The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.
Recently, I watched the award-winning coming of age film, Lady Bird, on Netflix. Rather than focusing on Christine’s (or Lady Bird’s) portrayal, I found her mother Marion to be more interesting. While I understand that there is a common belief amongst the older generations that the “teenage phase” equals the “moody phase,” Marion’s actions certainly did not help Lady Bird’s attitude.
The movie focuses on Lady Bird’s struggle to find herself, primarily her relationship with her mom. I believe I personally focused on their relationship with each other because it reminds me of my mom and I.
Marion is a nurse. They show many scenes where she sympathizes with other people, such as Lady Bird’s teacher or a pregnant friend of hers. On the outside, everyone tells Lady Bird how lucky she is to have such a caring person as her mom. However, every scene that they show Marion and Lady Bird together having a moment, Marion is shown to ruin it by saying something passive-aggressive. Her mom may love her with her whole heart, but that does not mean that the relationship is healthy. There is a difference between actions and words. In one particular scene, they show Marion saying something rude and condescending to her daughter while they are shopping for a dress. But the scene right after shows Marion staying up at night to stitch that same dress so Lady Bird can wear it to a formal party.
I like to think that Lady Bird loves her mom in small doses like me. I knew that for my mental health to prevail in college I needed to be more than 2 hours away from my mother. Do not get me wrong. She is one of my best friends and biggest role model. Everything she does, she does for my brother and I. The problem, however, lies in how she does not understand that a human can not be perfect, just like Marion. Both moms want the absolute best for their daughters, but in turn criticize our every move and action, claiming they could have done better. They would have random outbursts of emotions that we would not know how to handle, which in turn leads to our “teenage moody” phase.
For me to become independent, make my own mistakes, and grow stronger from them I needed to create another life away from my mom. College provided that outlet for me, so I can explore my own interests. I would still get phone calls that would criticize my mistakes, but it was just that, a phone call. I could always hang up or stay on the call, but the fact that I knew she could not do much to control my life was newfound freedom.
Since I came to college, I have slowly come out of the depressive state I had been in for the last 3 years of my life. While I may not like to admit it, a large part of it may have been my parents and their demand for perfection.
Overall, my mom is still my closest confidant and someone I know will ultimately be behind me in any decision I make in life. But wanting time away from your family should not be looked down upon in society. Some of the older generations like to make fun of the Gen Z population and how we are overdramatic. We are always looked at as the bad guys in these situations.
Everybody needs time to make mistakes and learn.
What is your relationship like with your child? Do you find yourself thinking that they’re “moody?” What are ways that you think you can have productive conversations with your child?