Tagged with "teenager"
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.


 
Joys of Back to School Shopping
By     |    Aug 31, 2017
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Joys of Back to School Shopping

Every August I look forward to back-to-school shopping for clothes and shoes for our kids, and every August I’m reminded how taxing the actual shopping excursion is in reality. We try to make a weekend trip away from home to a larger city to make the sometimes tedious shopping more enjoyable. At least in a larger city there are more food options to help in coaxing good behavior. This year with high school football a new part of our schedule,... [Read More]

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The Thing About Grief
By     |    Mar 24, 2017
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The Thing About Grief

I picked up our 8th grader from school on Wednesday expecting our normal post-school conversation. The script goes something like this: I ask him to tell me something about his day. He tells me about some meme someone showed him at lunch. I either laugh, or don’t get it and he laughs. He’ll run through his homework list and pick a few small things to discuss. Thus concludes the recap with further items thrown in at random times throughout the... [Read More]

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Sometimes Life is That Cliché
By     |    Feb 3, 2017
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Sometimes Life is That Cliché

If there’s one thing I know about parenting, it’s that children grow up too fast. I know. I know. It’s the epitome of cliché, but also heartrendingly true. Our oldest will be a freshman next year and will register for high school classes this month. I’m sentimental, sometimes to a fault. The email confirming his placement in high school seemed surreal. It surely belonged in someone’s else inbox. I can’t possibly have a teenager in high school. I’m too young,... [Read More]

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Surreal Moments of Mothering
By     |    May 2, 2016
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Surreal Moments of Mothering

Mothering has been a series of surreal moments lately. Last week, I traveled with our oldest and a large group of his 7th grade classmates two hours from our hometown to the University of Wyoming, my alma mater. UW is the only four-year institute in Wyoming. Both Craig and I graduated from there. Much has changed in the decades since we called Laramie and the university home. I was giddy leading up to this field trip. We’ve taken our kids... [Read More]

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Reasons I Love You
By     |    Feb 11, 2016
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Reasons I Love You

This year I’ve implemented a new-to-us idea for our kids leading up to Valentine’s Day. You’ve probably seen the idea of love notes floating around social media. The idea is to write a note with a different thing you love about your child every day from Feb. 1-14. I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I’d much rather be surprised by chocolate on a random Wednesday “just because” than on Feb. 14. My husband surprised me with coffee when he arrived... [Read More]

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For Our Teenage Son
By     |    Nov 10, 2015
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For Our Teenage Son

I quietly listened to an acquaintance lament about life with a teenage son. I knew she expected me to jump in with my own complaints, but I wasn’t taking the bait. I spent years listening to people tell me to just wait until I had a teenager. It always sounded ominous. Our man/child first born is, at the worst, annoying, loud, selfish and stinky. I know the teenage waters have potential to become choppy and murky over the years, but... [Read More]

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Relieved about Mothering a Teenager
By     |    Sep 20, 2015
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Relieved about Mothering a Teenager

I woke up this morning the mother of a teenager, and I feel relieved. Yes, time goes too fast. Yes, I cannot believe our oldest is 13 years old. BUT, despite all the times I’ve felt like I failed our son, he’s thrived for 13 years, and I can see the all those lessons we’ve taught him taking hold. Today I’m patting myself on the back and high-fiving Craig. We’ve been parents for 13 years with no instruction manual or... [Read More]

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Nielson Ratings and Not Watching TV
By     |    Apr 3, 2014
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Nielson Ratings and Not Watching TV

Last week we received a letter from Nielson, the marketing research firm that tracks (among other things) when and what people watch on TV, wanting us to be panelists. My husband and I chuckled. Our daily TV watching consists of late night TV, and we don’t even have cable. We receive four channels…four. Today a sweet woman from Nielson called wanting to know if we received the letter. I confirmed we had and explained to her why we might not... [Read More]

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