Most people may think they know why I had kids. They may think, well its because I got pregnant at 17 and choose to keep my baby, which is right! And they may think, it wasn't to long after I had my first child, I was pregnant with my second child! And that again is correct! Which by the way is NOT uncommon for teens to have a second baby right away! Sad to say! I was the typical statistic, that most teen moms will become pregnant again, shortly after having a first baby/pregnancy. I get it when people say, "uh, you'd think she'd know how this happens!" Oh I know now! And I'd like to say I was "smart" enough to know back then! Really it's not about being "smart" its about many things...like what are your standards, convictions and beliefs. I had standards, convictions and believed I would not have sex until I was married! But because of the constant pressure of being asked to give "it" up, I finally caved and gave in (which is another story).
But now I have two incredible daughters who are not only bright and beautiful, but are highly intelligent and educated, and who are savvy in the English grammar! Unlike their mother! And now the truth comes out and I must confess, the reason I have kids, is so they may help me with my writing grammar as well as edit almost everything I write! Almost because they don't edit my blog...yet! So with that said, apologizes are given for past, present and future mistakes I will be making like, many incorrect sentences, misspelled and miss placed words and anything else that doesn't look or sound like it should!
I'm thankful God blessed me with children who paid attention in English class!
When I look back at when my girls were growing up, and I recall the different stages of each and every age. I personally feel the most difficult ages for me to parent was, seventeen…the "I'm almost an adult" too eighteen…”I AM an adult" too nineteen…the "I'm almost NOT a teen," and the attitude of…”You can't tell me what to do,” for all those ages! I gotta tell ya, at times I felt like I wanted to go Ninja on them, talk about pushing my buttons and me going from 0 to 100 in ninety seconds or less! I got to that point because I allowed my girls to get the best of me! Is what I had to do was, re-evaluate and re-adjust my parenting, once again. But this time it was a little different because they were actually right! They were almost an adult at seventeen, and they were an official-legal adult at eighteen, and they were about to be out of the teen years at nineteen! The one area they were not right in, was the, "You can't tell me what to do" area. The reason why they were not right is a few reasons, but before I tell you the reasons, I have to say this, you can't have the same "attitude" as your teen or young adult, and expect them to listen. Pull it together, and be the (bigger) adult…I had too! I had to stop saying over and over again the words, "As long as you live in MY house, Oh yes I can, and WILL tell you what to do!" I had to change my prideful attitude again, and say that same thing, just in different words, actions, AND tone IF I wanted to be effective, and I did want to be effective. With that said…
Regardless of the age of difficulty for you, remember to stay strong, and know you can and should stand up to your teen in LOVE and humility. Do not allow them to walk all over you and disrespect you as they get older. It’s NOT ok!
What comes to your mind when you see the word, "parenting"? I'm sure a lot of mixed emotions. It can be a love/hate thing that goes on in your mind. And only because we love our kids so much that we hate some of the choices they make. We want them do what is right and when they don't it hurts, not only them but us, and sometimes the pain is unbearable.
I have experienced this kind of pain as a parent many times, as I know many of you have as well. But regardless of the pain, I would never change the privilege of being a parent!
As our babies become teenagers and seem to need us less, which, by the way is NOT true! The need is just different! They need us to be someone who listens to them more, not someone "telling them what to do" with a finger pointed at them, yelling! As a teenager this is the time they need us the most. Life is tough for them, pressure is all around to do things they don't necessarily want to do. And hey, sometimes they do want to do things they shouldn't. But that doesn't mean they don't need us, their parent, fighting for them. Just make sure the "fight" isn't with them. I know that can be easier said than done! Boy, do I know that! And sometimes you do need to get angry, just NOT out of control!
If you've been struggling with your teen and your not pleased with the way you have handled certain situations, something I always say to do, and will continue to say, is, sit down and TALK. Have a for real CONVERSATION! How do you do this if your teen refuses? Of course there are several ways you can handle it, but what is going to be the most effective way? You may need to take some time to truly think about that. What works for one family may not work for another. One thing I do know, is a humble person asking nicely does wonders. You may need to try a few different approaches. You may want to write down the things you want to talk about, to help you stay on topic instead of going in ten different directions. And as you "listen" remember NOT to take things they say personal.
One last thing...don't beat yourself up! Parenting is not an easy task! Stay with it, don't give up!