So, having had a few difficult weeks recently … oh listen to me all polite and proper … forget it … it’s been bloody awful, eye-opening and downright tricky … but my parenting of teens has got me questioning whether I actually have a right to do this. What I mean is, was I such a wonderful angel of a teen that I am perfectly entitled to breezily reprimand and discipline my teens as if they are so wrong and bang out of order?
So, here’s what’s been happening in our house lately … there’s been one teenager, very much under the legal age of drinking, asking an older friend to get her alcohol for a gathering (for those who have read my previous posts you will know that we are no longer allowed to call them parties). Hmmm, now did I ever drink underage? No, of course not, never dreamt of it … well, I’m certainly not telling my children I did otherwise my rollicking this week would be hypocritical .. why do they need to know about my teenage love for Pernod and Coke … classy girl that I was!
Then there’s been the up until 2am (we are not talking about my bad parenting here) face-timing a boy who is not a boyfriend because they are just talking. Just talking?! For goodness sake … you’ve been ‘talking’ every night for 5-6 hours (including school nights – again not the time or place to discuss my parenting) for the last month – that’s over 140 hours of bloody talking – surely we can move on to the next stage of being a boyfriend? … And that rubbish maths mark you’re expecting because it was a hard test and not because you didn’t do any bloody revision due to ‘talking’ … hmmm … we need to ‘talk’ about that! So, obviously, I always revised for every test, never spent hours on the phone to boys, never had boys tapping on my bedroom window to chat at night (Oh come on, we didn’t have the technology to screen chat – don’t judge me!)
In addition to this we’ve had the whole ‘boyfriend sleeping over’ issue … now this is a biggie … I never knew I was so old fashioned in my views until this happened and boy have I had a wake-up call. Serious boyfriend, serious, serious, serious … and I have a major ‘doors being left open’ policy … At. All. Times. So much so that I find myself waiting to hear a door close so I can text daughter and ask her to open it immediately … when did I become so pent up? When did I become so uncool and old fashioned? I don’t even recognise me. What am I worried about? What on earth are they going to get up to whilst I’m in the house for goodness sake? Or, more to the point … what on earth was I doing at their age that I’m so bloody worried about? I need to mention here that I do adore the boyfriend but I do remember being 16! And I’m not coping very well with my daughter being 16 – OK?
So, in a nutshell, I guess what I’m trying to say is why do we try and over parent our teens? If we are so scared is it because we know we were a total nightmare (loving the use of ‘we’ here and not ‘I’)? … does it matter in the long run? Probably not but we (there I go again) still find ourselves discipling as if our halos are in tact … think I need to get real and accept that my halo slipped a very long time ago and give my kids a break … just saying!