History Repeating – How to parent a teenager
I think officially it is termed as pushing boundaries. Although, I don’t always see it that way.
I won’t go into specifics, but ‘boundaries’ have well and truly been pushed. Patience has been tested and tears shed. There have been moments that I have secretly wanted to high five him for his sheer audacity. Or moments that he has done something a bit naughty. The very same thing I did in my youth, but he managed it at a younger age than I accomplished it. There has also been other moments that he should be grateful that he hasn’t been grounded for life!
My Mum thinks its pay back. I was no angel apparently. My eldest has been a teenager for almost 7 months and don’t we all know it.
History is repeating.
Being a single parent comes with a lot of rewards, but also a lot of challenges. This has been mainly the later recently, with a hope of the former to come. When faced with a situation that you need to deal with immediately, you have no back up.
As parents we always seem to find the route. But is it the correct route? Did you deal with the problem effectively? Was the punishment severe enough? Was the ‘talk’ suitable?
Did you play your cards correctly or have you just been played?
As a couple, you will always have your backup. That person, that at the end of the night you can debrief with and during discussions will help and join in.
I have a small army of support, that over the years I have built up and relied on. But some decisions and advice needs to be given immediately. That back up isn’t always there with immediate effect.
Somehow and I am not entirely sure how. I have managed to remain calm (keep my shit together), keep my shouty dad voice to a minimum and talk. We have hugged, chatted and cried together. He has messed up again, he has also shown massive signs of learning from mistakes. We have had punishments that have worked and some that haven’t.
We are currently in a period of punishment that was self propelled. After his latest ‘learning curve’ and
following our subsequent chat. He presented me with his xbox, phone and tablet and declared that he felt he didn’t deserve them at this current time (perhaps he does actually listen) and it has been discussed that he will get that back in intervals, as soon as I see improvements at home, at school and in some of his judgment calls.
Has he learnt from mistakes? Only time will tell? Did I learn from my mistakes at his age? Again, only time will tell.
My support network think I did ok, my Mum is still chuckling into her cuppa. With the subtle murmur of been there, done that.
I’ve learnt that I’m still winging this parenting malarky and it isn’t going to get any easier.
Why have I decided to share this? Thanks to a recent article by Tim, over at Slouching towards Thatcham. It dawned on me that, as parents we all have a different take on life. We all have different backgrounds and more importantly different current situations. However we can band together and share our knowledge. We are in this together!
How to parent a teenager.