Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Article #120 Raising Teenagers

My parenting education was soon to be expanded as I tried to remember how to take care of a newborn while also guiding my older sons through their teen years with a new stepfather in our home. Piece of cake, you say. Well, life isn’t supposed to be easy, unless you believe those fairy tales many of us read in our youth. There comes a time when your child gets too big to discipline using your normal techniques, and then you have to creatively devise other methods. Rewards and timeouts plus grounding can help-i.e. no driving the family car until...

I was never a rebellious teenager, so it was an eye opener as some of my sons made some decisions and found friends that didn’t lead them in the direction I had in mind for them. (As if I was the only person who ever had problems with their teenage children.) Despite all my careful lectures, warnings and guidelines for their expected behavior, there came a time when one or more of my teens tried smoking, drinking, drugs and other behaviors that I didn’t find acceptable. Then you wonder as a parent what did I do wrong or if I’d only... This type of regretful thinking gets you nowhere. Each child is your family is unique. What works with one teen won’t necessarily work with another. One may be perfectly obedient to family rules and values, but later when he’s out of the home make decisions that you don’t agree with. Other children start being teenagers at age two or nine.

One of my teenagers started high school, but decided he wasn’t going to go to classes. Staying up all nights reading or playing video games, he then slept through school. What a challenge! Sensitive careful listening on my part couldn’t open up the reasons for his misbehavior. Counselors tried, rules set up were ignored, and lecturing or reasoning did absolutely no good. So I decided to try "home schooling" with him, after all I was home with my newborn. However, this rebellious son wasn’t interested in getting out of bed for home school either. Eventually he went away to a boarding school, which unfortunately introduced him to more self-destructive behaviors. And I thought being a single parent was challenging.

4 comments:

kavita said...

Challenging ! It must have been so tough then and now look at you - you have emerged as a winner we all admire .

Kay said...

My son was not easy either. It's amazing how kids have minds of their own, yes? :-)

However, thank goodness my son grew up and turned himself around. Phew!

I'm always amazed at how patient, loving and wonderful you were with your whole family.

Terri Tiffany said...

Like you said, we all went through something with our children no matter what it might be--they are all so unique. And come with their own set of rules:)

Rambling Woods said...

Oh my daughter was and is a challenge...she hasn't spoken to me in 3 weeks....sigh..it never ends it seems...