Feral007

Surviving the teenage years.

You know?

 

I always wanted to be one of those cool mothers.

Understanding, someone the teens would come to, to talk about things with, chilled out and caaaaaaaaaaaalm.

Nope, it’s just not happening!

I do keep trying.  I find the teens very trying and they feel the same way about me.

Other people tell me they are nice people.

 

I take heart in that, because some days I don’t see it in my house.  But then other days (or parts of days) we talk about things that interest us, me, them.

I try to tell them some things from my life – as a person not just a mum – and those are the interesting times.

 

Recently for my daughter’s 13th birthday we went to a chinese restaurant.  We all ordered something and I had a glass of wine.

One of the dishes was very spicy and we were all laughing with tears running down our faces, and emptied the water jug.

 

I was telling them about some of the times when I had eaten some unexpectedly hot foods and laughing.

The waiter came over and chatted to us as he refilled the water jug.

We left the restaurant after a friendly squabble about who had left the most mess on the table.  As we walked out I thought how enjoyable it had been.

 

All those years of birthday dinners with hissed ‘Sitttttt stillllll.  Stop fighting!’ and the good old ‘You’re going to spill something………..I told you so!’

 

Will be interesting when they take me out for dinners from the nursing home in years to come………..I’m pretty sure we’ll be revisiting those little gems, but them saying them not me!

 

I’m not the mother of teenagers that I want to be.

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the mother of toddlers that I would have liked to have been either.

 

I always think that teenagers are really like big toddlers.  Always saying ‘I can do it MYSELF!’ and refusing to do as they are told quite often.  But whereas you can pick up a toddler and leave the playground with them kicking and screaming, you can’t really do that with teenagers.

They have to be verbally rounded up and helped out when it’s needed.

 

I often wonder though, if as parents, we want our kids (teens) to live the life we want for them;  not the life they want for them.

 

When should we be handing over control of their lives?  And how?

 

Do we/should we be organising what they will do (because we know them so well we know what they will want to be or do?) or do we let them take the lead at times with some discussion?

 

I find it very inconsistent being the mother of a teenager (or 3).

I’m constantly encouraged to give them independence and responsibility.

 

I especially love the responsibility – they are made responsible for choosing their school subjects in conjunction with their parents after information evenings and much mulling over of likes/dislikes/subject matter booklets.

 

Then they are changed at a moments notice with only the teen and the teacher aware because things didnt work out. ‘

 

The teens are responsible for getting their homework, notifying us that there will be unexpected costs for excursions/books which are mandatory for the subject…………..but then responsibility reverts suddenly back to the unsuspecting parent when money is not forthcoming?

 

If assignments are not forthcoming?  Ring the parent.

 

If the uniform is not worn, notify the parent.

 

So, responsibility not really responsibility iykwim?

 

Centrelink pays the teenagers youth allowance now;  but whether the teenager or the parent is receiving the money the commitment to school fees and expenses is still sent to the parents.

 

Respect?

 

Have you noticed how often adults don’t treat teenagers with respect?

 

Some adults will smile and joke, and treat adults with respect and humour but as soon as a teenager stands in front of them they are suddenly quite rude?

I’ve seen teenagers treat adults with respect and adults who just ignored them.

 

My teenagers drive me demented (even without a car) with their attitude to other people.

When I’m a bit stressed and get a little…….hmmmm…shall we say ‘not noice’ in my attitude, the teens will tell me to ‘chill’ or ‘go with the flow’ – Mum they are probably having a bad day, just get over it.

 

WTF?  Get OVER it…….

 

I hate to say it but they are probably right, but I’m generally not in the mood to take their advice.  Guess that’s why they often don’t take my advice either.

I have to stop and ask myself these days whether I’m treating my teenagers like children or like people.

 

I frequently find I am talking to them in a way I would not talk to people at work, or friends?

 

I have to remind myself that if I want them to behave like adults I should try to treat them like them.

 

Often when I find that the teens are behaving exceptionally badly I have to cool off; then think ‘They are worried about something and that’s why they are so stressed and behaving badly’

 

It takes a while to get it out of them, but it’s time well spent.  Not only does it help them that time, it teaches them strategies for dealing with things in the future (and sometimes how not to do things lol).

 

The fact remains, that I have been known to scream at my teenagers (even when they dont have their ipods plugged in, since they have parental deafness) and they have been known to scream at me.

 

But we still talk at times.

 

Sometimes I actually have to take their advice because they are right (ooops).

I think being a parent of teenagers is not about ‘being in charge’  or being able to coerce them into behaviour that you feel is the right way to behave.

 

I believe its more about being able to act like a sheepdog, and herd them in the general direction of their future and let them take the lead, while you try to head them off from great dangers, and teach them to deal with the cr@p that happens when you do something wrong, hurtful, dangerous.

 

We all hope for a safe and happy future for our teenagers – just that not everyone can let them choose that future.

 

I think we should.

 

Altho I reserve the right to change that opinion on any given day, after any given phone call,  from any given teacher 😉

We worry that our ‘children’ won’t be able to look after themselves or the world in the future;  they worry that there won’t be much left to ‘manage’ when we’ve finshed with it!~

 

I think, we’re all correct.’

 

Two of my teens are now New Adults.  That’s another story on it’s own!

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