I had a very strange dream
In my dream, I was a nanny to four children, one of which was a 15 years old young man. The first son to be precise. As all teenagers do, this young man was changing drastically- in physical appearance, in moral understanding, social relationships, etc and like most teenagers, he was rebelling. In fact, he had been rebelling long before I got the job and while his mother would yell and attempt to ground him, she was the first to stand in his defense when anyone dared to question his bad behavior. On the other hand, the young man had had several heated battles with his dad, his dad has practically disowned him.
In the young man's world, I (the nanny), didnt exist and so I stayed invincible till the day my dream was centered on.
You know how dreams usually go- odd sequencing, sudden moments appearing and disappearing, blur faces yet clear experiences to the point you might speak or cry out loud in the real world, and a dreamer who understands it all, even when she wasnt there. Well, thats how this many days in a moment was.
I found myself in the teenager's school waiting with two of his sibling (I think), to get picked up. Suddenly, the young chap (whose name was Anthony by the way) was being severely bullied by his peers. He tried to fight back, but he was overpowered and given a black eye. It seemed it was a usual pattern- this out of control lion at home was practically an equally troublesome albeit unfortunate kitty cat at school.
A dark side of Anthony suddenly showed up. He pulled out sharp scissors at the teachers who tried to caution him, struck a few times then took out all the rage on himself slitting his wrist while running away.
I quickly followed the excited crowed who chased him to a corner, having several flashbacks as I held my pounding heart. Anthony never smiles, he is always alone, always in dark rooms. He sometimes seemed to blank out on the rest of us (which his younger sisters call his high state). Could Anthony have been depressed?
Anthony had lost his twin sister two years ago, and although I wouldnt have known this if it was not a dream, Anthony blamed himself for her death. They were never close as you would expect of twins. She was to Anthony the preferred twin yet she had Sickle cell. Anthony was sure his family members hated the fact he got the better blood
They overpowered him and seized the scissors, and as fingers were being pointed at him and loud hateful comments about him flew across the field, I watched Anthony shot down in intense sobs.
I started to speak to him. At first, I was speaking directly to him from the crowd, but suddenly it became an audio Whatsapp message he deeply appreciated. Even more, suddenly Anthony became a young toddler I cradled in my arm
I woke up.
Its much harder being a teenager in todays world. A moral standard goes lower by the minute. Its expensive to fit in. Sexual pressure comes earlier than usual plus one can swing both ways. Bullies are meaner. Report cards that matter is like scores on social media. And we caregivers (parents, nannies, etc) are even more clueless, preoccupied with chores, money-making and the cares of life we fail to see fragile hearts needing to be cradled
Instead of judging the teenager in your care just because life stress has easily given you a reason to forget you once we're there, study them, listen to them, respect them, set examples for them and challenge them to self regulate.
You just might realize, rebellion isnt meant to be the norm at this age.