I’m pretty sure I would never revisit my teenage years. I mean…how many of us would?
In my opinion, they are the worst of times (ok…maybe with some highlights, but not enough to pull me back).
The early teenage years are written like a bad novel mixed of confusion with passion and anger and lots of angst all dipped in a huge pool of loneliness… I mean, after all isn’t that what we all felt at that age? Lonely and alone? I know I did.
I seriously felt like I was the inventor of all my emotions and I was 100 percent certain that NO ONE has EVER FELT as BAD as I did!!!
It simply wasn’t possible.
At that time in life, one feels completely alone.
In hindsight, I realize that my hormones were as ripe as they were ever going to be. Only my brain hadn’t caught up with the maturity of my hormones. Therefore, I was a complete infant, trying to grasp the reality of walking when I didn’t even realize what limbs were!
How fucked is humanity that they would do that to you? Send you a BARRAGE of artillery with NO TRAINING on how to man it all?
Teenage years are PURE HELL and confusion. And that was only back in MY day!
In today’s world it’s more of a shit show with the addition of social media and no down time to process ANY of it! It’s a wonder how ANY teen can get through ANY of it to grow into a decent, sustainable human being.
Yet sadly, teen (and pre-teen) suicides are on the rise. Drugs are a forgone conclusion for many. And parents… God help us all…..
There are days I feel there is a total warfare going on, and we, the parents are on the losing side.
This past year alone, there were 4 suicides, 3 at the middle school level, in our small community.
I’m curious if there has been research into future preventions based on past events. But as they are minors, the information is limited to the masses, and we may never know.
SO it comes to this….
We, the parents, need to become more vigilant and more aware with our children.
I have done a bit of research and what I have found (even within myself) is, we the parents feel limited in our abilities to actually parent our children.
I won’t lie… back in the day when I was a kid…there were belts involved in wrong doings of children. Kids were kept in line and parents were empowered.
Am I saying we need to go back to belts? Well…. not yet….
But I do believe there is a space between belts and ignorance or indifference with our children.
Our kids look to US for guidance. They NEED direction. They NEED consequences. But that said, what I actually see is a vast majority of parents who feel they are better to “trust” their kids, then actually make them accountable. And many who regretfully let “infractions” go with their kids, because “they didn’t mean to be bad”.
I won’t lie…I’m guilty to a point. I justify MANY things with my kids and let stuff go.
But what I have found is, they realize I’m a bit of a wuss, and they push a little more the next time….And then I have to be the bad guy.
What is my point in all this?
Our children need us. They need us to be the backbone. They need us to keep the boundaries. They need us to be consistent. They need us to tell them we love them NO MATTER WHAT!!!
I’m going to be honest. I love my kids, but parenting SUCKS!!!
Being the bad guy SUCKS!
Holding my kids accountable SUCKS!
Making them do chores SUCKS!!!
Punishing them (not just threatening, but following through) SUCKS! To HIGH HEAVEN!!!
But parenting is a JOB! Parenting is YOUR JOB! Your job is to make them grow and learn and be accountable and hopefully to be responsible.
But your job as a parent is also to make your kids feel as safe as possible and let them know that NO MATTER WHAT… You have their back! You will guide them, love them and support them in whatever they need. You will be their safe place to fall.
I’m the first person to say I am NOT a perfect parent. But I CAN say that when my kids have come to me, in fear of being judged… I let down my guard, listened and let them know I’m here.
I’m NOT proud of all my kids have done. They are teenagers. They push limits… But they are MY teenagers. And I am THEIR mom. Whatever they are going through I (and hubs) will have to go through as well.
I’m not sure where I’m going with all this, I just know that we need to look at our kids and see their needs and not put our problems on them.
One too many times, I have seen a teen come to me with information that they really shouldn’t’ be knowing because they are kids.
Let them be kids. Guide them as kids. Don’t lean on them as your counselor or your sounding board. You are the adult. If you need a counselor, find someone certified to do the job. Kids have no place in these scenarios.
As a parent of two, I am part of a village of many who look out for my girls. I’m so thankful for my village. If you are a parent, find or create your village. Parenting isn’t for sissies and it’s not a placed to be judged but to be supported.
Let’s all be in this together so we can raise the best possible kids who feel strong to go forward in the world.
And remember…no one gets out alive… so let’s make it a happy ride!