As parent we all know kids are kids and this will never change. No technology can change this fact. Our children act just like us when we were kids. We acted just like our parents. Kids will be kids and times may change but human nature doesn’t.
Before I continue let me just say through all the trials and hard times as a parent, the good times surpass them one hundred fold! My three teenagers are all straight A/B students. As a matter of fact all of them are in Honors and/or AP classes in High School, active in many different things to include: Journalism/Annual Staff, Chorus, Drama, Soccer, Different Clubs and School, non-school & Church Sponsored Organizations.
All in all they are good children, who are making some very bad decisions. I am not writing anything shocking to anyone, as the parents of teenagers around the US experience these same events regardless of income or background. As I stated in the opening sentence, kids are kids and this will never change. So far 2013 has not been normal for my wife and I…
On to the year 2013; the year of trials.
Son, oldest turns 18 this year: Decides not to go to college but volunteer with a group that is assisting illegal immigrants, drug smugglers, gangs, and maybe some hard working people into the US via Mexico. All of this under the cloak of a humanitarian effort called “No More Deaths”. I won’t go into the just of this but as I told him, “Son… you are turning 18 and have to make your journey in life both physical and spiritual and if you believe this is best, you have heard me tell you it is a bad idea but it is your life not mine. All I can do is give you my advice and you have it, the rest is up to you”.
Daughter, oldest girl, just turned 16: Just got suspended from school with a boyfriend that we do not approve of as parents. He tries to act like he is a man and talks to her like he is her property and a woman’s place is only to bare children, clean the house and make dinner. We can only do what we can do from our end as parents and have removed any contact within our control such as computer (e-mail and chat), phone and he is not welcome here in our home. I know many will tell me that this will only drive her to him, however, for 6 months prior this latest breakup/get back together saga, we did our best to be amicable until rules were broken and trust and respect were no longer there.
Daughter, 2nd oldest girl, will turn 15 soon: Decides it is ok to lie and go to a boy’s house who also has his other friend (who is a boy) over. So there are two teenage boys and my daughter in a house with no adult. The only adult, the boys grandmother, is at work. Can any female tell me if this is a safe situation? To top it off, we find out she was smoking pot. Needless to say she had to do a lot of things to include face her coaches, leaders, teachers and tell them what she had done as well as letters were written explain what she did (no excuses only responsibility) and restrictions were also given. Researching the impacts of this gateway drug was also used as a form of punishment. After two weeks of meeting different community leaders that she looked up to and facing her mistake head on I believe will only benefit her in a positive way. I am not naive enough to believe she will never do this again, but I do hope that the lesson of this sticks with her in a positive way.
When this stage of their life is over (The dreaded teenage years), I do think all three children will turn out just fine. Yes, they are making mistakes now and feeling the consequences of them, however they don’t know fully realize yet how lucky they are. They have two parents and grandparents who love them so much as well as a community that helps raise them. They have a wonderful support network that many children do not have. We as parents are very blessed to have such a network of friends as well. So if you’re reading this and parenting teenagers, you are not alone!
Thanks for reading