Getting tired of teen dread - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-07-2007, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Who else here is totally sick of people finding out you have a teen and them assuming that they are horrible, screaming, manipulative lying kids? Or getting the oh nooooooo I'm so dreading my kids hitting their teens, or OMG I'm dreading my kid driving, or dating. Or oh the horror my kid will grow up one day.

Because I'm totally sick and tired of it.

Everyone assumes teens are bad, snotty and yell and slam doors. I actually feel sorry for teens that they are uniformly given a bad rap.

Yes I've known some teens that are like that. But mine isn't. She is an awesome, considerate, well read kid that doesn't give us attitude or a hard time. And no it's not because we "laid down the law to show her who is boss" like people assume. Quite the opposite since we are pretty much a consentual living family.

I'm just really tired of the bad teen assumptions.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:58 AM
 
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I agree, though I understand why people think that. Society has coached us into thinking that unilaterally, every teen will go through 'that' phase, and it will be horrible. The truth is that the teen years are a natural time for self discovery and questioning the world around them. It is natural for some teens to 'try on' different identities, it is disconcerting to some parents to see their young ones changing, even if they logically want them to grow into healthy adults.

It also annoys me a bit when I hear parents say that about dreading the teen years, I just try to educate them with the information and intuitions that I have. I am excited to have a little one going through puberty and am constantly amazed at how considerate, creative and special he is...I also see him struggling with insecurity and inner torment. That comes out sometimes in very unpleasant ways, I will not lie, but I never 'dreaded' it.

I also am surrounded by many teens as a part of a Circus troupe that I am involved in. I love the role I play in their lives, even if it is not accepted by my own son He needs another adult in his life to be a mentor (a role I play for other teens) I wish, wish, wish that he would confide in me more, I am parenting in a gentle, cooperative way, but not all kids are going to respond in the same way.

I have compassion for the parents that suffer from fear when it comes to their changing child, it does kind of feel like the rug is being pulled from beneath you to SOME people. depends on the kid/ parent and family dynamic.

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Old 12-07-2007, 02:12 AM
 
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I'm with you. I have a 17 yo dd and she is such a joy! Helpful, playful. She quite literally begs her daddy and I to watch movies with her. Oh yes, she has her snotty days (think PMS here ). But all in all, she's a great kid.
What bothers me is when someone finds out that my teen dd is driving....why does everyone assume that all teens are horrible drivers? She is probably a better driver than me. Very cautious and very aware of her speed.
She is actually the third teen for me and in all honesty, the other two were just a great!

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Old 12-07-2007, 09:39 AM
 
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Yes, yes and yes again!! I totally understand. Teen phobia is rampant online and IRL, and it's such an unfortunate thing. I think it comes from so many sources. The big one is that we are lead to believe that them wanting any kind of independence is some major act of rebellion or that any difference of opinion or style from their parents is cause for concern. Blech.

I LOVE my teenagers! We've not had to lay down any law or be "strict" or any of that stuff. None of the kids' friends/peers believe them at first when they say they have never been grounded. Dd has a friend who is grounded more than not, and she's totally resentful and full of snark toward her parents for it. Also, it's not doing a darn thing because she's always online when her parents are gone, and that is the thing she's usually "grounded" from.

I fear driving, and dating, and well lots of things. It's not because I don't want them to grow up and do those things, but it's because I fear the hurt I know they are bound to have to face and the people who will be untrue and unkind. My mom heart wants to save them from it all, but I know I can't do that. They have lives to live and things to learn too. I'm just grateful that we have such a close, respectful and loving relationship so that I can be there to help wherever I can help.

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Old 12-07-2007, 10:36 AM
 
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I'm not a mama (yet), but I, too, am frustrated by people's reactions to teens. I was a middle school teacher for about 8 years. People were always so sorry for me when they heard what grade I taught, and then shocked to find out I picked middle school, that it was actually my first choice.

Believe me, most of the adults I worked with were far more trying than my students. The kids were great.
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:40 AM
 
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I'm your mirror opposite. I didnt think anything negative about teens, and was actually looking forward to my son becoming a teen because we could have *real* conversations, and do fun stuff together. What I got, however, was the polar opposite. My son is inconsiderate, rude, loud, obnoxious, and starts trouble at home just to see how much he can push before we (his dad and I) get frustrated (and has admitted as much). At the school he goes to, the kids are worse even than he is. They hit/punch/kick/insult/steal/etc so much that I am considering homeschooling my son again after only 2 weeks of public school. It may not be *all* the kids there, but its definitely enough that my son cannot go through a whole class period without being messed with or insulted or threatened by *someone*.
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:52 AM
 
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I'm sorry you aregoing through that with your son. I have had problems with my son as well, he has some special needs that cause alot of torment for him as he goes through hormonal changes. I LOVE the whole energy that teens bring to the world though, DS will get through this , so will your DS. From what you describe about his school, I would yank him out and homeschool as you are thinking of doing. I know firsthand how hard it can be for some of us. I think that so many people expect that kind of behavior from our teens though, not ALL of themin that age category have those issues though, I think it is he exception, and I also think it has ALOT to do with how they are socialized in many schools.

God luck to you, and ((((hugs))))









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Originally Posted by Jenlaana View Post
I'm your mirror opposite. I didnt think anything negative about teens, and was actually looking forward to my son becoming a teen because we could have *real* conversations, and do fun stuff together. What I got, however, was the polar opposite. My son is inconsiderate, rude, loud, obnoxious, and starts trouble at home just to see how much he can push before we (his dad and I) get frustrated (and has admitted as much). At the school he goes to, the kids are worse even than he is. They hit/punch/kick/insult/steal/etc so much that I am considering homeschooling my son again after only 2 weeks of public school. It may not be *all* the kids there, but its definitely enough that my son cannot go through a whole class period without being messed with or insulted or threatened by *someone*.

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Old 12-07-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post

I'm just really tired of the bad teen assumptions.



And from what I've seen, when a problem DOES arrise, it's attributed to some imagined general evilness of teens, rather than people seeing it as a mistake, yk?

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Old 12-07-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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It's the same with toddlers. "They" assume they are having tantrums even if they are sweet. (And one can be both sweet and moody...I don't know about you but I have mood swings, why should toddlers or teens be any different? We're all human!)

Keep sending that postive energy out to the teens in your life because it makes the world a better place.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:43 AM
 
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It's the same with toddlers. "They" assume they are having tantrums even if they are sweet. (And one can be both sweet and moody...I don't know about you but I have mood swings, why should toddlers or teens be any different? We're all human!)

Keep sending that postive energy out to the teens in your life because it makes the world a better place.
Yes. yes yes!!! I have terrible mood swings, why should I nt have compassion for another human being who is also going through a similar experience. I am not superior, just older... I feel blessed to be able to be around all of these teens. I can't wait to see what DD will be like at 13, I have no dread, just happy anticipation and curiosity.

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Old 12-07-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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Oh yeh.

I have had so many people tell me that my dd (age 14) will hate me someday soon. why is it just assumed that mothers and daughters will hate each other?

it's an ignorant assumption because those who say that to me must not know me or my daughter very well.

I adore my teenagers and find their changes and transformations so exciting. I burst with pride on a daily basis.
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:59 AM
 
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Oh yeh.

I have had so many people tell me that my dd (age 14) will hate me someday soon. why is it just assumed that mothers and daughters will hate each other?

it's an ignorant assumption because those who say that to me must not know me or my daughter very well.

I adore my teenagers and find their changes and transformations so exciting. I burst with pride on a daily basis.
I hear that too, about my DD hating me one day I hope that is not true, I can't imagine it to be...I also burst with pride at both of my DCs

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Old 12-07-2007, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And from what I've seen, when a problem DOES arrise, it's attributed to some imagined general evilness of teens, rather than people seeing it as a mistake, yk?
that is very true also.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:30 PM
 
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Yes, it drives me nuts. So do the comments about teens at the park, teens at the mall, teens in the street - as though their very existence was a threat and they should be kept under lock and key at home.

Also, the posts of horror at "my kid is growing up". Our job as parents is to help our kids grow up, their job is to grow up, where is the problem there? Yes, my kids will eventually drive, date, have sexual relations, so what? Perfectly normal.

Not saying my almost 14 DD is always a model of sweetness and light, but then, I assure you, neither am I...
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:50 PM
 
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There's nothing new about it. Once people quit rolling their eyes in sympathy because you have a newborn, they see you enjoying your baby and say, "Wait until he's TWO! Then you'll be sorry!" (I LOVED two. and three... and...)

Every stage of the growing up process will feature some veteran know-it-all mom warning that the party is over, and the next step will be awful.

Whenever I found a mom who admitted to loving her toddlers, or teens, or whatever, I was grateful. I try to be that person now for younger moms.

The flip side, from where I stand now with older kids, is moms of babies who are so sure (like I once was ) that THEIR perfect little child will never stomp a foot and say "NO!" at three, or be sarcastic as a teen. I knew just how parents of older kids were doing it all wrong... until MY kids hit that stage. Then I had to eat crow.

I think a big part of rolling with the changes as your kids experiment with independence is to lighten up, and not take it all so seriously. We have basic rules about respect for each other, at my house, but we somehow manage to avoid the major power struggles and shouting matches that defined my own teen years. A sense of humor helps.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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I can't stand it. My big kids are hardly perfect and we have had our problems with ds this year, but all in all he is a great kid who finally just exploded after being an "easy" baby and an "easy" child. His friends are pleasant and polite (albeit very mainstream mall-going types, which I'm simply not used to) and were very kind and helpful to me when he was going through his crisis. I still absolutely love teens in general and my own kids in particular. My son is absolutely delicious (and was as a toddler too) and my adult kids are helpful and a joy and I get so sick and tired of people assuming negative things about them.

ETA: glad to see you here, primalmommy; I decided not to move to Toledo after all, but appreciated all your advice ojn the homeschooling group and think of you frequently.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:33 PM
 
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The thing that makes me sad is that dd has bought into this stereotype of teens and believes that she is going to turn evil when she hits the teen mark. Pointing out that dss is (usually) a very sweet teen has not convinced her otherwise.

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Old 12-07-2007, 06:58 PM
 
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I hated the teen assumption when I was one, and I still do to this day.

If every adult I knew hadn't assumed I would be a petty criminal when "-teen" got added to my age, I wouldn't have felt obligated to fit the role. If they were going to treat me like the stereotypical untrustworthy, lying, sneaking, evil teenager, well...might as well get all the bad fun that goes along with that anyways, right? Teenagers are some of the wittiest, funniest, most creative and inspiring people I ever had the pleasure of being around. There is a fervent intensity in teenagerhood that so many people forget or don't appreciate. I've got another decade to go before mine is one, but I really look forward to seeing the kind of person she is when she gets there.
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:01 PM
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Yep- it does get tiring. There is no more or less drama as far as I can tell. IME, it is just sometimes a little more complicated.
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe people for the most part do what is expected of them, and well, if you (general you, of course) make it clear that a teen is expected to be a lazy, manipulative, lying, stealing horndog, you shouldn't be too surprised if s/he turns out that way.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:35 AM
 
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I am going to be completely , utterly 100% honest.

I have major teen phobia. And I was only a teen myself
5 years ago.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:28 AM
 
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I am going to be completely , utterly 100% honest.

I have major teen phobia. And I was only a teen myself
5 years ago.
don't worry, teens are wonderful. Read this thread.

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Old 12-09-2007, 01:08 PM
 
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It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe people for the most part do what is expected of them, and well, if you (general you, of course) make it clear that a teen is expected to be a lazy, manipulative, lying, stealing horndog, you shouldn't be too surprised if s/he turns out that way.
I have to disagree. DSD is 14, and is getting "wow, you amaze me" letter for Christmas from me, so the way she handles herself is not the problem (any more than she was a little anyway). At the same time, I NEVER expected her to chop up her hair "emo" style, toss all other colors other than black and black to the side, and start listening to loud, scary (heheh) bands I've never heard of.

I didn't grow up in the US, and the whole culture differed from the US a great deal, yet our teenage years were the most troublesome and worriesome for my parents as well. Of course I'll agree that one shouldn't expect the worst from their child, but I'll always look at this stage of growing up as something challenging for both parents and kids.

I think your statement is putting a lot of blame on the parents who are having trouble with their kids, and invalidates their pains and worries... "If your kid does/says mean things, it's because you expected it, so it's your fault anyway!".

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:58 PM
 
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I have to disagree. DSD is 14, and is getting "wow, you amaze me" letter for Christmas from me, so the way she handles herself is not the problem (any more than she was a little anyway). At the same time, I NEVER expected her to chop up her hair "emo" style, toss all other colors other than black and black to the side, and start listening to loud, scary (heheh) bands I've never heard of.

I didn't grow up in the US, and the whole culture differed from the US a great deal, yet our teenage years were the most troublesome and worriesome for my parents as well. Of course I'll agree that one shouldn't expect the worst from their child, but I'll always look at this stage of growing up as something challenging for both parents and kids.

I think your statement is putting a lot of blame on the parents who are having trouble with their kids, and invalidates their pains and worries... "If your kid does/says mean things, it's because you expected it, so it's your fault anyway!".
I'm sorry, I should have been clearer there.

I know that teenagers go through a lot of changes, physically and otherwise. They're growing up and it's not always easy. And there will be challenges on both the parents' and the kid's side. However, I don't necessarily think challenge = bad. I mean, sometimes a teenager can be utterly disrespectful, that's for sure. But I'd be willing to bet that if the message sent to the kid is "you're disrespectful, manipulative and untrustworthy by definition because you're a teenager" rather than "in this instance you acted in a disrespectful manner", the outcome will be very different. The former is a character judgement based on an ugly stereotype, the latter is a judgement of the action.

I certainly don't mean to say that every single thing a kid does is because of something the parents did. I know I'm just as capable of disrespect now as I was at the age of 15. The only difference is that now people will tell me that what I did was unacceptable rather than that I am unacceptable due to the demographic I happen to fall in. And I react with much less defensiveness.

Again, I don't mean to say that all conflict means that there's something lacking in parenting. Of course not. Conflict can be a good learning experience for all parties involved. However, I stand by the assertion that if your (general you again) main argument as to why you're right and the kid is wrong is that s/he's a teenager and thus inherently wrong about things, you shouldn't be too surprised if s/he decides not to take your opinion into account when making decisions.

(FTR, I didn't grow up in the US either, nor do I live there now, but teen-phobia does seem to be quite prevalent in both of the countries I've lived in.)
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:12 PM
 
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Teens are such a joy! they bring so much fun into our lives. Are they often a trial? Yes, yes, yes....especially getting them to clean up things/kitchen, etc. But mostly they love spending time with us and are very responsible; all of mine except the oldest is in college and doing well. We are so proud of them. They also have great positive friends and their friends tend to hang out here rather than elsewhere, probably because we have a large two-floor cabin that we reserve for the kids' use, so there is plenty of room for them.
Teens bring so much energy into life; I wouldn't trade my teens for the world.
However, I am not saying there haven't been problems and big fights - there have been. But very rarely. If you listen, listen, listen, you'll find that your teen really wants your attention. And that is what to give them.
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by primalmommy View Post
There's nothing new about it. Once people quit rolling their eyes in sympathy because you have a newborn, they see you enjoying your baby and say, "Wait until he's TWO! Then you'll be sorry!" (I LOVED two. and three... and...)

Every stage of the growing up process will feature some veteran know-it-all mom warning that the party is over, and the next step will be awful.

Whenever I found a mom who admitted to loving her toddlers, or teens, or whatever, I was grateful. I try to be that person now for younger moms.

The flip side, from where I stand now with older kids, is moms of babies who are so sure (like I once was ) that THEIR perfect little child will never stomp a foot and say "NO!" at three, or be sarcastic as a teen. I knew just how parents of older kids were doing it all wrong... until MY kids hit that stage. Then I had to eat crow.

I think a big part of rolling with the changes as your kids experiment with independence is to lighten up, and not take it all so seriously. We have basic rules about respect for each other, at my house, but we somehow manage to avoid the major power struggles and shouting matches that defined my own teen years. A sense of humor helps.
:
i started to get those comments (about the teen years) when my ds was 6 weeks old!
i find the comments about teen girls are the worst, though. i got a lot of those when i was pg and didn't know if i was having a boy or a girl. and they were from women i would consider feminists! why would someone automatically think all teen girls are lying mean bimbos once they hit age 13? ugh! i think in general people don't really like or understand children, period.
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BelovedK View Post
don't worry, teens are wonderful. Read this thread.

thanks for the encouragement.

I've always had "issue" i guess with teens. Even when i was a teen myself
i did not like to be around other teens, with a few exceptions. I
haven't pin pointed exactly why i was like that, esp after age 15
.
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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I actually find parenting teens sooooo much more fun than parenting younger children. I mean, I loved my kids when they were small and enjoyed them immensely, but now they are older and have their own interests and opinions, they are so much more interesting to talk to. There are rough spots, of course, they make unwise decisions and assert their opinions and want more freedom and do things I'm not crazy about at times. But for the most part, they are great fun and a joy to have around, and so are their friends.
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:10 PM
 
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My oldest son is soon to be 5, and as much as I am already missing his babyhood, and wishing every year could last longer, I look forward to puberty and having a teenager. I like teenagers! I don't get the teen dread thing either. Especially about girls. The thing I regret most about not having a daughter is not getting to mother a girl through adolescence.
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:15 PM
 
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Hi I hope its ok to join in here as Im new?
I have 2 teenage boys..15 and 13 and I love them to bits.Theyre lovely,funny,clever,caring and doing brilliant at school.Of course there are bad teens,same as there are bad toddlers,adults and OAP's.It really is nonsense to tar them all the same!!!
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