TeensClio -- Tuesday, June 01, 2010 -- 05:16:27 PM
No longer Tweens, but not yet in the Home Stretch.This thread is tagged:
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So, as I mentioned in the Tweens thread, Truly will be turning 13 in July! Dealing with an adolescent can be infuriating at times, but it's so much fun to watch her grow up and come into her own.
I have a good friend that is at this stage. I should invite her here. It is tough dealing with a girl at 13 sometimes - others they are just fantastic. I am really a better parent with teens than I was with toddlers.
I am definitely better with teens than toddlers. Mine is 16. Cat's quite different from her brother (18), and it's rather... eye opening. The good thing is she is very open with me, and I am learning to choose my battles.
I think choosing your battles is key. Also, letting them be who they are, let them discover who they are. I have friends that just railroad the hell out of their girls and it drives me batty. TALK to them, discover who they are, how they have changed, what they think, etc... stop talking AT them. It makes me sad for the kids.
A few weeks ago my daughter was staying with friends for the weekend while I worked out of town. I would have left her alone but it is exam time and I figured she would be better at their house. I am friends with the mother and Lu has been friends with the daughter since second grade. I got a text from Lu halfway through the weekend that simply said, "thank you for trusting me"... it made me cry. It was so sweet and simple - and I knew it was because she was watching the family dynamics in this family. They are a GREAT family, loving and care more than anything about their girls, but they don't allow them to express themselves and they hold them to an impossibly high standard sometimes. I just wish they could see it because if they did, they would change. It is hurting their oldest - she is meek and won't ever express her true feelings.
For me, at the beginning of the teen years, one of the hardest things is figuring out what movies/TV shows are appropriate. It was so much easier when they were little!
Truly and I have been watching Veronica Mars together on Netflix, which is fine, but we also watched an old episode of Buffy over the weekend that in retrospect I'm not sure I should have let her watch.
Could have been worse. A couple years ago when Julian was 13, I let him watch A Clockwork Orange. Ooops. I remembered the rape part but I didn't remember the rest of it. I hadn't seen it since high school.
And then we had to watch it several more time until I finally bought the disc. He loves Kubrick.
I may be a better mom with teens than I am toddlers, but my kids were pretty well-behaved toddlers, in retrospect. As teens, they frequently drive me to wanting to tear my hair out.
When I did camp stuff I used to love teens. They're so often lovely, as long as you aren't their parents.
I can tell already that M is going to be a heck of a teenager, although fortunately I get to lurk in this thread for a good few years yet.
Oh, man, I thought I'd wiped that scene from Clockwork Orange from my memory. It's baaaack.
Evan likes Kubrick too. I had a hard time with movie restrictions with Evan. Evan doesn't want to just watch movies, Evan takes it to another level. He knows a lot about movies, filming, plot devices, directors, writers, and so on. He didn't want to watch a movie for the shock value, he's knows a lot about them and is a very good film critic.
I wasn't sure about Clockwork Orange and also American History X. Eventually he did see both.
I told Julian I'd watch any movie he wanted with me, except for two: I ain't watching Apocalypse Now or Reservoir Dogs ever again, sorry. Julian also loves Pulp Fiction.
Evan loves Pulp Fiction too. It sounds like they have very similar taste in movies. Evan has gone as far as to scoff openly and even laugh out loud at my choice of movie rental, even though it's for myself. Did Julian see Boondock Saints? That's another one Evan likes, but he liked it before it became fashionable at Hot Topic.
Oh, I love Pulp Fiction too. One of my favorites. I dunno if Julian's seen Boondock Saints. I thought it wasn't supposed to be that good? He's a total annoying snob about movies. When I tried to get him to come see "2012" with me, he said "That doesn't look very good." Fine, brat, I'll drop you off at the Ingmar Bergman retrospective.
I really enjoy being the mother of teens. Dealing with kids on a more adult level is much easier for me.
I'm sure I don't know everything, but Cat tells me a lot about her and her friends and what they're all up to. Many of the parties involve drinking, so we talk about that a lot. A lot of them are also sexually active. More conversations. It's an interesting time.
Evan is a total annoying snob about movies too, so it surprised me that he liked it so much. I haven't seen it yet myself, but he insists I should. One of his friends got a job at the local theater and is now a manager so he is allowed to invite a few friends to showings before the movies are actually released. Evan loves it, but sometimes the movie is something like 2012, and he'll get off the phone and make a comment about how it's not going to be a good movie. He goes anyway, because it's free, but he's always disappointed if it's not up to his standards. The last time he complained was when it was about that movie about the returning soldier who finds out his brother has been seeing his wife.
jumanji, I found that era, the era of sex and drug temptations, to be scary. I worried a lot during that time, wondering how much they'd experiment, if they'd be careful. What if they were prone to alcoholism, what if their girlfriend became pregnant.
Harri, like you I had really good kids as toddlers and elementary school kids (challenges, sure, but good kids) but I really am a better parent to them as teens. I hang with my 3 yr old niece and love her up but man I would NOT want to parent small kids again for anything. That time was not really fun to me. Teenagers are a different story.
Clio, it is tough to figure out where the line is with what the can or should watch in the beginning. But, I think the key is watching WITH them and talking to them. My daughter watched the first season of Gossip Girl when she was, oh, 13? and it can be quite mature at times but we watched it together. I think you have to let them watch a lot more than you are probably comfy with and you end up sometimes in situations like Harri described about A Clockwork Orange but it is all a learning experience.
My son, now 19, FINALLY realizes that I am not the devil and that he could have had a totally different experience as a younger teen with me. He didn't trust me - he wanted to hide everything from me because he thought I would freak or something. He wouldn't talk to me or let me in in any way. I think he finally sees the relationship I have with my daughter and realizes it could have been different. We talk to each other with respect and have conversations - that goes for both kids now. I am not a mother to be feared, just respected. I am probably TOO lax some times but we talk a lot and I trust my kids.
We talk a lot about all of that, Lori. I do allow her to split a beer with me here at home, and she's pretty open with her friends that she can have a drink at home so having one out isn't a big deal. And ONE of them needs to be responsible. She does know that she is NOT to leave a party with anyone but a parent - preferably me, and I will drive any of her friends home that need it. I'd rather do that than worry about any of them getting in a car with someone who's had too much.
Could I forbid the drinking? Sure. And it would still happen - but I wouldn't know about it. Same with sex. I'll admit that I was a bit concerned when her latest crush turned out to be a teen father.
It's hard to find the line. She's more "out there" than her brother, so my parenting is adjusting to that difference. One thing I've found with both of them is that it's important to help them keep their goals in mind. Becoming a parent at 16/17/18 is going to really affect their future plans. I'm not going to throw them out, but I am going to expect them parent their child.
I did allow both of my boys to watch Trainspotting. Perhaps not a good way to deglamourize drug use? Not sure, but both were appalled by the results of drug addiction. I took a gamble. I wanted to make sure they both knew the reality of heavy drug use. I also told them some people become addicted and the earlier on they tell me they need help, the less it will be likely that drug and alcohol addiction will ruin their lives. I worried about that because there's a history of substance abuse and addiction in my family.
I also let them have the occasional beer, wine or cocktail while at home. I let them try different stuff. Neither are big time drinkers, although Evan is a booze snob.
A refuses to drink. Cat likes a (half a) beer now and again. Her friends actually told me that the other night, when they were hot-tubbing at one of the girls' homes, she told them that ONE of them had to be responsible and if they were both going to drink, she wouldn't. I will admit - I kind of wonder where the parents were. And they all know that they will NOT be drinking when they are here.
Both of them are adamantly against drugs or smoking.
Julian smokes. He thinks I don't know but I do. Sigh. I don't let Julian drink--he's 15. Once or twice I let him have a glass of champagne at a wedding but I don't have a problem with forbidding him alcohol. He probably ignores me and takes a surreptitious drink on the weekends with friends--just like I did at thata age--but I don't think I can stop that.