Thursday, February 23, 2012

There is no pill that cures teenager

The fact that I constantly consider having kids is not a fact that makes me seem crazy. The desire to procreate despite what I do for a living is what makes me more than a little nutty.

I work with children and adolescents in a psychiatrist's office. I see kids with real behavioral health problems as well as kids who will probably grow out of their issues but are driving their parents insane in the mean time. 

Newsflash: There is no pill that cures teenager. Sometimes, you just have to suck it up, take away the cell phone, ground them for real and hope they don't do it again. 

Other times, there are real issues that are out of control and require professional help. 

Navigating the developing brain is exhausting. I get worn down explaining that "Because I said so" is a perfectly legitimate reason when it comes from the person who is feeding you for free. I love everything about my job. I just get tired sometimes. 

I see what kids can do to their parents. I have seen parents so exhausted from chasing their defiant children that they can no longer form sentences. I have seen families torn apart by parents with different philosophies and a kid who knows how to work them against each other. I watch parents become patients after spending so much time trying to rehabilitate (or habilitate for the first time) their child that they forget that they are people too. I have seen parents call the police on their children because there is just no where left to turn.

Behind all of it though, is this amazing, powerful love that cannot be put into words. There is no dictionary large enough to hold the number of terms necessary to fully explain the extent of what that parent would do for his or her kid. My job should be enough to shut my ovaries down for business. What it really does is help me put my own life in perspective. When it's time, it's time. And when they make me crazy, it will pass. I'm going to think back over my experiences with my own family to remind myself of that. No matter how hard they have tried, they haven't taken the small drops that are left of my sanity. I've been told that it's illegal to kill your own children. I suppose that's a good thing because I call it job security. When they get to the point that they have to remind themselves that they can't bludgeon the kids, the kids end up in my office.

And always remember, it's hip to be square, kids.

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