I am not here to judge you or your parenting style. Everyone has their own unique way to parent their teens. Each family is different and they have their own tricks of the trade. I would just like people to get a glimpse inside my world as a mom of two teens. I am not going to sugar coat it or make it out to be worse or better than it is. I would just like to tell you about my experience with my teenage daughter and tween son.
My daughter wakes up after one trip to her bedroom door, “time to wake up”. She rolls over opens her eyes, grunts and begins to get out of bed. She comes into the kitchen and sits at the counter. I make her a Pop tart or pour her a bowl of cereal. I do not make eggs or pancakes on school days, rarely on weekends either. I am just not a morning person and I am not Betty Crocker.
My son is a little more difficult to wake up. I am not saying I have to pour water over his head to get him up, but it is definitely a challenge. I have to go to his room about 3 times, sit on his bed and shake him or tickle him. Sometimes I pull the blankets off or get the dog to jump on his bed. He does finally get up. Luckily, he has never missed the bus because he wouldn’t get out of bed. If it gets to the point that he doesn’t get up after like 15-20 minutes, then I will be that mom that pours a nice, tall glass of ice water over his head!
My kids usually take the bus home and it drops them off right at our house. The minute they walk in the door they are complaining about all the “terrible” things that happened on the bus ride home. It is usually about how the bus driver is an idiot or how mean the driver is.. They throw in a complaint about a screaming kid or terrible music sometimes too. Seriously! You are lucky you get to the ride the bus, you could walk home 3 miles uphill, barefoot in a blizzard!
They have to do homework before they can use PlayStation or watch TV. However, they rarely seem to have any. I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid I had homework every single day. How can they not have any homework? To this question they usually say the teacher didn’t give us any, I finished in class or I completed it in study hall. What???? How is possible for a teacher to teach a days’ worth of lessons and my kids still have time to get all of their homework done? I understand there is study hall, but that is like 45 minutes at the most. I’m sure for most of that time in Study Hall they are probably goofing off or talking with their friends. How are they getting all of their homework done in like a 20 minute window? Obviously they are not getting enough homework!
By now it is around 3:30 and they are on their damn electronics. They continue to be on their electronics until they have sports practice or it is dinner time. After dinner they go right back to their electronics. I know some people put a limit on their child’s screen time and that is great for you. I just cannot justify that to myself. Both of my children are usually on the honor roll every semester and overall pretty good kids. For me, to limit their screen time just because I don’t like it would be a little unfair to them. Some people tell me I should make them go outside. Yes, that is a great idea! We live in the middle of the woods, so we don’t have any kids that live nearby with whom they can play. They can go for a walk or ride their bikes, but they are siblings and they don’t really get along. You and I both know they are not going to hop on their bike with no destination just to get out of the house. I hear my son on his headset talking with his friends about their day and gossiping sometimes. This is his time to socialize with his friends. If at some point their grades suffer or they become jerks, you bet your ass I will be limiting that! For now it works.
I do my grocery shopping and meal planning once a week. I sit down with my recipe book and come up with 5 meals for the week. I do ask for input from the peanut gallery, but I usually just get “I don’t care” for a response. This is extremely frustrating because when we sit down to eat my son complains and eats a bowl of cereal instead. I don’t make my children eat dinner if they say they don’t like it, but this is not a restaurant. If you don’t like it you need to make yourself something else.
Meal planning is very time consuming because my family tires of meals very quickly. If we have the same thing too many times we get bored. Pinterest is my friend and I find lots of great option. However, I am still met with a lot of resistance with anything they have never had before. Sometimes they won’t even try it; they just pour a bowl of cereal instead. I get the faces and the occasional “that looks gross”. I got sick of this and now my kids each have to cook dinner once a week.
Every week I make them sit down and decide what they are going to cook. They add it to my grocery list and I pick up the ingredients. When it is their day to cook, I supervise and help to prepare if it is extremely time consuming or complicated.. We have been doing that for several months now and my kids are starting to get extremely lazy. My son tries to make the same thing every week and my daughter will make things she won’t eat just because they are quick! Well, to nip that in the bud, no repeats are allowed in a one month period. They go on Pinterest and find their own recipes or they can pick one from my Main Dish board.
They still complain about dinner a lot, but at least 2 days a week I can laugh because it wasn’t my choice. This idea also helps to get them ready to leave the nest. They aren’t going to live with me forever and I don’t want them living on pasta alone when they do move out. I am not going to want these kids coming over for dinner every night after they are grown. I mean, a weekly Sunday dinner is fine, but don’t think you are coming here for free food every day.
When my kids were younger, I would lay down with them and read them each a book. I remember this farm book that came with farm animal magnets that stuck to the book. It was the longest book to read because they had to put the animals down on every page. This was the book of choice most nights. When they were a little older, I would have them read to me. This was equally as painful because they would always pick books that were extremely boring. I mean how many princess books are there anyway! It was a constant struggle to keep my eyes open and listen to their stories.
When they got to be tweens, I stopped making them read to me and when it was time for bed I would tuck them in and say good night. There was no fighting; it was simply: go to bed. Occasionally one of them would want a drink of water or they forgot to go to the bathroom, but most of the time they went to bed without a fight. The only issue that I have had so far is with my son and his video games. I have to give him a 15-20 minute warning so that when he dies in his game he doesn’t start a new one. If it is bedtime and he is in the middle of a game it could take an extremely long time for him to get killed. So, I learned quickly that a 15-20 minute warning is great.
I miss the days when I could go to the store and just pick up a cute little shirt or dress for my kids, bring it home and just put it on them. I remember picking out their clothes in the morning and they looked so precious. Then they started to have opinions and developed their own styles. I had to bite my lip when my daughter wore stripes and plaid together. My son was always pretty fashionable and never had any issues matching. He always wears the latest fads and trends. My daughter pretty much wears whatever she wants and doesn’t give a crap about what is in style.
When I was a kid we were extremely poor so I wasn’t able to get name brand or in style clothes. Because of that I spoil my children in this area. If they want a pair of $100 sneakers for school, we are going to get them for him/her. We are going to get all the name brand clothes and we never buy knock offs. The can pick whatever they want for clothes within reason I don’t want them to be the kid that gets picked on for wearing knock off sneakers.
My daughter is very modest and I thank my lucky stars for that every day. She doesn’t wear booty shorts and doesn’t show off her cleavage. She doesn’t wear off the shoulder shirts or strapless tank tops. We don’t allow mid-rift shirts or bikinis, not that I think she would want tp wear either of those. As she moves her way through high school, I worry that this attitude will change. My fear is that she will obtain these items with her own money and hide them, bring them to school and change in the bathroom. I know that this is a real possibility because I used to do it all the time. I can only hope that my daughter has enough sense and doesn’t show off too much skin.
I know that some parents are going to say the girls should be able to dress anyway they want and that doesn’t mean that they are easy or that they aren’t good girls. Well, that is your opinion and you can have your daughter dress anyway you want. My daughter will not be walking around with her butt cheeks hanging out of her shorts or her boobs hanging out of her shirt. It is not because I think that it is sleazy, it is because I want people to look at her for her kind personality and her fabulous sense of humor. I don’t want her to meet people because she has a cute ass or big boobs. No argument that anyone has will make me change my mind on this.
All in all my kids are pretty easy. I don’t have any major behavior problems with them. Both of them are great student.. They pretty much listen to what we tell them, now I am not saying they are perfect or that we don’t ever fight, because that is just crazy. My son and I butt heads all the time. He likes to show his affection by jumping on my while I am lying on the couch or sitting on the arm of my chair while I am working. He can be annoying at times, but at least I know he loves me and still wants to be around me occasionally.
My daughter will still hug me… even in public. She tells me she loves me all the time. She will go grocery shopping with me or run errands. I will hold on to that for as long as I can.
As my kids get older and move deeper into their teenage years I will cherish this time I have with them and know that I am doing the best that I can to raise productive members of society. I can only hope that the things that we do at home will help them to succeed out in the world.