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Please Promise Me

Will someone please promise me I’m going to survive my kids being teenagers? I was sucked in for the longest time, believing my kids were going to relatively coast through these years. They hadn’t give us much grief, and Big Man  has been a teen for three years. But it seems in the last six months, the beasts have been unleashed, and it’s a close thing, on a daily basis. I saw a meme today that said, “You think I drink too much. I say, my kids are still alive.” Yup, that about sums it up lately.

I spend more time shaking my head, no words left to say, than I do anything else. I talked a couple weeks ago about that dazed/glazed look on the faces of parents of teenagers. I had to bring the hammer with Big Man yet again this week. I remained calm through the conversation (is it a conversation if I’m the only one talking while he sits there stoically, giving one-word answers?), laying down the expectations, the consequences, his current situation as far as social life goes. Then not an hour later, he told us something else, and I completely lost my mind. There was yelling. There were a few bad words. I had to leave the room. I was nearly unhinged. The phrase, “What the hell?” is a common response these days. Basically, I shake my head and ask “What the hell?” every day, all day.

The worst part is, I know they won’t listen to our advice. In their minds, we’re complete morons who know absolutely nothing. I’m sure I didn’t take my parents’ advice nor listen to their stories of their teen years when I was in high school. But parents are the people who’ve already lived it, seen the world and all it can bring to them.

My stomach is in knots. I’m stressed out. I’m praying for the end of each day by about noon. I dread them coming home from school. They can be so mean, say the rudest things. Then they’ll turn right around and ask for money. Oh, we do get the oh-yeah-that’s-the-kid-I-know moments, when their manners and reason return, when they hang out and watch tv with us, ask our opinion, let us know what’s going on at school, at practice, etc. But someone please promise me we’re going to come out the other side. I need something to hang onto right now.

23 thoughts on “Please Promise Me

  1. I really admire you and your parenting. Honestly, you do it far better than others. And most importantly, you are there and you care. I always tell Rock that we are going to mess up and things are going to wrong, but as long as we are trying to do our best, that is all we can ask for. He works with a boy whose father is there, but really isn’t. And he is a very unkind, unhappy man. This teenager has no one to look up to and give him direction and it shows. When it is all said and done, they will always come back to what they learned…I guess we just have to trust in that.

    • Pretty sure my son wishes I were less here and trying less to be a good parent. Oy! And trust me, I’ve had some moments the last few weeks I’m less than proud of. But yes, doing my best!

  2. I promise you, you will. I think we rev ourselves up as the teen years escalate….then we slowly ease back into a calmer existence. It isn’t easy. It isn’t always something you want to think “I’ll miss this” because some of it you will NOT miss. But you will make it. Mom’s have been making it for thousands of years. You are just as good. 🙂

  3. Donna, you’ll get there. I’m sorry to say your teeth may be ground down and the hair will no doubt be on it’s way to grey but there will come a point when the arguing and questioning stop. At that point it may be because they’re sure they know more than you but now they forgive you because of your age.
    You’ll be able to start living again then, all the time you’ve lost during the head whirling days. Remember you survived without a murder
    (thoughts don’t count), but just as things look fine they start to leave home and leave you wondering how you’re going to cope.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • Thanks David. I know there’s a light and yes I will actually miss these years when they’ve grown and gone. Thank you for your words – they’re a soothing balm.

  4. You’ll make it. I was not a very obedient teenager, but thankfully I wasn’t one who needed much guidance. I’ve been on my own since 16, and my mom praises how good of a teen I was every time it comes up.

    What was her trick? Well she started off instilling certain values pretty early on, including thinking for myself and making my own decisions – even at the risk of defying her. That made me immune to peer pressure.

    She then found just the right balance between a friend and a parent.

    And finally, she figured out how to punish me. Banning me from TV or grounding me were ineffective. Only one thing worked on me as a teen – taking my walkman.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks! They are in general good kids. It’s just certain things we’re having a mighty struggle with, along with the norm of them believing they know everything and we know nothing. Hah!

      • Haha. Well I had to feel like I knew everything since the decisions were mine to make, so I guess I had a different experience. I’m sure it will get easier once you figure out how they tick.

  5. I’m right here in the trenches with you so I don’t have a lot to say from the parenting angle.
    I *can* say that I was a pretty hideous teen myself (my parents didn’t put up with a lot of attitude or back talk, but I gave them plenty of gray hair over boys and breaking rules) and eventually I came out the other side. Oh, plus my parents survived it.
    At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m tempted to toss someone across the room! Hang in there, mama!!

  6. I have an 18 year old and a 20 year old (boys) – prior to them hitting about 18 – there were times when I really, really didn’t like them. But teens are like toddlers, they feel they need their independence, so you have to give them enough rope to allow them to do that, but they also need to know you are on the sidelines, ready to run in and pick them up when they totally mess up. Teens only want advice, when they want advice, they think that parents don’t understand how it is to be a teen in these times. So recalling how it was when you were growing up, will do nothing but quicken that look of total disinterest which clouds their eyes. They also need someone to just listen, not judgmentally, to their concerns – and finally as with toddlers, one has to pick their battles with teens, or else they will stop talking to their parents altogether.
    It will get better, and you will get your teen back, once they get through these phases.

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