, the joy of feeling part of something bigger, something very universal and ageless, something that will never die: The attraction and the fascination between two unknown entities, male and female.

The subject of dating is highly complex, yet so simple. I could go on for ever and still not find the right ending. Therefore I have decided that this is a suitable place for me to finish this essay and that I am most likely to continue on the subject matter on my next essay. I have to say, that I have by the time I got this essay this far, successfully started to date with the most wonderful man who found me on dating site. I do not know where our relationship is heading but why worry about the future when you can enjoy the present. Right now I am just truly happy, and deep inside I dare to hope that he is the one…..


February 2014

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Hi everyone, this is just a very quick post to celebrate another great milestone my post has reached. Today my blog reached 2,000 visitors. 2,000 people have gone through my blog to read my essays and that is amazing. I read this most wonderful and inspiring book “To Show and To Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction” by Phillip Lopate. He mentioned in one chapter about blogging and that essay writers are not particularly popular but if the quality of the writing is in the essay the readers will find the blog. Well, it turns out that he was right. My blog is getting very popular, considering that I have only posted 17 times. I will continue to post at the end of each month. Please if this is your first time on my blog take time to look through my essays. You might find there something that speaks for you. I don’t have a particular subject matter to blog about, mainly I write about things that I keep wondering about myself. 

Thank you all for visiting Maiara Musings and please come back at the end of the month for my new essay or poem – yes, I am not great poet but sometimes I just have to write one….lol

Sincerely Maiara


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Hi everyone, thank you for visiting Maiara Musings. Now before Christmas, those who are lonely are really lonely. Including me of course, so I had to write this essay about loneliness and look deep into my soul to see why is it that I feel lonely, even though I have not been this happy in years. Hope that you will enjoy the essay and please leave a comment if you so wish. I am debating what to write next month, would it be about cyber love or maybe about letting go of the past. So please come back in a month and you shall see. Happy reading. Sincerely Maiara


Loneliness, that feeling of the aching heart and loss of love haunting you like only a ghost of the past can do.  The time you sit alone wondering about your life past and dreams lost, the optimism of the youth weighted down by the disappointments of reality. The small wrinkles around the corners of your eyes magnified by the newly acquired reading glasses and the well-worn old bath robe tightly hugging  your body giving you the comfort while you are trying to escape to the world of imagination by reading the latest romance novel on the market. The rain is drumming on your window matching your mood, the ever so scary and alarmingly often coming visitor – depression – is knocking on the door of your soul and you are holding tighter to the reality by making plans to escape the inevitable downslide of your mental state. Those are the times we feel so alone, so at the mercy of our faith and our new environment, wondering if we are ever going to be whole again after the nightmare of divorce.

Loneliness is not a bad thing in itself; it has a way of comforting us and giving us a break from the everyday hassles and noises. It can be a great teacher for the souls in distress and the guiding light out from the darkness. The problem lies not therefore in the loneliness per se but in the depths of our very own existence. We have let, over the years of our marriage and interaction with others, the opinions of those around us to shape us to someone who suits them, that fits in to their idea of a normal, acceptable individual and played the role they have assigned for us.  Suddenly alone, in a new environment, in a new role of a single person surrounded by new people we are faced with the new reality. Reality where we don’t fit in anymore because we are used to playing the role of that once married, once part of something, once belonging to someone else that was assigned to us by the very person we so naively thought would love us until the end of the time.

Thus here I am, early hours on Sunday morning sitting on my kitchen couch contemplating my life and not just any part of my life but that nagging feeling of maybe. Maybe I won’t ever find someone who can love me truly and unconditionally, maybe I am damaged goods after years of abuse, maybe I am not good enough to the man who would be able to love me, maybe I ran out of luck or maybe I just have to accept the loneliness and kill the dream of finding someone to share my life with. So many maybes but no solutions, or is there? How can one find a solution to something as abstract as loneliness, for one can be the loneliest person on earth amidst the huge crowd of people?

There is nothing lonelier in this life than that of an unsuccessful marriage, and I should know having been the loneliest wife, mother, woman, human being walking on this earth that I have ever met. Having been rejected, pushed aside and thrown away over and over again by the very same person that was supposed to love me makes me somewhat of an expert on the subject of loneliness. So why am I sitting and being afraid of loneliness then? Do I really wish to be whisked back to the world of acceptance and start a new role, this time that of someone else, just so that I won’t feel lonely anymore and to risk being rejected and pushed aside again. No, I do not wish that at all, for intellectually speaking I realize that loneliness is something we create inside ourselves and it is not related to being in a relationship. Unless one is so lucky as to find his or her soul mate in this life, the journey we all have ahead of us is that of a lonely wanderer and it is our thoughts and actions that define us in relation to the space around us. It is not the other people surrounding us but us as individuals who create our own mental space and our own world to inhabit. It should be us defining the persons we allow to our space and it should be our own integrity that allows those very people to be just the way they are without us trying to impose on them some role so that we would feel less lonely and more accepted when around them. Our gift for those around us should thus be that of complete acceptance and non judgement, for at the end that is exactly what we wish for others to do for us.

So theoretically speaking all is well, I understand the concept of loneliness, but whenever I am faced with weekends alone while kids are with their dad, or broken car, meetings with the divorce lawyer, smiling couples walking and holding hands etc. I feel that feeling of loneliness magnified. Those are real emotions I face in real life and I am really trying to make sense of them. Maybe the reason that I feel so lonely is that I really wish to meet my soul mate and that is  the dream I had since I was a teenager. This dream of mine has remained only a fantasy, seemingly impossible to attain during those two decades I was bound to the man who definitely was not my soul mate. But now that I find myself single again my old dream has gotten new wings, wings that will eventually fly me all the way to the waiting arms of my soul mate. Maybe that is the reason I feel so lonely now for I feel like a little baby bird who knows that she has the wings but has no idea how to use them­­­ while all the other birds around her are flying high leaving the little bird all alone and lonely. There she then sits suspiciously looking down the humongous drop that she will face if those wings won’t hold when she finally gathers her courage to leave the security of the nest to join the other birds.

I woke up at 5am this morning with the startling realization; my mind had obviously been on high alert to finish this essay while I was sound a sleep. There it was, the solution that was not a solution but deep understanding of the root cause of loneliness that I highly suspect is not only valid for me but for many others as well. We have set up this internal boundary to ourselves without even being aware of its implications, the boundary that has no visible line or definition but there it is as solid as anything staring right at our face magnifying the state of our mind and the feeling of loneliness. The boundary is that of self liking. The price that we are now paying for letting others define our role in their lives by dutifully playing the part assigned to us is often very high and so well hidden that we never even realized it existed. In a process of trying to fit in and to belong so that we would not find ourselves lonely, we have modified our own behavior often blindly trading our own values to those of the person or persons we wish to be connected with. That approach can, if those values are far off from our own, be very destructive. For when one is suddenly standing alone after the relationship is over, what is left is one completely lost lonely person with a baggage full of wrong values accompanied by the shadow of someone she can’t even recognize. So ultimately the loneliness is when one is left to face her own thoughts, thoughts that reflect who she has become accompanied with the realization that the person inside is a complete stranger and not even good company, but a stranger she has grown to dislike immensely and would never choose as a companion if given a choice. Paradoxically enough the only way out from the loneliness is to be alone until you can look at yourself in a mirror and see in your reflection the person that you actually like to be with. It is only then than you will be strong enough to try your new wings and soar towards your dreams without the fear of crashing.


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Hi everyone, this is just a little celebration to share. Yesterday was 1000 people who have read my essay My House or is it Home – an Essay. I feel that I am making a difference and thank you all of you for coming to read my essays. Since I am at it I also would like to promote my October essay HOW OUR MISFORTUNES SHAPE US – AN ESSAY which not too many of you have found, but I strongly recommend you reading it for it could be just what you needed on a grey almost winter here waiting for the snow day, or otherwise downcast day when all you wish to do is to pull that cover over your head and never get off the bed again. Please come back at the end of November. I will be posting a new essay discussing the loneliness after divorce on it.


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Hi everyone, summer has passed and fall is here with the new school year and as for me new everything. I have to thank all the readers for keep coming to my surprisingly busy blog even though it has been a long time I did not post anything. I moved, started the new life as a single mom, had my parents visiting and helping me fix my home and had kids settled to their new life.

Something truly amazing happened. I reread my essay House or is it Home that I have posted here beginning of May and that essay I wrote originally over a year ago to my therapist when I was down and desperate and very much married still.  I realized that I am living the essay now, my life has become my essay less the fact that my housing is kind of temporary for now since I am renting but everything  else is true to my writing.  It is a miracle that in one year my life has completely turned around and I am finally living in a house of happiness and laughter.  I am becoming a true believer of Law of Attraction and I am fairly sure that I will be writing an essay about the subject matter in a future. I would also like to tell you that my essay House or is it Home has been very popular and close to 500 people have read it from all over the world since I posted it May 5th, 2013, so I feel that it is quite fitting to post it again to honour the fact that it became my life and also to  give more people opportunity to read it.

I would like to remind you also that since I am a single mom now and with new responsibilities I am faced with the time management issue, I won’t be able to post more than once a month. I wish you great month ahead and lets not forget the power of universe, law of attraction and the importance of will power.

Thank you for visiting Maiara Musings

Sincerely Maiara

PS: Specifically I have been happily surprised that my poem about Rush Hours has started to gain in popularity. It is certainly not piece of art, but at the end kind of funny and I truly wrote it one day in rush hours, feeling so sorry for myself.


An Essay, written by KKMaiaraM, July 2012

Very wise friend of mine just recently reminded me that there is a house and then there is a home. So what?! My house is my home, eh! Stop there…it is not that simple. House is actually a building, there is the roof and the walls and the floors and all the stuff in between. The house can be very humble or very fancy, it can be a townhouse or apartment or even a trailer. It can be located anywhere in the world, some are in the upscale neighbourhoods and some in the slums, but most, however, are somewhere in between. No matter what kind of house it is or where it is located, no matter how expensive or run down the living quarters are, only one thing remains unchanged: There are people living inside, and it is those individuals that define the word home.

Home is where you can be you, where the people you live with love and respect you, or where it is blissfully quiet if you happen to live alone. It is a place you can go to after a very long day and feel at peace, you don’t have to worry about being hurt or yelled at, nor you have to worry about being criticised or laughed at. At home you can sit and enjoy wonderful conversations, happiness and peace of mind. You can let go of all the layers of defence and pretence you put on in the morning when you stepped out of the door.

 The question therefore is this: Is my house a home? Let me think… it definitely is a house, a bit run down, in need of repair and in a good neighbourhood. But is it a home? No, my house is most certainly not a home for me. The only time I relax there is when my husband is traveling. Then, for a little while, I am a real person; someone who matters. What really worries me most though is my children. It is completely unimaginable that my rundown, messy and lately ever so dirty and unhappy house is the only place they can call home. How did I, a previously perfectly fine individual, end up providing my children such a sad definition of a home. I don’t know how I got here, but I certainly have decided that there must be a way out. Lets see then what can I do to change the situation.

 Have you ever heard of the saying “My house is my castle”, or how about  my version of it: “My house is my prison”, at least that is how I feel most of the time. All my dreams of growing happily old in that house and making it beautiful are crushed. I have no choice but to find the strength and courage to move out. Since moving out won’t happen overnight, it has made me realize something very important. More than being the prisoner inside the physical walls, I am a prisoner of my own mind. Until I can change my thinking patterns and also accept myself as I am, I will never find my way back to freedom where I can finally open the door to my beautiful new home.

 I don’t know about you, but I know exactly what my future home will be like. Trust me on this one, if I visualize and believe in my dream sincerely without any doubt and work very hard on other aspects of my life, I shall have my dream come true. I will have a small house with big windows and private little back yard. My backyard will be my garden of bliss, full of well-tended flower beds and couple of trees, preferably maple and birch, under which I have one very old-fashioned swing. And birds, so that I can wake up in the morning and have my tea sitting on that swing peacefully rocking back and forth with beautiful sounds filling my ears. Afterwards I enter my kitchen where the gentle movement of white lace curtains catches my eye and reminds me to water the herbs that I am religiously trying to grow on my windowsill. The house is so simple and quiet that one can feel the harmony and the flow of positive energy everywhere. There is nothing fancy or expensive but everything is clean and well taken care of with love. The wood floors with old-fashioned Scandinavian rugs are very clean and make the house ever so inviting. After taking care of those herbs of mine, and neatly putting away my tea-cup, it is time to start the day. I walk happily to my bedroom: My bedroom is filled with light, just like the rest of the house and has the same wood floors than the other rooms have. I now own to my great delight a “makeup table”, one of those small desks with big mirror and small drawers for makeup and everything else that I need to make myself look beautiful when I leave the house. The walls are decorated with pictures of the people I love and there in a corner I keep a basket of projects that I finally have time and confidence to do. My bed, of course, is big and very comfortable, but not too comfortable, I would not want to sleep away my newly found freedom because I already had missed out two decades of happiness in my previous life. This is my dream home, and if I get really lucky I will spend rest of my days there ever so happy with the man of my dreams.

My essay seems to have reached its end. But before the final word, there is one more point to make. If you read carefully, you might have realized that some people live in castles completely miserable and yet others may live in very poor conditions but so happy. Money just can’t buy happiness. It is us who make the difference. It does not matter if the dream home takes few years to come by, or that temporarily we might even end up with social housing, what matters is that we, the “homeless”, take action to change our lives. My action, starting today, is to continue my D-book – yes, A…., that is really funny – which contains the lists of all my possessions I am planning to take with me when I finally move out of this house. I will also start living the life I will have, it does not matter that I am still in a difficult situation. I will start building my new life inside my old life and that alone is very meaningful way to make me stronger and more determined. I choose to start cleaning and making my current house organized and inviting, I am, after all, still living in it with my children. There is just no excuse for me to dwell on my own misery anymore. From now on, I will practice for my future life; so that when I finally open the door to my new home I know what to do and I know that everything from then on will be as it should. I also know that I won’t be crying anymore because my dream home will be filled with laughter.

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Hi Everyone, I hope that you had an uneventful week. My week was very stressful but not entirely bad. Even the fact that my ex ended up moving back to the house paled on the side of what happened to my daughter and the scare I got. That is why this week I wrote an essay about Fragile Life and Teenage Parenting and how everything gets in to perspective when very the scary and unexpected happens. I hope that this essay will give you something to think about and to truly appreciate that the teenagers, however annoying, are part of us and with everything we should just be grateful that they are alive. I wish you wonderful week ahead and thank you for visiting Maiara Musings, I will be posting next Sunday again.

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Picture Taken by Maiara

Fragile Life and Teenage ParentingAn Essay written by KKMaiaraM

And so it happened that in an instant she turned from one frustrated mother who was ready to show the door to one very impossible teenager to a sobbing nerve wreck that sat on the stairs behind closed doors at work thanking the universe and Buddha and all the other Gods on earth that the same daughter was still alive. The moment was earth shattering and her mind went blank, for there is nothing in this world worse than losing a child and even a thought of the possibility losing a child is so horrendous that all the other issues fade instantly to the oblivion and the darkness fills the soul.

After the first shock subsided and the mother’s mind got around understanding that her daughter is not only ok, but she is actually trying to calm the crying, desperately scared mom of hers so that she would realize that nothing bad had happened at the end. Finally the mother pulled herself together and told her daughter to go to  church and say prayer of thanks for her life. Only after the phone conversation was over, did her mind reel back the dialogue to the very beginning. And this is what she heard: “Mom, guess what? Something happened to me yesterday. You know that intersection where I had to change the bus around 4 pm, well mom, I was waiting for light to change and when it turned green something came over me and I stopped to check my phone, then few moments later I was about to start crossing when this accident happened. And mom, it was this big crash of two cars and flames came up. I did a cross sign mom and then this car pumper flew right over my head and hit the bus behind my back. But mom, I did not panic I was ok and no mom I did not stay to wait for the police and yes mom the drivers had these fancy big cars and they were ok but its ok mom I am ok and I just went to wait for my bus after….” While she was still sitting on the dark staircase trying to digest the conversation, the ever so familiar sound of received text from the phone penetrated her consciousness and with teary eyes she reached to the phone.

There it was, written in a hurry and with so typical style of misspelling and jumble of words that only her daughter was capable of, the follow-up text message of assurance. The smile spread over her sad face while she read these wonderful words that her daughter, who was very much alive, had written and the fragments of the message were like nectar to her soul: “….I will always be ok….you can’t keep me from trying nre things and taking risks… sorry that scared you…..I will jever leave u i love you……i get mad only ecause im trying to survive as a teen in a crazy world like this……but i love you”. She took a deep breath and stepped back to the world on the other side of the door. But nothing was the same, for starters her stomach was hurting and this heavy feeling of impermanence of life followed her the rest of the day. The thoughts followed her until late evening when she had to sit down and write an essay about fragile life and teenage parenting. She was hoping that by the time the essay was finished she would have gained new insight to her relationship with her highly impossible teenager and to her parenting techniques which were obviously not working anyway, since just that morning she was ready to have her daughter move out to live with her dad.

Teenage parenting, there is two very emotionally loaded words put together and at the other end are the cries of desperation from the miserable parents trying to figure out what it means. For certainly there are as many parenting techniques out there as there are parents with teenagers and whatever might work for one may be a looming disaster for another. Among the few simple questions that arise from this highly messed up situation are these: What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? and What am I supposed to do? Look at me, my daughter did not even tell me about the accident until the following day, for she did not think that it would have been such a big deal. I am not even trying to understand the flow of thought, for how can it not be a big deal when I know that she runs out from the room almost in a panic if somebody is even remotely looking like they are getting sick or if they are bleeding. The teenage brain must be some alien entity which includes the part where the memory of those years will be erased once they reach the adulthood, for how can you otherwise explain the masses of middle-aged parents screaming clueless for help.

There are countless ways to approach this subject matter of which I have tried several, some techniques have been successful but mostly nothing really works. The one of the good ones is of course the old-fashioned poker face that never fails if you have practiced it enough. That has calmly gotten me through some interesting situations like the time she pulled out an EMPTY raspberry flavored Smirnoff vodka bottle out from her purse calmly exclaiming that she did indeed drink it with her friends but it is not that strong!!!!! Or the time she came home with her neck suspiciously covered with the scarf and when I voiced my opinion of such a marks and heard her shock of disgust after I admitted that her dad had once very, very long time ago done a mark on my neck too. Well, what is the difference again? I guess parents for the teenager are mainly sexless, brainless and boring naggers, who have bottomless pockets for their constant money needs and who don’t deserve a life. However, the reason that the poker face works is that when the parent manages to be non judgmental and calm in a situation, the chances are that it does not arise negative atmosphere but that of loving understanding (remember the rules of the poker, cheating is allowed and you can win as long as you won’t get caught). That understanding does not have to be deeper than the facial expressions, for to get into the argument over an EMPTY vodka bottle is rather useless since that vodka has already been consumed long ago in all ignorance of youth. The main thing is to keep the communication channels open and if the teenager feels that it is safe to be honest with the parent then less sneaking around will happen and it is better for the parent to know than not to know.

There is also of course the nagging, begging, pleading, threatening and bribing approach that every one of those teenage parents have at least once reduced themselves to. It is like a song with well-known verses. You start with the nagging, but that is only after countless kind words of asking and reasoning, words of futile attempt to reach the ears of the receiver. The ears totally deaf to anyone over 20 years of age. Once the parent is forced to change the tone of her voice it immediately gets labeled under nagging, and surprisingly enough nagging never works so then comes the next stage of begging. That, if one is really lucky, does work sometimes depending on how easy the task for the teenager is, harder the task less likely to work so it is time to raise the stakes to pleading and that has to be done with skill so that there is visual distress on parents face to gain some sympathy points, for there is a consciousness somewhere well hidden under the tough surface of know it all and I will do it later attitude. We all know that at this point the task has been accomplished for most of the time, but then there are those moments of complete frustration where the fuming words of threat are said in great anger and the war of wills has been declared. That, as anyone can attest, can escalate to rather nasty encounters with great regrets on both sides and to the silent defeat of the parent, which then leads to the last, but most successful, parenting technique of bribing. Bribing of course is looked upon those without the children the horror of parenting, for they would never, ever do it if they had kids, but then again what do they know. They have no kids. And those who have no experience with the teenagers are just not qualified to judge.

How about approaching the situation from the other angle. Lets consider the direct consequence, trust and faith method instead. Most certainly this approach has been quite easy when the little monsters were just that, little. But as their actions and mouth  got bigger the faith and trust meter might have fallen quite low and what the heck is the consequence for smoking weed, drinking, having sex and failing grades for sheer laziness anyway? The direct consequence takes some bold talk from the parents. If one is worried that the daughter is going to get pregnant then it is better to decide what is it that one can handle. It is better to be straightforward on matter and tell her that mom is not going to be a babysitter nor is she going to lose even one night of sleep watching over the baby. Or to mention that if they don’t want to study, then that is their choice, however their salaries and quality of life are not necessarily going to be what they expect and that the parents home is not a hotel with the free service. Importantly enough parents should have trust on their kids. They should let the teenager know that they are needed, for with the trust comes expectations and you would be surprised to know how powerful the feeling of being trusted and counted on is. That feeling of being needed makes them want to succeed and to live up to expectations. Even if they don’t always do the things the way the parent had envisioned it, if the intention was there and they proudly did the task, it is essential that the parents give the positive feedback for the work well done. And at the end of the day, it is the faith on future, the faith on greater good, the faith on something bigger than us that keeps us going, trusting that our teenagers are safe and that eventually they will find their place in this world.

Since we live in a world of heightened awareness for equality, there is one more thing that we as the parents have to take in consideration while deciding how to handle the very explosive situation of teenage parenting. How about our own attitude? Maybe there is a grain of truth in our daughters and sons exclamations, when they with the heavy sigh look at us declaring that we are directly from the dark ages. Our world has radically changed since we were teenagers and what used to be looked upon as extreme behavior at our times has now become an everyday norm it seems. Things like cell phones – thank god for those for it was the cell phone that saved the life of my daughter this week, had she not stopped to look at it before crossing she would have walked straight into the middle of that horrendous accident. The fashion – which seems to lean towards less and less material, if they keep reducing the amount of fabric the rate the skirt length is going up and the waistline going down they will sell themselves out of business for certainly the next fashion trend must be that of no clothes at all. The visual media – all the horrors of the world are bombarded to their brains while they are surfing the internet or watching the TV where the extreme acts of violence are as plentiful as sand on the beach. The information –  not only is huge amounts of data available for them but they are actually supposed to sort and process it in their still developing hormone fogged brains. I can’t even continue the list for my heart goes out to my daughter. Her life is far cry from my teenage years, where I had no cell phone, no computer, not even remotely sexy looking clothes in a closet, the TV had 3 channels and  my free time I spent mainly reading and doing sports while the homework assignments were dutifully done in a library sorting through the rows and rows of dusty books. As you can see the life then was very simple, sure enough the fundamental problem of being a teenager was there and the fights with parents as well, not to mention that I did indeed think that my parents were for sure straight from the dark ages….

The point I am trying to make is this: Maybe we should consider parenting our teenagers with more compassion, love, trust and humor in hopes that they would not shut us out from their alien lifestyle. For at the end of the day most important thing is that they will learn to trust their own judgement and to do their own decisions with the knowledge that the mistakes they make are theirs to make but that they are also the ones who have to live with the consequences. This is all natural part of growing up, and our teenagers are going to be alright as long as they have the knowledge of unconditional love, acceptance and support that only us parents can give them.

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