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#31 of 55 Old 03-19-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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parents meet all the time, it's not a big deal now a days, sounds suspicious to me.


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#32 of 55 Old 03-19-2012, 07:01 PM
 
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We cross-posted...  I think it turned out okay.  She may have talked it over with her boyfriend and ultimately bailed because of some dishonesty in there and her worry you'd check up on her.  Or maybe someone got cold feet about having a minor there if it was a more adult-style party.  Too few details for me to know of course.  My dd once got kicked out of a college party because some of the students there knew us and let the host know they could get in trouble for having a minor there.

 

Oh and I have been so clueless as a mom sometimes!  I feel like everything seems clearer now but I can't really tell what I should have done differently myself.  I HAD to fight some of those battles.  Even if the anti-smoking battle was hopeless I decided to fight anyway for about two years, because it was so incredibly important to me.  And I couldn't see a viable alternative.  I am glad I fought even though I won nothing.  I showed I cared and wouldn't give up.  Even now I can not tell if I did the right or the wrong thing...  But it did turn out okay.  I have often heard adults say that they wished their parents had really, really tried to stop them from smoking early on, I have heard others say their parents tried but it was pointless and they shouldn't have bothered.  How to choose?  So I just did what in my heart felt right.

 

I have made plenty of mistakes, but I also learned not to let my dd get under my skin so much about my mistakes.  She would actually change the subject to criticizing my parenting when I tried to hold her accountable a LOT.  Well, I felt uncertain plenty of the time.  But I realized that I had to stand my ground sometimes even if I might be making a mistake.  I am an imperfect human trying to do a very hard job --parenting.  Part of that job is to act more confident than you might feel IMO but while acting confident also be up front that it is hard, you're not perfect, and you are just looking for the best solution for all involved.  It depends too on your communication style and your dd's. 

 

I imagine you are an awesome mom.  A lot of teens are really, really hard to negotiate and navigate with.  Sometimes they seem to hate us in excruciatingly special ways--and if you've never felt that then it's already going better for you than it did for me.  We have to deal with a lot of unexpected curve balls and improvise solutions and make adjustments based on lots of changing factors.

 

It's hard to sort through how we feel about our own parents' mistakes.  I too was a repeat runaway, and my mom was permissive and distant.  My dd ran away too but I don't think it was because of things I should have done differently.  She was a raging ball of fury all of the time and blamed everyone else for every problem.  She was self-destructive.  Her unhappiness and behaviors really weren't my fault any more than I would tell someone it was their fault if their husband cheated on them or had an addiction.  My responses did not really determine what she did next.  I may have influenced her and may have responded badly sometimes.  I could have sometimes done better.  But I was not personally causing her behaviors; she was being her own person with her own free will.  I'd forgive anyone who sometimes responded poorly in the face of the kind of abuse and disrespect she hurled at me so often.  I've had to look her in the eye and admit I'd been wrong a few times.  I put so much effort into being fair and reasonable and respectful, so I forgive myself my mistakes too. 

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#33 of 55 Old 03-19-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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Nothing wrong with meeting the parents at all.  Nothing.  Not creepy not intrusive. 

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#34 of 55 Old 03-20-2012, 06:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

he would actually change the subject to criticizing my parenting when I tried to hold her accountable a LOT.  Well, I felt uncertain plenty of the time.  But I realized that I had to stand my ground sometimes even if I might be making a mistake.  I am an imperfect human trying to do a very hard job --parenting.  Part of that job is to act more confident than you might feel IMO but while acting confident also be up front that it is hard, you're not perfect, and you are just looking for the best solution for all involved.  

 

I think that is a major part of the strategy I saw with my sister (she is now 26 but it is still clear in my mind) - deflect attention from my misbehavior by pointing the finger at Mom and exploiting her emotions/insecurity about parenting.  Teens can be incredibly cruel and really know how to go for your jugular if they want to.  They operate from a pretty self-centered place, which makes sense since they are beginning to form their adult self, but makes them really hard to deal with sometimes.  

 

This is why I cannot buy the argument that 16 is grown.  Teenagers' brains are still physically developing in critical areas - as a result, they are often quite reckless, selfish, very short-sighted, impulsive, and prone to peer pressure and the delusion of invincibility (or, at least, the "it won't happen to me" complex).  Turning them loose and expecting them to make good decisions in the face of all that, especially when you add in alcohol and drugs, is playing Russian roulette with their future, in my opinion.  

 

For example, several of my sister's high school friends were killed in grizzly car accidents as a result of drinking or speeding.  Could more parental oversight have prevented those deaths?  I don't know - we grew up in a pretty permissive community with alot of distracted, self-absorbed and absent parents.  I'd rather risk my kid getting irritated at me because they feel dorky than risk that they will somehow safely accrue "life experience" at 16 - because at that age, they may easily make an immature mistake that they never live to learn from.


I agree with littlebirds - stand your ground (even if you feel shaky inside).  Your daughter can learn from that confidence and is more likely to respect you if she can't easily lie to and manipulate you.  My parents should have called my sister's bluff much more often, followed through on consequences, etc.  She could be totally spoiled, very mean and a complete pain to deal with - and I honestly think they just never felt like dealing with her, so they turned a blind eye.

 

But the fact is, deep down, underneath the eye rolling, teenagers can tell if you really care about them enough to bother to check in on them and follow through on what you say - and it means something! (even if it is totally annoying - you are not burning bridges with your kids by being a Mom)  You have a good relationship with your kids in that it seems like they will call you if they need you and can talk to you about things, so you are doing great there.  

 

As a last thought, I know my sister needed (and needs) alot of attention, and that is where the lying and drama came in, too.  Honestly, some of that probably came from the fact that she could sense my parents' inattention to what she was up to!   Is there anything that you and your DD like to do together that wouldn't be *totally painful* hanging out with Mom time? Don't need to talk about any of this - just for fun.

 


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#35 of 55 Old 03-20-2012, 06:32 AM
 
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One more quick thing - the old "OMG I can't go because my mean old Mom won't let me!" or "OMG, I can't, you don't know my Mom..." is not always a bad thing - it gives your kid a convenient out in situations where they may be uncomfortable saying no on their own.

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#36 of 55 Old 03-20-2012, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have always told them to use us as an excuse if they are headed toward a situation they don't want to be in. I remember my mom fussing at me once, when i told someone my parents don't let me listen to rock music. she said i should say bc rock music is a sin, not blame it on my parents. i would rather my kids have a reasonable "out" than embarassing nonsense.

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#37 of 55 Old 03-20-2012, 06:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 

I don't think a 16 year old is a child. And I don't think that magically on one's 18th's birthday, they no longer need guidance from parents. I suspect that my kids will be in and out of my house for a long time because they are planning on graduate school, so I don't buy the "my house, live like you are 7 thing" because I would my kids to feel quite comfortable coming back between semesters when they are in the early 20s. Ego, every rule has to have a better reason than "I"m the mommy and this is my house."

 

I find the idea of meeting other parents to check up on things a creepy and oddly intrusive. I'm sure the parent on the other end will pick up on that energy. It's quite different than meeting other parents in a "it take a community to raise kids, so let's all be community" kind of spirit.  The OPer isn't the least bit interested in meeting or getting to know the other parents, she just wants to know if her kid is lying (again).


Linda, in lots of ways I agree with you. However, you seem to have a very trusting relationship with your dd, and the OP seems to have struggled with her dd in ways that you have not. You haven't been there, but when a teen is dishonest and doing things that may affect their safety - its not ok for parents to just turn a blind eye and say, "call me if you need anything!"

 

 

 

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#38 of 55 Old 03-20-2012, 07:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

I have always told them to use us as an excuse if they are headed toward a situation they don't want to be in. I remember my mom fussing at me once, when i told someone my parents don't let me listen to rock music. she said i should say bc rock music is a sin, not blame it on my parents. i would rather my kids have a reasonable "out" than embarassing nonsense.



I used my parents as an excuse sometimes. It's a good tool.

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#39 of 55 Old 03-20-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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those of you who said your daughter/sister was like my daughter, how do you think her behavior could be handled better? i was raised with an iron fist and found extreme ways to sneak around. i ended up running away. i decided not to raise mine like that but apparantly i went too far the other way or something! sometimes i feel clueless. i admit that i am sometimes a crappy mother and have made many mistakes, all in the name of being a better parent than my own were. sigh. a positive aspect though is both my teens have been comfortable enough to come to me with confessions or for advice, so all is not totally lost!

 

sorry for no punctuation, i only am online when nursing so i use one hand.


 

This is a huge success, in my book.  


 

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Oh and I have been so clueless as a mom sometimes!  I feel like everything seems clearer now but I can't really tell what I should have done differently myself.  I HAD to fight some of those battles.  Even if the anti-smoking battle was hopeless I decided to fight anyway for about two years, because it was so incredibly important to me.  And I couldn't see a viable alternative.  I am glad I fought even though I won nothing.  I showed I cared and wouldn't give up.  Even now I can not tell if I did the right or the wrong thing...  But it did turn out okay.  I have often heard adults say that they wished their parents had really, really tried to stop them from smoking early on, I have heard others say their parents tried but it was pointless and they shouldn't have bothered.  How to choose?  So I just did what in my heart felt right.

 

 

You won, your daughter quit smoking.  You did the right thing.  She quit smoking when she did because you had been pushing it prior.  She needed to be in control, though.  


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#40 of 55 Old 03-20-2012, 01:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

 

 sometimes i feel clueless. i admit that i am sometimes a crappy mother and have made many mistakes, all in the name of being a better parent than my own were. sigh. 

 

 



But, truly, don't you think most of us here feel this way, or have acted this way?  I don't think a crappy mother posts on line asking for help/support, or looking for other's experiences.  It's not easy doing this.  I don't think blanket statements work in these situations-kid's are just too individual.  In one way, I can completely understand the idea that kids your dd's age should be responsible for themselves, and essentially act as adults.  Having a new teen, and older teens in the family, I don't always see this play out, and sometimes the lack of involvement isn't the best course of action.  I guess you just have to really know your kid and be comfortable with all of the unknowns they may encounter.  I don't know that I will ever be that parent...it's hard to imagine being so hands off right now.

 

OP, I think that your struggle was real, and important, and I'm glad you posted.  I learned a lot from your experience and the posts here.

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#41 of 55 Old 03-20-2012, 01:51 PM
 
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I did, still do, a lot of parenting in opposition to the way my parents did. But I can acknowledge and be very grateful for the efforts they made to do better than their own parents.  My mom was #5 of 9 kids, was the second mom to her younger siblings.  She had way too much responsibility dumped on her.  Her dad was an alcoholic and got mean sometimes, liked to beat up his sons.  Mom married a man who could never in a million years beat up his kids.  They made time for us individually and as a family. 


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#42 of 55 Old 03-20-2012, 02:47 PM
 
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Brave to post especially in the light of the judgemental tone of some responses.  

I want to encourage you to trust your intuition.

I want to suggest that the question that you pose may lead to considering how you might build trust between you and your daughter - both ways.

I wonder what you and your daughter need to be able to feel like you're on the same side - both wanting to meet her best interests.

You clearly care deeply for her - and I hope you find whatever you need.

 

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#43 of 55 Old 03-20-2012, 05:56 PM
 
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Linda, in lots of ways I agree with you. However, you seem to have a very trusting relationship with your dd, and the OP seems to have struggled with her dd in ways that you have not. You haven't been there, but when a teen is dishonest and doing things that may affect their safety - its not ok for parents to just turn a blind eye and say, "call me if you need anything!"

 

 

 



I agree with you. To the question "should a parent whose child is a chronic liar check up on them and find out where they are and who they are with"  my answer is yes
.

To the question that the OP asked, "is is reasonable for parents to go out of their way to meet the parents of their 16 year olds significant other" my answer is still no.

 

It's not the same question.

 

If my child were as out of control as the OPer, I would be trying to figure out *why.*  I don't know if they would be going to a bon fire at all, but I am sure they would be on a VERY short leash.

 

I would want to get at the underlying reason the kid was self destructing.


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#44 of 55 Old 03-21-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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id been meeting EVERYONE. 

the more my kid doesnt want me there .. the faster id be there. 

its not right to be a friend first and parent last. 

 

i feel bad for my kids,. im a nurse and hubby is a cop. lol suckers!

if my kids at some point dont hate me.. ive done a horrible job at being a parent! :)

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#45 of 55 Old 03-21-2012, 04:14 PM
 
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While I have released a lot of control of my teen at this point, I'm definitely NOT a "friend first" and have never ever had that goal, but as a parent I am very interested in what is developmentally appropriate for a 17.5 year old person in terms of mutual respect.

 

Bodies mature by 15yo, brains not until 23-36y, but we are all legal to make our own decisions at 18yo regardless.  We need a transitional time of increasing ability to make our own choices, while still having a safe home and a mom to turn to when we make mistakes.  I think that is way better than suddenly having freedom at 18yo and not having had support with learning what to do with it.  Some young people may continue to lean on mom and dad at 18yo and gradually transition while attending college or living at home a while longer.  That works, too, but for my dd it isn't a good fit.  Each teen is unique and they deserve us to adapt our parenting to the kind of person they are and their individual developmental needs. I think also we need to support them having more and more like adults even if they don't meet all of our "standards" as a precondition.  For instance, even though my daughter was smoking and I wanted to make her stop, I did not try to take away her other freedoms and choices in order to get that.  She still deserves to control her person and body at this age.  Just like she should have every right to get birth control because it is her body.  Just like you should have control of your body for the very same reasons.  There's a time when having things our way as parents stops mattering and if we keep trying to get it everyone will suffer for no good reason at all. 

 

Anyhow, when our kids get to being teens it's not our right as parents to treat them as extensions of ourselves and our beliefs.  It's not about being friends.  It's about admitting they are their own persons and treating them that way and giving them room to be and do things we don't like.

 

This is all OT and I still support the OP doing whatever is a good fit for herself and her child. 

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#46 of 55 Old 03-21-2012, 05:24 PM
 
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While I have released a lot of control of my teen at this point, I'm definitely NOT a "friend first" and have never ever had that goal, but as a parent I am very interested in what is developmentally appropriate for a 17.5 year old person in terms of mutual respect.

 

Bodies mature by 15yo, brains not until 23-36y, but we are all legal to make our own decisions at 18yo regardless.  We need a transitional time of increasing ability to make our own choices, while still having a safe home and a mom to turn to when we make mistakes.  I think that is way better than suddenly having freedom at 18yo and not having had support with learning what to do with it.  Some young people may continue to lean on mom and dad at 18yo and gradually transition while attending college or living at home a while longer.  That works, too, but for my dd it isn't a good fit.  Each teen is unique and they deserve us to adapt our parenting to the kind of person they are and their individual developmental needs. I think also we need to support them having more and more like adults even if they don't meet all of our "standards" as a precondition.  For instance, even though my daughter was smoking and I wanted to make her stop, I did not try to take away her other freedoms and choices in order to get that.  She still deserves to control her person and body at this age.  Just like she should have every right to get birth control because it is her body.  Just like you should have control of your body for the very same reasons.  There's a time when having things our way as parents stops mattering and if we keep trying to get it everyone will suffer for no good reason at all. 

 

Anyhow, when our kids get to being teens it's not our right as parents to treat them as extensions of ourselves and our beliefs.  It's not about being friends.  It's about admitting they are their own persons and treating them that way and giving them room to be and do things we don't like.

 

This is all OT and I still support the OP doing whatever is a good fit for herself and her child. 


Exactly.  Love this!

 


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#47 of 55 Old 03-22-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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It's all a spectrum - I think it's important to respect the person your teen is growing up to be, but still think freedom at that age is something you have to be sure they are ready to handle.  IMO, there is a huge difference between 16 and 18 in terms of analytical thinking, recognition of future consequences, etc. At sixteen, high school seems like the entire universe and it's extremely hard grasp the idea that there is so much more to life - that these people and situations won't even matter in a few years.

 

I respect the idea of preparing them to be on their own, but I think parental guidance and information can provide alot of that - without some kind of baptism by fire approach to adulthood.  I do think teens need some guidance on what is "good" for them in terms of what is a healthy lifestyle - they may go on to experiment with drugs, alcohol and craziness later, but at least they have had a model of a clean lifestyle reinforced for them and know someone values them enough to set expectations high.

 

In my experience, the kids I grew up with whose parents bought them alcohol or drugs and hosted parties or let their kids roam around the county did not grow up with high standards for themselves or high expectations on what they could achieve.  I think we need to be careful to still validate our kids by the level of our expectations, and not just cater to their every teenage whim just because they are growing up.

 

That said, I think there is a huge difference between matters of self-expression and safety.  If my kid wants to dye his hair blue and get a tattoo, by all means go ahead!  The key "battlegrounds" of drugs, alcohol and sex bring long term consequences that are far more serious, that are typically far underrated by teens, who care more about the impulse of the moment.  I'm not going to try to control his every move, but I'm neither am I going to abdicate my responsibility by throwing caution to the wind, letting "kids be kids" and hope he comes out the other side alive and baby- and disease-free.  Every parent has to strike their own balance of providing information and guidance and whether or not there will be consequences.

 

Just because kids will break your rules doesn't mean you shouldn't set them.  It sends your kids a strong message of what you think they are worth and what you believe they can achieve.  And it helps provide them with a moral compass for life.

 

 


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#48 of 55 Old 03-22-2012, 05:01 PM
 
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I don't think it's typical for parents of a 16 year old to go out of their way to meet parents of their kids love interest du jour. Saying "hi" to them if you are all at the same place, like a school event, sure. Driving across town just to see what they look like, no.



I'd have to agree. I was still meeting the parents of ds1's friends and girl friend until he was about 13 or 14, and I was probably the last holdout. A few of the kids - and a few of their parents - thought I was weird. If I'd still been doing it at 16, I can't even imagine the reaction.


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#49 of 55 Old 03-23-2012, 04:26 PM
 
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I don't think a 16 year old is a child. And I don't think that magically on one's 18th's birthday, they no longer need guidance from parents. I suspect that my kids will be in and out of my house for a long time because they are planning on graduate school, so I don't buy the "my house, live like you are 7 thing" because I would my kids to feel quite comfortable coming back between semesters when they are in the early 20s. Ego, every rule has to have a better reason than "I"m the mommy and this is my house."

 

I find the idea of meeting other parents to check up on things a creepy and oddly intrusive. I'm sure the parent on the other end will pick up on that energy. It's quite different than meeting other parents in a "it take a community to raise kids, so let's all be community" kind of spirit.  The OPer isn't the least bit interested in meeting or getting to know the other parents, she just wants to know if her kid is lying (again).



I don't think a child is magically an adult at 18, either. I also don't agree with the "my house" language. Its every ones house and these are the expectations. I am all for my kids living with me for as long as they need/want past 18, however if they want to be treated like an adult they need to act like one. Legally, until they are 18 I am responsible for them. If they go missing or something happens to them I am responsible of my choices as a parent. "I didn't want my kid to feel like a dork so I just let her go do whatever she wanted.. I have no clue where she is or who she was with" isn't going to fly if in fact something serious occurred.

 

Privacy, trust and respect are earned, not just given because they are a certain age. If they were acting like an adult in the sense of being responsible, open communication, responsibility, maturity etc, then after I am not legally responsible for their actions and well being that's one thing. But if they were acting like children in the sense of no job, no school, partying all the time, sleeping till 2pm, etc then things will be completely different.

 

 

 

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#50 of 55 Old 03-23-2012, 06:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemombian View Post

Privacy, trust and respect are earned, not just given because they are a certain age

 


yes, but be honest with yourself and your kid that you are checking up on them because they have lost your trust. Skip the nonsense about wanting to the meet the other parents. It's a lie. If you are attempting to teach your kid the value of rigorous honesty, then practice it. 

 

 

 


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#51 of 55 Old 03-23-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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What an odd turn the thread has taken.  No one here was all about permissiveness.  There are a couple of us talking a lot about autonomy for young adults, though, but I think that our opinions are being really exaggerated in recent posts.   

 

Parenting a teen is complicated and generally messy.  And believe me, having been a teen in no way prepares you for what it is like! 

 

I think you do need to take steps toward that magic "18" and being ready for that--whatever personality and problems your teen may have.  Those steps may include allowing freedom sometimes even when things are not going the way you want them to go with your child.  My dd has gotten in enough trouble that in one reality, I should probably just have grounded her until she is an adult in order to maintain control.  Maybe I shouldn't let her walk out the door without a constant adult chaperone until she's 18 because she might smoke a cigarette.  ...Because it's childish not to agree with me and to make bad choices?  It would be nice if restricting, restricting, restricting could solve the negative behaviors of teens but it's just not that simple.  And withholding privileges, that's easy, but it doesn't mean it's going to always be effective.  Sometimes they'd rather give up the privilege to win the battle.  You can't always leverage your power as a parent to control the outcome, withholding basic autonomy waiting until maturity happens the way you say.   And who here ever said their teen could laze around without job or school and sleep in and party?  I wouldn't live with or help anyone who was doing that.  My dd has a lot of freedom but can't do any of those things and maintain that freedom with my care and support.  And FWIW that's not acting like "children"  --my younger children don't get to do those things either.  That's running wild and nobody here has advocated it.

 

I think the main task of parents of teens is to gradually reshape the relationship so that it is about adult person-to-person respect.  One person may still have more authority, but you learn to tone that down to explore a more adult-adult dynamic in how to talk to each other and when to let something go.  It's a gradual process.  It's not permissive ideals.  While your child will always be your baby, your little one, and you will always be the first face she turned to, it's good to be ready for one really important fact of life that will shape your relationship to your child from 18yo through the rest of your life:  You will be two legal adults with 100% right to personal autonomy.  That will probably go better if you've been working on that change already before 18 comes along. 

 

Our dd has crossed an important bridge already in that she has gone from hating and rejecting us and our ways and our advice to openly valuing them again.  She became nice, pleasant, accepting, and respectful.  Do you know how may times my 17yo has admitted I was right along?  I was right to judge her friends and fight the trouble she was pursuing and many such things.  When she was ready that happened-- and she still has plenty to learn on her path to adulthood.  But what a relief that she is more trustworthy now, and she now has a great deal of freedom.  I accept the aspects of her that are adult as adult, and try to give the right parental attention to the aspects of her that are still a bit of child as well.  Respecting her, giving her some space (though I was always actively parenting!) and accepting some things I did not like helped us get there.  


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#52 of 55 Old 03-23-2012, 09:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post


I think the main task of parents of teens is to gradually reshape the relationship so that it is about adult person-to-person respect.  One person may still have more authority, but you learn to tone that down to explore a more adult-adult dynamic in how to talk to each other and when to let something go.  It's a gradual process.  It's not permissive ideals.   


Agreed. I also see the main tasks of parents of teens as helping out offspring develop independence and life skills. I don't see our main task as controlling, partly because we have very limited time to control them, so in the end, it gives them NOTHING.

 

I have been shocked and saddened to see so many post advocating adversarial relationships with teens --  the "if my kids didn't like it, that would be all the more reason to do it" kind of thinking. How is that in line with attachment parenting? With gentle discipline? With basic human respect? 

 

How does that kind of thinking belong on mothering.com?

 


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#53 of 55 Old 03-24-2012, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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my 16 year old has said to me a few times that i was right...she just wanted to prove me wrong so much (and i am far from an authoritarian). especially when she was "dating" the 21 year old. even when she was scared of him. she just wanted to be right. i understand!

 

we talked over the past few days and she said the reason for the drama-style lies was to see if i care about her. she came home  again with a story about a student stealing her stuff and throwing it away and her teacher finding it, and the student being suspended. this blew up bc her answers to my questions didn't make sense and the details kept changing. lies and more lies were added. finally, after she cooled off, she wrote me a long email. she wanted to see my reaction and see if i cared. none of it even happened! very elaborate story, though. i talked to her about trust and how when she plays these games it makes it hard to believe other things she tells me. the big change in her life is the new baby, i expect a 16 year old to understand mom's attention will be less? i don't ignore her, either.

 

my 15 year old is nothing like the 16 year old and she is sick of her sister, being lied to and all the drama.

 

i guess my original question wasn't exactly about meeting the parents of dates, but meeting the parents at parties, as in the bonfire situation. i am so confused and sleep-deprived. we'll get through this, hopefully sane.


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#54 of 55 Old 03-24-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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She wanted to prove you wrong.  She wanted to push you to see if she could, both, get her way AND see if you care.  This is typical for lots of teens.  They do this in varying degrees. Doesn't make it any less exhausting for you, though! 

 

Lying and telling elaborate stories like that isn't unheard of, either.  Maybe it was a way to get your attention without the spot-light being directly on her? 

 

Hang in there. You'll get through this!


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#55 of 55 Old 03-27-2012, 08:37 AM
 
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OP I'm so glad you were able to talk to her about this!  It does sound alot like my sister (lying out of the need for attention and wanting to see if you bothered to listen or figure it out).  One would expect a 16 year old to understand the needs of a new baby, but kids are so different!  As I mentioned before, my sister STILL needs alot of attention, and has a hard time putting other people's needs first - she has always been that way.  It's great that you were able to talk to her and get to the bottom of it.  Is there anything she can do with you and the new baby?  Go for a walk and talk?  Have a certain time to just hang out with her every week?  Some kids are just high needs, even as a teenager, and I think you should still help her with that like you would a younger child.  It will create more harmony for the whole family! (I completely understand your 15 year old being fed up - I was a very independent, self-sufficient kid and couldn't understand or tolerate my sister's crazy dramatic shenanigans for attention).

 

On a side note, I'm sure that parenting a teen is certainly different and more complicated than simply remembering what it was like - but we all have experiences growing up that shape who we will become as parents, so I don't think it's invalid, either.  My parents raised me in a VERY authoritarian manner, but raised my sister much more permissively.  I can see pros and cons to both, and think navigating the middle ground with respect is tricky.

 

High expectations for behavior plus limits and guidance are all a part of the mix.  I don't think it's either "be my child's adversary" or "be my child's friend."  Just like some are stuck in an authoritarian model of trying to control and completely dominate kids, I think some in the AP crowd go MUCH to far in terms of permissiveness (or a "hands off" laissez-fair approach), in the name of respecting their child's sovereignty.  There are times to do both - times to firmly correct behavior and adjust freedoms, and times to just be a confidant and a good listener over a cup of coffee.  I do think it is important not to pick one or the other, but to actively parent in a dynamic way that responds to the situation at hand.  It takes more effort than a blanket approach, but I think we can all agree you'll get better results if you can figure out when to stand up to your child with conviction and when to acquiesce and let go.

 

Also, this...if someone were seriously hurt, can you imagine comforting the parents of that child with this line?  I can't...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemombian View Post
Legally, until they are 18 I am responsible for them. If they go missing or something happens to them I am responsible of my choices as a parent. "I didn't want my kid to feel like a dork so I just let her go do whatever she wanted.. I have no clue where she is or who she was with" isn't going to fly if in fact something serious occurred.

 

Finally, I just have to add that I moved back in with my parents several times after a really craptastic childhood - I would not hesitate to do anything you feel is right as a parent because you are afraid of scaring them away from moving back in with you.  I feel like it's a specter that people are holding over their own (and others') heads - oh, don't upset your kid or set too many limits or they won't come back!  It's simply not true.

 

And I don't think there is anything wrong with regarding a childhood home as "the parents' house."  It is!!!  Whose name is on the mortgage?  Who is paying it every month?  Who is living there permanently, versus temporarily?  If my child were to move back in with me, I would certainly want them to respect my home, my rules, my property, and my routines.  I would want them to contribute to chores and the like, as I did.  And I would want them to want to go out as an adult and find their own living space, when possible.  I think recognizing that your parents are adults that worked for what they have, went out on their own to get it, and maintain responsibility for it is a part of growing up and a model to follow.  Recognizing that the family home is not, in fact, "theirs" is a huge step in seeing parents as fellow adults in a respectful, more peer-like relationship, as opposed to one of a child's dependency and entitlement.  


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