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disprespect toward teens

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My children are still little guys, but I was hoping for some input from mom's of teens about behavior I've witnessed from other parents lately. I guess I'm anticipating my boys teen years, and extra sensitive to stuff I see lately.

I've noticed a lot of parents speaking harshly and being generally nasty to their adolescent and teen children in public. I feel so sorry for these kids. Even more than I do for little kids in the same boat, because teens seem extra sensitive and particularly self-conscious. I catch my breath each time because it seems SO damaging to me.

When I hear parents of little kids snapping at them, I dissaprove but at the same time I understand how easy it is to do, and how stressful it can be to deal with a small child in a public place. But when a parent is out running errands with a teenager, it doesn't seem like the same sort of intense juggling act. So tell me, is it THAT overwhelming and difficult to be a parent to a teen? That easy to loose your patience and *forget* to speak respectfully to them? Should I hold my judgemental attitude in check until I know what it is like to parent a teen?
post #2 of 9
Mines still preteen (12) but I have noticed alot of talk about attitudes and problems even younger than this. In all honesty I just don't get it. I don't have any problems with my dd. I hear all the time the "you just wait" warnings. But this is usually coming from parents of kids who were giving them problems at 10 and younger. Maybe it's because my dd has been homeschooled her whole life? Or because I encoursge her independance and opinion. I am not looking for her to be a mini me, lol. My most important goal is for her to know herself and stand up for what she believes is right for her. I think that many parents just want kids that will do as I say not as I do. I feel that expectations and attitude of the parents make such an imporant impact of the attitude of the child.

I think that many parents who are seeing attitude problems may just be wanting complacent kids that will follow orders? What will these kids do when it is someone other than parents (who presumably have kids best interests at heart) are giving the orders, like friends?
post #3 of 9
I think you may be witnessing parents who have ALWAYS treated their children in such a manner .
I have a 24 , 21 , 17 , and 14 year old.. (plus two little ones) For me the teenage years have been the most challenging, but I haven't changed my parenting style. I still show them the respect and care I always have. I feel if they have a good foundation and relationship with their parents going into the teen years the whole family has a good chance of "getting through" the teen years pretty much "unscathed"

post #4 of 9
Parenting teens is totally different than parenting little ones. Like Peggy I've done both at the same time, but she has a lot more experience than I do!. My ds18 has been a pretty easy teen to parent, but even the "easy" ones can drive you nuts. Sometimes just trying to ask a few questions is like pulling teeth, at least with boys. The hardest part of parenting a teen is knowing when to say no and when to let go, just when you have one issue resolved another one comes up. Also, what you don't see in public is how a teen can treat a parent, they can push your buttons with just a look or an attitude. Believe me, until it is your own former baby doing that to you, you can't possibly imagine how it feels. I agree though, in public they are usually at thier best and there is no reason to embarrass or humiliate them. Yes, the teen age years are the most challenging and not always a lot of fun. Now I'm on to the next stage with ds18 as he leaves home for college this fall, I think we are both ready, but with teens you never know and they always surprise you.
post #5 of 9

some rememberances from a grandma.....

Yes teenage years are challenging, but no more challenging than raising a 2 year old. In fact I see a lot of simularities between adolecence and toddlerhood. Often the same things that worked in toddlerhood work for teens. Lots of love & encouragement, the security of reasonable boundries, one on one conversation with lots of eye to eye contact, physical touching, and REALLY LISTENING TO THEM!

I also heard the "you just wait" warnings, all the time. I felt as if some of these "well meaning" friends and family were just waiting with baited breath for my kids to "turn on me" so to speak. Argh.......well, I have to say that puberty is a difficult time and there were times with my first son that I wondered if we would ever be close again....we are. He is grown and married now and I couldn't be prouder of him. With my daughter it was different because girls are so much more vocal. We both said things we regretted but became closer through it all. During her teen years we became best friends and remain so today. She is a wonderful woman,wife and mother as I always knew she would be. My 20 year old son is in college now. He was a joy as a teenager, most of the time, and we are all just as close now.

I have teenage daughters now that I often struggle with. My 14 year old has always been the most challenging child. Very strong willed. It is a balancing act to raise her without breaking her spirit. I often thought we would never be as close as my older daughter and I were...but I'm seening now that the tough times have drawn us closer than I could have imagined. My 12 year old is just entering the adolencent years and I see so much of me in her. The "me" I don't like....ugh.....that is hard. They can be disrespectful at times and my husband and I dont' tolerate that. We let them know in a loving but firm way that that won't be tolerated. We are a close family and do most things together. They have all been homeschooled all their lives, and perhaps that has helped them to avoid the worst of the negitive teen peer-pressure, yet they still seemed to have plenty of that to deal with. However, I would attribute most to respecting them as human beings from birth. As parents we have certianly lost it many times and been far from perfect. But we have been quick to admit our failures, appoligize, and listen to our children.

The best advice I have for the teenage years is to remeber they are similar to toddlers, only bigger. Both ages are trying out independence, learning how to "walk" on their own, think for themselves, and make discissions while still in the safety net of their parents. Like toddlers, teens often take 2 steps forward and one back. Be there with love, encouragement and reassurance, when they need to take that back step.

Oh geez, i wrote a book again.....well, I hope it will encourage someone to continue their loving guidance/gentle discipline throughout the teen years. It is worth the effort!

post #6 of 9
Good book!!! Barbara!!! I love it!!!

I do respect my teen. I know what you are referring to. I have seen it. It is soooooooo embarrassing for the teen.
post #7 of 9
You never know, those same teens may have given them heck at home that same morning, too, though even when I'm irritated with my children (which is rarely) I still try to speak respectfully to them, especially in public where it might be embarrassing to them.

I've heard the same thing "just you wait"...but so far we're doing pretty well. Our son is 15, our daughter 13....we also have a 10 year old daugher, 8 year old son and a 2 year old son. Because they were taught as toddlers to speak respectfully to us (we've always tried to give them choices whenever possible and give them opportunity to give their opinion) they don't talk back or argue with us. Just like with toddlers, we say yes whenever possible, allowing them to spread their wings and grow but not letting it happen so fast as to be overwhelming for them. We explain our reasoning for things as much as possible.

Our 13 year old is the most likely to have an attitude, it crops up occasionally but she usually realizes it right away and corrects it before we even have to say anything.

We are a very close family, too. Our older 2 are in Mexico on a youth mission trip. The night before they left, some of the kids were going to the Steak 'n' Shake to have supper and say good bye to one of their friends who was working there an unable to come wish them well as they left that evening. Our 15 year old told them he and his sister would be home that evening, since they would be gone for 10 days they'd be staying home for dinner. Makes a mom proud that her teens would choose to stay home for a family dinner!

We homeschool, too, which I think helps a lot.

edited to fix an odd sentence.
post #8 of 9
Thanks Marg!

SueDid, My daughter just got back from a mission tirp to Mexico also! She was in Neauvo Larado (I'm sure that spelling is all off
: ) My other kids have previously gone with YWAM down through Tijauna to build houses. All of their lives have really been touched by reaching out and helping others, as well as experiencing another culture and expanding their world view. I hope your kids have been equally blessed, I know they have blessed others by going!

post #9 of 9
barbara...our group went with AIM to Matamoros, just over the border. Several years ago they went with the same group to the same place, that time they build houses, this time they are helping to build a church in the same area. This is our daughter's first trip away, last year they had a 'home mission trip'...they stayed at the church, it was as if they were gone for a week, but they were ministering in retirement homes and daycare centers.

2 years ago our son went on an AIM project to inner city Philadelphia, that was a hard one as I was due any day with our 5th baby, who wasn born a couple of days after he left. It was hard on our son, too, he really missed not being here to welcome his baby brother. When they get back from each trip, a Sunday night service is spent hearing of their observations and adventures, which is always fun. It's something to see your 13 year old son near tears, his voice cracking with emotion over the little kids in his VBS group not knowing Jesus.

3 years ago the group went to an Indian reservation in South Dakota. Each of the trips has been so valuable. We really think our son may be a missionary some day. I guess even people at church are noticing that he is 'different'...very dedicated and sensitive and mature for a 15 year old.
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