from 3 to 13...these kids are gonna kill me!

Sarah - posted on 03/13/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Along with the great advise from the board and another CoM article I read I think we're on the road to overcoming the 3yr old whining. Now its my (almost) 13yr old who I need advise on.



Twice in the last 2 wks she has gone by her own rules and gotten in trouble. For dumb, little things! Thank goodness it wasnt something major but in both cases if she would have just communicated the situation, and the punishment, could have been avoided. The latest offense? Last night she walked to her friends house, as is custome on monday nights, to go to the youth group at church. Hours later when church was out she came home. I asked her how church was and she said she didnt go. For whatever reason the parents werent able to give her a ride but instead of her calling me, on the cell phone she carries, she decided to hang out until church let out and then come home.



Now if she would have called at 7pm to tell me they werent going I could have told her to just be home in time to shower and prepare for school. I dont understand why she felt she needed hide this from me. I took her TV, radio, game system and cell phone. But we've done this in the past and it doesnt seem to be helping. What should we do now?!

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Rebekah - posted on 03/17/2012

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I used to do this as a teenager, taking "stuff" away from me never worked. I did this one time and my mom did a different punishment that just killed me... I couldn't go to any friend's house for a month and to go to church - I had to ride with my parents and leave with my parents. There was no walking with my friends or riding with my friends' parents, etc. That was the longest month ever... but it sure did sink in that I was supposed to call first. Most of the time, I just didn't think twice to call - I wasn't really hiding it, just didn't think it would matter.

Carla - posted on 03/16/2012

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@Sarah--my dad was an avid baseball fan/player, so a lot of our expressions are baseball-centered ;)

Angela - posted on 03/16/2012

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Children of all ages are looking for loopholes and looking for opportunities. I don't know that it's wise to make something like you describe into a "crime". Far better to make things crystal clear beforehand - and do so every single time they have the potential opportunity to create a loophole.



Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 03/16/2012

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LOL Carla I love that wording "#3 warming up in the bull pen"! It seems like it! I thought this was an understood idea, I guess I can not expect that from a teenager. I did give her cell phone back the following day with the understanding that I expect her to be in communication with me at all times. She hasnt asked for the other items yet but I will return them to her. We had a talk and she loves the group, she loves being with her friends she just didnt think, bascially. So now I feel like I have to go back into "explain everything" mode. Just like I would with the little one, explain everything all the time so she understands EVERYTHING and there is no excuse to not do or say certain things.



Thanks ladies!

Carla - posted on 03/13/2012

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Ah, my dear, you have just entered the wonderful world of 'teenage' parent. Buckle your seat belt ;)



She DID tell you, after the fact, so she gets a 'C'. Like Linda said, she needs to know specifically that if this happens again, she is to immediately call you to make alternate arrangements. This time in her life is going to be chaotic, and having her in church and plugged into the youth group is vital. You did a knee-jerk reaction and yanked all her stuff--did you maybe over-react a little? We have to make the punishment fit the crime, and as this was the first time (was it?), a good talk with clear expectations was in order. I think hormones cloud a teenager's thinking--her solution to the problem seemed sound, but in hind-sight, your talk should leave her understanding you expect her to go to youth, and if she can't get a ride with the friend, you will take her.



I know you are exhausted, and both kids are acting up. Take a deep breath, take a hot bath, then have a talk. Just as an fyi, I learned NOT to talk while I was agitated--it was better for all persons involved.



Also, depending on how good your communication is with each other, you could just be honest. You're working, you have a home to take care of, two kids with #3 warming up in the bull pen. You're tired and a little frazzled, and sometimes you just don't quite know what to do. We, as parents, make mistakes sometimes too, and we need to let our kids know we are not perfect. Just kind of chat with her in as objective a manner as you can.



Raising teenagers is NOT for the faint-hearted! Pray hard, do the best you can, God will be with you.



God bless, honey

Louise - posted on 03/13/2012

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you have to ask herself why she did not tell you. Maybe she does not want to go! Have you sat her down and asked her why she did not make that call. Maybe she needs some time to feel free.



rather than take her stuff away from her ask her what is going on. Does she want to go or would she rather do something else. You may be surprised to her reaction. She is growing into a young woman and sometimes she will feel like she does not fit in as a kid or a woman. Maybe she feels she has out grown the club and feels babyish going, maybe something has happend there that has upset her. Maybe she wanted to be a rebel. All I can say is if you go in heavy handed like taking all her stuff what are you going to do later when she has really done something terrible?



Tread carefully here, she is obviously a confused little girl who needed some time to herself. If she was that bothered about missing youth group she would of called you, and if she had wanted to come home she would of called you. Ask her what she did with her couple of hours and work from there.

Linda - posted on 03/13/2012

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Well...to be fair to her, she did tell you honestly that she didn't go when you asked her. Has this happened before, or was it an unusual situation? If she did not clearly understand your expectations, then maybe there was a misunderstanding. Kids don't always think like we do...sometimes they need things spelled out. It might be helpful if you wrote out all your expectations, and then sat down and went over them with her. For example, you could say "If you're not where I expect you to be, then please call and tell me where you are". If this was already clear, then perhaps you acted appropriately. However, I would be very careful to pick your battles from now on. There are so many landmines ahead, and teens will only listen to so much. So keep the rules to the minimum. Also, make sure you are looking at her heart, and not just the outward behavior. Does she enjoy going to church, or is it something you have to force her to do? And for the next 10 years (at least) buy some knee pads and spend some serious time in prayer! (only kidding about the knee pads)

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