Time and time again I hear parents talk about the teenage years like it some kind of ordeal to just survive. I would love to understand this. Maybe it’s because most everything I read about raising teenagers sounds something like this:
“It’s the time our adorable, cute kids gradually turn into hormonal monsters and turn our homes into the devil’s new personal residence.”
“No one relishes parenting teenagers. I’ve been through the grind, and I consider myself a survivor.”
These are a couple lines from a recent blog post I came across about “surviving the teen years”. And to be honest, these types of articles are the prevalent ones out there.
Does everybody have teenagers that are the devil’s spawn? Please say it isn’t so!
Because I have a blast with mine. We laugh – a lot! We watch movies (I love cuddling under blankets for a girls’ night rom-com). We play cards. We raid the halloween candy together after the younger ones are in bed.
So, honestly, I don’t get it. Really, I don’t.
And, keep in mind, I’ve been ‘around the track’ a few times on this one. My #7 child, Kathleen, is fourteen. I’ve had a teenager (or two..or three) in my house since 2002.
Now, if you’ve been reading my previous posts, you’re probably saying, “Oh geez. Here she goes again”. Or maybe this is your first time checking my blog out, at which point I would suggest you try to catch the theme in my earlier posts. (hint: start training early)
See, here’s how it can work out for you, for starters. You have a baby. You make a plan. You train them how to sleep. You stick to your plan. This is not too hard because you’ve already taught them how to sleep so things are already falling into place. They’re rested…you’re rested…So now, voila! You have happy toddlers! They have boundaries and they sleep well and most days, they are absolutely delightful.
Step one complete. Congratulations. You’re going strong, don’t let up! You will be so pleased when you see the results! You are on the way to having fun, family outings with your teenagers because they know you love them and they will want to hang out with you.
They will hear their friends at school talk about how annoying their parents are. They will hear them speak to their parents disrespectfully. I used to work in a school so I heard it too. I heard it on the sidelines of the soccer game, too. The other parents would look at me and shrug with a sad kind of smile. I always felt so bad for them. They had no idea how to undo the situation. How to regain control.
The same blogger continues:
“They will shout at you to leave them alone, bang the bedroom door on your face and even pierce body areas you have never imagined.”
No. Absolutely No.
Your child should never, under any circumstances, shout at you. It’s absolutely not acceptable for a child to speak to their parents (or any adult) disrespectfully. If they try…you have only one choice: to stop the disrespect right there and never allow it to happen again.
Don’t even get me started on the piercings!
When you hear a parent saying that their ‘child screams at them’, then they have already lost control of the situation. No child screams disrespectfully at their parent for the first time when they are 12 or 13…it started a long, long time before that, but never was addressed. There was no plan in place. No resolve.
I read somewhere “if you don’t like the way your child is behaving, you only have one person to blame”. That really resonated with me.
Think about it. Who’s responsible for them when they’re little? I am the only person that is to blame. And when I say ‘I am the only person’ of course I mean us: me and my husband. We are a team. We made the decision to be our kids’ parents from day one. That means every day, even when we didn’t feel like it.
But here’s the thing…I don’t remember having very many days like that because we…
wait for it…trained them early. Do the work early. It makes it so much more fun when they are teenagers.
On the way home from high school one day, my 16-year-old daughter said, “I don’t get it, Mom. I really like being at home, just hanging out with the family…”
That did my heart good 🙂