Monday, February 22, 2010
we are all learning ....together. we have never had teenagers before. they have never been teens before. we all go through growing pains at all of the stages of life together. it's not so easy for us....kind of learn as we go....same for them, only we seem to put up more stop signs than they would like. so many signs to consider................ the stops, the yields, the slippery turns, the dead ends, the speeding, the slow curves all apply to our parenting.
we did! i think that's why we want to protect them from making mistakes that we may have made. yet, they may not even be making the same mistakes as us. we learned, "don't make the same mistake twice.".....we don't even want our kids to make the same mistake once....just because our need/want to protect.
this may be the way it's always been....for our parents and generations before....now that it's our turn, it sure seems bigger than before....or maybe that's just our perspective. not only are we so involved in our childrens' lives, we have more technology an media to hear and see what's out there.
just like the generations before, our kids say these things won't happen to them and don't happen where we live. the are beautifully innocent. some of that is why we are concerned for them....we don't want their innocence taken away. i know kids, in general, are never really that innocent...were we?
it seems like the more parents in this phase of parenting that i talk to have very similar concerns...boys, girls, teens and younger. no matter what the parenting style, it seems we're all trying to do our best.
parenting styles are so different...even with sisters or best friends....we all have our own style that seems to be best for our children. if there is one thing that i've learned since having children, it's not to judge anyone or their children. there is no right way or wrong way. wouldn't it be nice if there was a black and white, yes and no, right or wrong. stop or go. red or green. it's the yellow lights that cause so much confusion.
talking with grace and ted, they tell us that we are so strict....we say no when others say yes....everyone else let's their kids do it....how come you don't let us do anything fun?
that's not the way we see it. we do let them have independence. we let them do what is appropriate for their age. the only battles we face are when other parents give their kids alot more freedom. it's ironic because we are open to so much...yet, we seem to be rigid in their minds. everyday, some new boundary becomes a topic of conversation, discussion, argument or battle! and that's without us even leaving the house....it comes up because of the freedom of someone elses kid! that's a tough one. wouldn't it be so much easier to say, "o.k., go with them...if her mom says o.k., than that's good enough for me! no questions asked."
and not. can't. won't. will not. do not. don't.....how is that a part of my vocabulary now....when i'm just living my life...doing the best i can as a mom. and...*POOF* from the outside world....or some other kids' parents say it's o.k.................that's when a volcano erupts in MY house. out of no where....
sometimes when we bring up something or event that's happened...on the news or hear stories from other parents...or learn from a speaker at the"tweens" meetings i attend.........things like, "that doesn't happen here mom.....just because you hear these things at "tweens" but they happen other places...mom you scare yourself.....you read these things and because you read about them, you think they happen here!"
i had a long talk with grace the other night...it was great because she was so honest with her feelings and frustrations. she feels like some friends are allowed to do so much more....with so many different ages.....go so many places.....so much freedom. that's her perception. she's aware of what's right and wrong. she's very clear on what she knows is right or wrong. she is one smart cookie and i'm so proud of her....she is morally conscious, responsible and wants to do the right thing and abide by our rules. it's getting harder and harder for her when some of her friends are allowed more and more freedom.
she says sometimes the rules just make her want to break them...sometimes our rule make her think we don't trust her. that is so far from true. we do trust her and we also know the temptations out there....to break rules just because your friends have different rules.
this is the hardest time in her life...this learning is painful for both of us....i love her so much and she is such a sweet girl....i trust her like crazy. but, i still have to be the mom and be the parent....with biff. how grateful i am that we parent together. even with each other, this is tough stuff.