Mothering Forums - Reply to Topic

Thread: Workshop #9 Adolescence Reply to Thread
Title:
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-09-2009 10:40 PM
MarineWife
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I got in far less trouble than dsd does.

I had a very different environment growing up, my parents weren't divorced, I didn't have stepparents, I don't remember going through the rebellious stage and wanting tattoos, thinking smoking looks cool, or having any of the self-image issues. I certainly wasn't boy crazy. So dsd and I differ this way, and maybe that's why I worry this much?
I think this is the major issue with my dh. He had a picture perfect childhood. He says his parents were supportive and loving and he never felt any desire to rebel. He can't understand what ds is thinking or why he does what he does. I, on the other hand, had to deal with divorced parents, a stepmom and multiple possible stepdads. I was wild and rebellious and did lots of crazy things that I'm surprised now I lived through. I can relate to ds' feelings of abandonment and unworthiness because of an absent father.
01-09-2009 07:06 PM
Oriole I got in far less trouble than dsd does.

I had a very different environment growing up, my parents weren't divorced, I didn't have stepparents, I don't remember going through the rebellious stage and wanting tattoos, thinking smoking looks cool, or having any of the self-image issues. I certainly wasn't boy crazy. So dsd and I differ this way, and maybe that's why I worry this much?

At the same time, I remember feeling unsure and insecure, I certainly wasn't in the popular crowd, I remember having unreasonable idealistic arguments with everyone , and taking what my parents did for granted. So in that way, I relate to her, and see this in her, and have a certain degree of certainty that this too shall pass.
01-08-2009 09:44 AM
MarineWife
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emzachsmama View Post
Everyone I have talked to about this have told me that this age is the hardest and that over the course of the next year things should settle down...I sure hope so.
That was my experience with my now almost 18yo.
01-08-2009 01:22 AM
Emzachsmama I'm having such a hard time dealing with this age. My dd is 14 and at times it can be very trying. I know that she is a good kid but sometimes the choices she makes...I wish she was more like I was at that age...I didn't get into trouble at all...not because I was scared of my parents or anything, they were great. I just wasn't interested in any of that.

It is so difficult to walk that line between starting to let them make their own choices and keeping them safe. It is hard as a parent to let go, even though I know I have to. I suppose it wouldn't feel as difficult if I didn't get the attitude from her when she doesn't agree with something.

Everyone I have talked to about this have told me that this age is the hardest and that over the course of the next year things should settle down...I sure hope so.
01-07-2009 05:35 PM
SagMom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
...I really feel a sense of relief that she made it through 15 without any of the stuff I went through.
Oh, gosh, yes. At times, I look at my teens and remember what I was doing at their ages. I am so overwhelmed with relief that they aren't doing the same self-destructive things.

The frank discussions with my teens have been difficult at times for me. I didn't talk with my parents about so much, and it's been uncomfortable at times but I've tried to make it ordinary.
01-07-2009 05:07 PM
MarineWife
Quote:
Originally Posted by SagMom View Post
I decided then that I would treat my kids as people with valid ideas and opinions and that I would respect their feelings and treat them as I wanted to be treated.
This is what I try to do. I don't know that I'm very good at it but I try very hard. I try to be interested and involved in my children's lives without being controlling and authoritarian. I don't have rules but try to live by principles instead.
01-07-2009 03:08 PM
Dar This is an interesting topic... my daughter will turn 16 on Saturday, and I really feel a sense of relief that she made it through 15 without any of the stuff I went through. At 15 I ran away from home, lived on the streets on L.A. for a while, came back and lived in a runaway shelter home, and then ended up institutionalized... and the rest of my adolescence was more of the same, with a stint in foster care. It took me many years to get my life back on track, and to recover from all of that. I never lived at home after I was 15... so I was really "parented" by the state.

I've done things very differently all the way through, and admittedly, a lot of it has been a reaction to the way I was parented.

Dar
01-07-2009 11:50 AM
SagMom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I am curious to see how do you see your parenting of your teens is reflective on how you were parented during this age.

:
I'd like to join the party.

I grew up in what I saw as a controlling environment. My parents had a "As long as you live in my house, you'll follow my rules" policy. There were people they forbid me to spend time with, we had curfews, I had my car keys taken away as punishment. They determined that I would go to college, and dismissed the plans I had. Their way was the only way.

I think they thought that because they were older, they knew better and that they were trying to keep me safe.

I ended up rebelling big time--I could have been sent to juvi for any number of things except that I didn't get caught. And in hindsight, I'm amazed that I made it through that period alive. It was all an attempt to be heard. There were some super-bad decisions I was making, but *I* was making them. I don't think my parents know the half of it, still. I was so angry. When I turned 18 I was sat down and told, "Now you're legally an adult, anything you do, you're responsible for." So I went from being totally controlled, to totally on my own.

I decided then that I would treat my kids as people with valid ideas and opinions and that I would respect their feelings and treat them as I wanted to be treated.
01-06-2009 11:24 PM
Cherie2
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmama View Post
How could they have supported you so that you could do that and not have left home?
I have been thinking about this all day and have not been able to come up with an answer. I needed separateness .. i needed to rip them away like a band-aid. I don't know, all I can think of is that it was my path.. and I am actually quite grateful that they allowed me that.
01-06-2009 03:23 PM
Cherie2
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmama View Post
Cherie2, I wanted to ask. If your homelife was acceptable what was the life that you wanted that you couldn't have with the support of your parents? The idea of a 13 yo leaving home to "live their life" terrifies me. How could they have supported you so that you could do that and not have left home?
I know, it seems so extremely radical to me now as a parent ... but in my memories it was very natural and normal. My mother was in the depths of her gypsy days at the time. (traveling in busses with with hippie/gypsies to barter fairs and rainbow gatherings)

I grew up mostly with my dad in Los Angeles but had been living with mom since about age 10. Her house was always full of all kinds of people, there was a lot of music and fun and philosophical conversation. Her friends became my friends (many were much younger than she was).

I went to live with dad again in 6th grade the spent that summer back up with mom in Oregon. I started 7th grade in LA but after a couple of weeks I just could not live that LA life anymore. All the kids seemed so foreign and immature. The summer in Oregon had been one of those "live-changing" summers and I was not the same person anymore.

So I went back and instead of traveling with mom, I traveled with other family friends and decided school and spending time with 13 year olds was not for me anymore. We traveled, picked apples, camped in the bitterroot foothills. I saw 48 states from the age of 15 to 17. I worked in nurseries, orchards and at one point had my own little day care. We'd sit in the coffee shop for hours, expand our minds on the beach and sing at open mic. Its not the typical teenage hood, but it was mine and I loved it. And if this is the path one of my kids had wanted to take, I would not fault them for it.

I selfishly want my kids closer to me. I try to be tuned in to them and what their needs are. I make no demands of my teens. School is their choice, bathing is their choice, I am working hard not to make judgments and to let them discover themselves. Hopefully they feel comfortable enough at home to stick around for a while. But if they need to leave, I will find a way to deal with that.
01-06-2009 12:31 PM
greenmama I wanted to jump into this thread even though I am not parenting adolescents at the moment, I have in the past (I parented my step kids through them) and am not far from it with my dd.
I hope to parent alot like my parents in that they were very involved in my life, and moderately strict yet with a fair amount of trust. Another thing they did is encourage us to be very active in alot of organized activities (basically there was not time to get into trouble), I worry about that as we intend to continue homeschooling and I don't see alot of those opportunities for teen homeschoolers. One thing I intend to do very differently is not talk to her about our differences. My father inadvertantly taught me not to respect my mother by making all her problems known to me which caused a plethora of problems between us. I don't think I really learned to respect her again until I became a mother.

One thing I worry about from my experience with dsd adn dss is dealing with lying. Maybe it won't be a problem as i have always stressed to dd and dgd the importance of honesty for trust. But... my husband strongly believed that it was important for the kids to know we believed in them. Consequently we NEVER accused them of lying unless we had physical undisputable proof, which we rarely had. They lied all the time, we knew they were lying but pretended we didn't and they thought we were idiots. I hated every year of it. dsd still compulsively lies to us when there is really no reason to do so. We have always supported her unconditionally. It is really this great unresolved issue for me. BTW my parents were always from childhood clear that lying is unacceptable, but as we didn't lie as teenagers I don't know what they would have done.

Cherie2, I wanted to ask. If your homelife was acceptable what was the life that you wanted that you couldn't have with the support of your parents? The idea of a 13 yo leaving home to "live their life" terrifies me. How could they have supported you so that you could do that and not have left home?
01-05-2009 08:17 PM
Cherie2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I am curious to see how do you see your parenting of your teens is reflective on how you were parented during this age.

:
This is a hard question for me too. I left home at 13 so I basically did not have parents through these years. There was no trouble per se at home but I just needed to live my life .. so I left ... I guess I try to give my kids the freedom to live "their" lives within the comfort of our home. I would like to keep them around a little longer than I stayed
01-05-2009 08:15 PM
amnesiac I was pretty much left to my devices by one parent's household but under overly strict restrictions by the other. I think that the way I parent my adolescents is just more in tune with their needs at the moment, not what I think they should need as teens. Does that even make any sense??
01-05-2009 07:15 PM
MarineWife
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I am curious to see how do you see your parenting of your teens is reflective on how you were parented during this age.

:
Well, I was parented by two sets of parents so it gets a bit confusing for me. My mother was very inattentive and unaware/oblivious. She didn't provide any guidance or support or affection or anything. I felt very much that she didn't care about me. My dad, otoh, was much more strict to the put that I was a bit scared of him and thought he was a little mean and very intolerant. So, I try to find a happy medium between those two. I'll have to come back to this cuz my 4yo is having a meltdown and I can't think.
01-05-2009 02:35 PM
Oriole I am curious to see how do you see your parenting of your teens is reflective on how you were parented during this age.

:
01-03-2009 08:56 PM
MarineWife This thread seems to have died. What are we supposed to discuss? What can we do to get it going again?
12-26-2008 06:59 PM
MarineWife
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
So I just wanted to jump in and confess that we had a very tough stage with dsd and I think we are starting to come out of it just now. It's a slow journey of one step forward - two steps back, but it is noticeable.
After reading this I had to see if you had your dsd's age on here. I notice from your sig that she's 15. We went through the same struggles with my ds when he was 13-15. That was, by far, the hardest age/stage for us. By the time he was 15 he started to come out of it but would regress often. Now that he's 17, almost 18, he is becoming much more mature and is much more pleasant to be around, more appreciative of the things we do for him. We still have our issues and difficulties but they seem less rather than more now, if that makes sense.

I don't come here for advice with him much anymore because I've gotten to a place where I've accepted that I can't force him to do anything. He has to decide to do things himself. I can give him my love and support and opinions and advice (when he asks) but, ultimately, he has to make the decisions. It took me a long time and a lot of crying to get here but I'm ok with it all now (most of the time). My dh is not there yet but he hasn't had even half the time with ds that I've had.
12-26-2008 06:45 PM
Oriole I worry that those who struggle with their teenagers won't feel comfortable coming in here to talk about it.

So I just wanted to jump in and confess that we had a very tough stage with dsd and I think we are starting to come out of it just now. It's a slow journey of one step forward - two steps back, but it is noticeable. I don't know if one should blame parenting, the age, or societal expectations for what we were going through, but admittedly, DSD went through the time where she:

* rolled her eyes, slammed doors, was failing three classes, wore VERY dark clothes and make up, seemed VERY ungrateful for big and little things that were done for her.

There is still a hint of that going on, but at the same time she is taking two honors classes and is a straight A student. This holiday season she put together a bag of clothes to donate, and most of her dark-rebellious stuff was in that bag. With the money she got from Christmas she picked out quite cheerful, urban style clothing, and her make up seemed to have lightened up over the past few weeks. I received many many thanks for the gifts I have picked out for her, she must have said "Oriole, thank you!" about 30 times yesterday.


Things I hope will change for her overtime:

* She still swears a lot more than I'd hope she would (not with us, usually, more so with her friends), and I really think she'll grow out of it.
* She puts friends before family more often than she should. For instance, she got gifts for many of her friends, but didn't get anything for her little brother and sister on her mom's side, she simply helped us out to get presents for them, but did nothing on her own.
* Sometimes (not always) she gets very cranky when she doesn't get a ride.
* She resorts to saying hurtful things to her father when she gets upset, and that's NOT the way for a child, a teen or an adult to be, it's never been modeled for her in this house, she didn't behave that way when she was younger no matter how upset she got, and as much as I hate this phrase, but she certainly "knows better than that".

So I would never dismiss the difficulties that come with the territory. I think every stage of life presents its own benefits and difficulties, and I think parents struggle with teenagehood this much because every parenting mistake we made in earlier years (and who hasn't made mistakes? ) comes to haunt you tenfold in this particular time when our kids begin to get out into the world on their own: no more play dates with parents there, there is driving, jobs, friends you don't know, etc. On top of everything, the whole idea of "letting go" is extremely difficult for some parents (boy, did my own mom struggle with that one!), so I think that adds to the "teenage dread" as everyone is trying to find boundaries "is it okay for them to be having sex at 15? Is it okay for them to be out late with a phone? How about without? How about with a friend you don't like? Is it really still parents' decision to make, or is it the time to let go?

So there... I just wanted to admit to what we struggled with, and to give reassurance to those who still struggle, that they are not alone in this journey, I've been there, done that and still come to MDC for advice in the times of crisis specific to this age.
12-24-2008 08:43 PM
MarineWife My dh is not the bio dad of my teen, either, so he defers to me a lot. The problem for me is that dh then pretty much withdraws and is grumpy all the time. He's missing all the fun he could be having with ds and his friends. Dh does come around eventually. He was very upset at first about ds' friend living with us. 6 months later he says it's weird when friend isn't here. He got really angry at friend's girlfriend's mom for basically calling friend a bum and forbidding her dd from seeing him. He even put a present under the tree from friend to me.

As far as the punishing, I think that's part of the reason I have the difficulties I have with my teen. I was very authoritarian and punished a lot when he was younger. I followed all the "experts" advice. I truly believe that if I had followed my heart instead, things would be so much better between. I can see how they have improved since I let all that stuff go.
12-24-2008 01:34 PM
BedHead My dh has a hard time with the whole concept of trusting our teens. He is VERY authoritarian. But since the kids aren't biologically his, he defers to me to make decisions about them. Thankfully. He also has very little to do with disciplining them - I might as well still be a single mom in that respect. but I don't mind - it's much easier for me to just do it all than fight with him about things all the time! He's willing to take my direction and not complain about it for the most part, so it works for us.

And I SO hear you about the PUNISH attitude. People figure that by not grounding my kids for ten years and taking away all their privileges and confining them to their rooms that I'm just being lazy and permissive, and that I'll be sorry. It can be frustrating for me, but I have a WAY better relationship with my kids than most other parents of teens I know, and none of mine are into drinking, drugs, promiscuity, running away from home etc.
12-24-2008 08:47 AM
MarineWife I forgot to add that I do love teens, though, especially the older ones. My ds and his friends hang at our house all the time now. One of them pretty much lives with us. I love it. There's always something happening. They are fun and interesting to talk to.

My dh has a hard time with it. I'm not sure why. He says he wants to have his house to himself but the kids are usually either in ds' room or outside so I don't see how they are in dh's way. I think it's just that my dh is stuck in that mindset that all teens are trouble and he won't open his heart to the joy.
12-23-2008 11:04 PM
Cherie2
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
It's difficult when the opinions and advice I get from almost everyone else is to be very harsh and tough and punish, punish, punish. That's just not something that works for us.
I know! When we were in the throws of it with dd a couple of years ago and I was desperate for help and advice that was all I got (until I found MDC of course)
12-23-2008 09:14 PM
MarineWife Subbing

I have a 17yo ds who will be 18 in March. He seems to have 2 personalities. On the one hand, he can be very sweet and very thoughtful. When he's in the mood he cook special treats for everyone and he put a lot of thought into a Christmas present for me and was so excited that he blabbed about it. On the other hand, he can be very disrespectful and nasty when he doesn't get his way. He portrays an outward attitude of not caring about anyone but himself. An example would be that he's friends with people who I suspect engage in illegal activity. My dh is career military and we have come to the point that we are concerned that ds' behavior could affect dh's career. When I try to talk to ds about it, he says that's too bad for dh.

We started out kind of AP long before I ever knew what that was but veered off course for a while as he got older. We got back to it when he was around 12 or 13. I've been trying to fix our relationship. Sometimes I think it's working and sometimes I get very discouraged. It's difficult when the opinions and advice I get from almost everyone else is to be very harsh and tough and punish, punish, punish. That's just not something that works for us.

Anyway, not sure where I'm going with all of that. Just sort of rambling now.

:
12-23-2008 04:18 AM
mandib50
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
Mandib50, had to post out of appreciation for the similarities in our families. I have an almost-15yo dd, a newly-12yo ds, a 10yo dd and a 5yo dd.

We're also unschoolers, and my eldest is also passionate about music. And she's a wonderful kid, full of quirks but full of talents too. She's about to head off to Burma, Thailand and Northern Lao for two months trekking with [adult] friends. A "rite of passage" type travel adventure opportunity that arose as a result of mentoring relationships she established in the community in pursuing her music.

Miranda
wow ... very similar! that sounds likes a wonderful opportunity for your dd. it really is great to see how our children grow and become themselves :
12-22-2008 12:22 PM
AngelBee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post

My biggest complaint about these years is about society at large that dreads teens and treats them as delinquents waiting to happen.


While I do not have any teens of my own (yet), I work with teens daily (mostly girls.)

I LOVE teens. And they love me.

I think the main reason is because I do not assume they are horrible.

I think of them as capable, intelligent, and eager to work hard and excel. I RARELY have issues with gossip or rudeness.....and I am dealing with 36 of them at a time We respect eachother as sisters. As a result they are extremely honest and respectful. And so am I.
12-22-2008 02:24 AM
moominmamma Mandib50, had to post out of appreciation for the similarities in our families. I have an almost-15yo dd, a newly-12yo ds, a 10yo dd and a 5yo dd.

We're also unschoolers, and my eldest is also passionate about music. And she's a wonderful kid, full of quirks but full of talents too. She's about to head off to Burma, Thailand and Northern Lao for two months trekking with [adult] friends. A "rite of passage" type travel adventure opportunity that arose as a result of mentoring relationships she established in the community in pursuing her music.

Miranda
12-19-2008 06:39 PM
mandib50 i have a 15 1/2 year old dd ( and a son that just turned 12. they are both wonderful kids! my dd is compassionate, kind, considerate, and helpful. she is passionate about music and is so supportive of her younger siblings. my 12 year old son is also very much the same (except passionate about tae kwon do and tends to pick on the kids from time to time ).

i make a point of listening to them (when i was a kid, my parents did not listen to me at all), spending time with them, supporting them and encouraging them in their interests and just allowing them to be themselves. i don't know what i'm doing right but i love my kids and couldn't be happier with who they are becoming :
12-16-2008 06:11 AM
Jezzy I have two teens 15, and 13. They are challenging to say the least. Since my dd 13 got her first period 3 months ago she has become VERY b!tchy and pretty much stuck up. My ds 15 is easier. They are both pretty lazy and will walk by me when I am holding my lo (10 mo) and doing some chore, vaccuming, putting away dishes. They don't offer to help like I wish they would. I wouldn't put them to work for hours just a little help kwim?

This is NOT the way I raised them, they would help out a stranger in a heartbeat just not me

They are good kids though. They have never been in any real trouble. Just lazy
12-15-2008 11:46 PM
UUMom We're good.
12-15-2008 10:17 PM
mama_ani Subbing because I'm in my 4th month of parenting a teen and it's been, well, um, interesting!!
This thread has more than 30 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off