Thursday, September 17, 2009

Living with Teenagers

Oh WOW!! What a nightmare! Why weren't we given a manual on raising children with a warning on cover 'WARNING! All babies grown into monster teenagers.'

Being a single mum of 3 teenagers, there are times when I dream of getting in my car and driving away to destination unknown. Lets face it though, DREAMING of doing something and ACTUALLY doing it are 2 very different things. After all....we chose to be parents (and don't tell me you didn't choose. You chose to have sex therefore you chose to be a parent). Our children are our responsibility alway were and always will be. Its our job to guide them and teach them courtesy, manners, good morals and most of all respect.

As a baby and toddler they look to us for care, love, nourishment and shelter. As they grow we teach them to walk, talk, and right from wrong. At school age they also learn from other students, teachers and mentors. It is still our responsibility to ensure they continue to know right from wrong and to have respect for theirselves and others. We still need to recognise their individuallity along the way and teach them independence.

WHY then, do some parents stop guiding their children when they become a teenager? Do we, as parents, become too busy keeping up with the Jones' or is it that our children are under pressure we never had to deal with at their age and we feel 'lost'?

Over the years, I've learnt to keep the communication open with my teens. I've also learnt to pick my battles. Patience is a virtue so they say. My house has also become a half-way house for other teens who's parents have told them to leave or they've runaway. My kids collect stray teens like others collect stray cats/dogs.

So WHY do babies turn into MONSTER teenagers? Hormones, peer pressure, alcohol, drugs, depression (usually from having to cope with things beyond their age), school bullying from both students and teachers. Rest assured though, the monstor teenager stage only lasts 2-4 years then you get your child back. :)