I’m in the newly minted teenage years with the boys and I am constantly amazed at the questions that I receive on a daily basis. Teenage boys are wonderful when they are not driving you crazy. Their voices are changing, their hormones are raging and they are learning how to deal with all of the differences that they’re experiencing each and every day. Typically, the question/answer session goes like this:
How was your day? Fine.
How was school? Good.
How was your test? Ok.
Anything new? Nope.
But when they want something, like what we’re wrestling with now (my refusal to allow them to do every freaking thing they want to do with their friends), the questions and demands are fast and furious.
1. “Why can’t we go to the mall with our friends? Don’t you trust us not to do something stupid?” “No.”
2. “Don’t you think we are big enough to beat someone up who might be trying to kidnap us?” “Nope. And you can’t beat up a gun.”
3. “Do you think that we’re just going to go have sex with girls if we are out with a group of friends.” “Ummm. Well, of course not…” (I really don’t want to tell them what I was doing at their age with “groups of friends.”).
4. “Mom, it’s not like we’re going to go snort a line or drink alcohol – we just want to go hang at ….” “I know. But I can’t control everyone in those settings and it just doesn’t feel right to me.” (Sometimes I just don’t have a good answer and I’m going with my gut, which always pisses them off!)
Look, this is complicated business, raising teenagers. I want to give them space to make mistakes (not the kind that would be solved by condoms – but you know what I mean) and I want them to have the freedom to explore the internet and its benefits. You know what I’m saying; this is a lot harder than them wanting a Coke and Cheetos at the Target checkout (one hour before bedtime) – this is really tough stuff.
So, I’ve just decided that I’m going to have to look like Enemy #1 for right now. I can play this part well. Sometimes, I’m going to have to say “no,” even when it’s very possible I did it as a kid. And sometimes I may have to call parents to see what’s really happening (oh, that will go over really well with my kids!).
I know one thing for sure, parenting teens means I have to pay attention. I’ve got to be awake way past my bedtime and I’ve got to learn more about those social media sites that I have zero interest in! Yesterday I had to get an Instagram account. This weekend … Twitter. Yikes!
Just another day in Teenland Paradise — at least I still know where they are at night!
Have a great day!