Tagged with "respect"
18 Sep
2017
Posted in: parenting
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Teenagers Deserve More From Adults

Cildren hiking a trail in Idaho

Twice last week I listened to adults rant about teenagers. I heard all about how lazy teens are, how disrespectful, how they lack work ethic, how they dress like slobs and how our future is surely doomed when that lot reaches adulthood and takes over. I listened and silently seethed until the ranting was over. Both times I shared only one thought,” You, obviously, don’t know the right teenagers.”

Right around the time I thought I had a decent grasp of parenting, my oldest became a teenager and all thoughts of parenting competency flew out the window. I’m at the front-line of all things teenager. I live with a freshman in high school and another a few months shy of 13. There are days I feel I know more about what’s happening in the lives of the teenagers I know than about friends my own age. Teenagers can be disrespectful, lazy, and dress poorly. But at the age of 40, I can also be all those things.

I know active teens who keep much busier schedules than most adults I know. They go to school, followed by athletic practice and find time to finish schoolwork. I know some who attend school during the day and work several hours in the evening. There are those who take classes at local high schools and a community college. Then there are those teens who manage a life like one of the above and rely only on their two feet for transportation.

I’m the first to say teens can be annoying with their knowledge of everything. I’ve been on the receiving end of eye rolling, although I’m sure he learned that from me. Not everything I ask is done as quickly as I would like. My definition of organization and that of a freshman in high school are not the same. Communication lines are sometimes a tangled mess, or monosyllabic in nature. Teenagers seem to run on a slightly less-exact form of time than adults. Most days I’m sure I talk only to hear myself speak and must remind certain people that I’m the adult, not the other way around.

Teens can also be inquisitive, funny, caring, hard working, go-getters and more intelligent than they sometimes let on. They are complicated, hormonal-charged adult-like children struggling to keep up with the endless physical changes and social changes that come with growing up. Adults tend to forget all of that when faced with the talking back, attitude and rule breaking. I’m guilty 100 times over for being too hard on our teen. I know I forget when dealing with him how amazing he can be when he’s not busy annoying me. Much of the issues I have with my own teenager is him as much as it is me. I’m tired, hormonal, over-worked, under-appreciated and grouchy at times. I have no idea how to raise a teen or guide his path while still giving him ample room to both falter and soar. It’s a constant struggle of me treating him like he’s younger than he is while also expecting him to act older than his age. No wonder teenagers push back.

I know there is greatness in those moody world-changers we’re raising. There’s no time for the ranting and bashing on our teenagers who are quickly morphing into young adults. We need to support their goals and dreams, give them ways to channel their ideas and foster their gifts and talents. Finding your way, at whatever age, is not an easy task. Let’s show less judgement and offer more guidance.


 
My 5th Grader Has a Cell Phone
By     |    Feb 25, 2014
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My 5th Grader Has a Cell Phone

I gave my fifth grader a cell phone for Christmas. I still can’t believe I did. It’s something I never thought I’d purchase for my elementary student. Our oldest son’s fourth grade year was full of sporadic turmoil at the hands of two boys in his class. It was an emotional drain for both him and me. Our son received a full dose of how ridiculously cruel children can be. I knew after last year I wanted B to have... [Read More]

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Less Than One Minute
By     |    Feb 20, 2014
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Less Than One Minute

It took just one minute from his night to utter one sentence to children he didn’t know. That one minute catapulted him to stardom in the eyes of my boys. Five months ago, in September, we were leaving a University of Wyoming football game at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We were there to celebrate our oldest turning 11. We had prime seats, the Cowboys won and our 9-year-old had just been high-fived by UW’s starting quarterback.... [Read More]

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None of Your Business: Becoming Unaware
By     |    Feb 18, 2014
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None of Your Business: Becoming Unaware

I know more times than not, people aren’t giving me as much thought as I selfishly think they are. Among the litany of issues I hope to teach my children to deal with, is how to navigate this world without being caught up in what may or may not be said about you. I’ll bet there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think, “What someone else thinks about you, is none of your business.” Just be who... [Read More]

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Life Lessons from the Super Bowl
By     |    Feb 3, 2014
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Life Lessons from the Super Bowl

We live in Denver Broncos country. The Super Bowl this year is all anyone wanted to talk about. Blue and orange were everywhere you turned. The hype was incredible. That’s why the fall was so humbling. The Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8. I’ve spent my entire life in Wyoming. You were assured of almostone thing every week from August until December…the Broncos would be on TV. There are no other close NFL teams. The majority of people root... [Read More]

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Why a Chore Chart Didn’t Work for Our Family
By     |    Jan 22, 2014
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Why a Chore Chart Didn’t Work for Our Family

I like a good list of tasks to cross off to make me feel accomplished. A couple of children ago, I jumped on the chore chart bandwagon. I, mistakenly, thought it would give me the same feeling of accomplishment and instill in my children responsibility. I was really, really wrong. I made the chart, gathered the stickers and by day five, wanted to rip that blasted chart to shreds. There are days I struggle remembering to have everyone brush teeth... [Read More]

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Insights From a Tween
By     |    Jan 14, 2014
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Insights From a Tween

Sometimes I forget my 11-year-old is turning into quite the little man. This morning he shared some tween insights with me. I’m not sure he intentionally planned the pep talk or if it was just a case of his sarcastic nature. I feel as if I underestimate him a good portion of the time. For every 20 moments where I don’t feel like I’m doing anything right with this parenting gig, there’s one amazing moment where I am reminded my... [Read More]

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Do Over
By     |    Dec 31, 2013
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Do Over

Today is a do over. Yesterday was not one of my best performances as a mother, also not my worst. By the afternoon, I was ready for the day to be over. Everyone was ready for a do over. Nothing horrible happened. I was tired. All four kids had forgotten how to listen or respect each other. I was sarcastic (more than normal) and short-tempered. The kids were breaking the simplest of rules. They were picking at each other. I... [Read More]

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