"Take teenage parenting advice with a pinch of salt."
Have you ever had that heart sinking feeling that you're not quite on top of things with parenting your teenagers. It suddenly feels like a much higher stakes game than when they were toddlers and young kids. it's a whole lot closer to the real world now - and you feel that the way you handle things is going to have bigger consequences.
I found this article by Kerri in the 'Drink, Sleep and be Kerri' blog and came away from it feeling a whole lot better and quite comforted.
Parents of teens really can feel as though they're on their own. There aren't many good books out there to guide you through these times... mostly just a bunch of slightly smug opinion.
It really is a case of simply doing all you can and hoping for the best.
When your children are young it's so much easier to feel in control of their emotional and physical well being and things tick along pretty smoothly....for the most part. But the older they get, the more independent they become and inevitably you start feeling a little "out of the loop".
The hours and hours spent in bedrooms "chatting" to friends on social media seems designed to exclude you. You wonder just what messages they're being exposed to? You can only hope that a good foundation built up in the childhood years will stand them in good stead as they choose their paths.
Knowing that other parents are probably experiencing something similar is hugely comforting. We, somehow, become more private about our children when they're in their adolescent years and communicate less with other parents ab.out our worries
And there's always that parent that seemingly has all the answers. Their 'not so little' Johnny or Jackie is a perfect child, has never been in any trouble and is right on track for a promising future - making one feel completely inadequate as a parent. I have a sneaking suspicion that mostly... that's not necessarily be the case.
Teenage years will never be plain sailing. It's perfectly normal to feel that you are failing them in some way. This is because we love our children so intensely and so want them to be"ok"in the real world. The only difference is that now we can't put a band aid on the scuffed knee and tell them it - and everything else - will be better soon.
There are very few rules when it comes to teenage parenting advice. Try and draw some comfort from the fact that you're probably doing a whole lot better than you think you are.
"During the past few of years, I’ve noticed a trend. As more of my friends’ children are becoming teenagers, the parents begin to feel more isolated. It’s a concerning situation.
It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with location. Friends from every part of the country are expressing this. It doesn’t seem to have to do with gender. Parents of boys and girls feel the same. It doesn’t seem to have to do with religion. Those of every faith and no faith at all say similar things.
It seems that when you have young children, you get to confess openly your mistakes, your struggles, your fears, all of it. When you search your toddler’s pockets for contraband, that’s funny. Everyone giggles about the odd things sticky fingers managed to pick up and squirrel away when no one was looking. You get support. You get reassurance. You get the magical words, “Me too.”
When you search your teen’s room for contraband, people may or may not judge you as a parent, or more importantly, think your kid has some sort of moral failing. No one is laughing. No is reassuring you. Everyone one is uncomfortable and averting their eyes.
I don’t know if there is any objective evidence on this, but it feels like the stakes for teenagers are much, much higher than when I was younger. Some say the record social media leaves creates a longer memory for what would have been otherwise forgotten moments. Maybe there’s some validity to that. Others think we are in a time and culture with very little grace. I think that’s definitely a piece of it."
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