This morning I was playing back a conversation I had with 16.0 last night and it finally crystalized for me – the toughest part (so far) about being a parent to teen-aged daughters is the snap decisions that have to be made. The moments I’m talking about are when you’re in the car or eating dinner and a subject comes up – and you’d like to say give me a few hours, but the verdict needs to be rendered now. A snap decisions, and then you have to live with the consequence.
It’s not a new subject to struggle with. I found this from 2011 about snap decisions. Although this context was much different I think the key is consistency. The decisions that are a bigger struggle are the ones that fall outside of the flow of the day-to-day.
The most recent use case was 16.0 wanting to go to a party with some of her co-workers. She got into the car a little after 7 and wanted to know if she could go. Honestly, I was not thrilled with her going – not because I don’t want her to have friends at work but because this was with some of the older people she works with, who are in this country to work for the summer and living at a hotel a few towns away. So, knowing all of this I held my breath and told her yes – and she knew she would have to figure out how to get back and forth to the party. (I dodged the bullet when she couldn’t get a ride).
In thinking about this a little more – I realized a snap decision – positive or negative is actually easier in an only parent household. There is no good cop/bad cop bit to fall back on, and no worry that the script won’t play forward.
So now I kind of like those moments when I get time to think about something and make a decision. That’s not to say it’s still not a chance to agonize – just that agony can be dragged out before I’ve made a decision – as opposed to agonizing after another snap decision.