GOING CRAZY!! RAISING A TEENAGER
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Tracie - posted on 06/10/2009
Hey Patty, my son eldest son is 19. He's done a few silly thinks (arrested for mooning a police officer, drinking, driving too fast) but overall he is a good kid. I found that the best thing to do is try not to react too much to some things, kind of a pick your fights situation. I chose some boundaries that I wouldn't budge on (respecting me, respecting my house, respecting himself) and tried to let other things slide. I vented to anyone and everyone but made no comment on a lot of things to him (i.e. getting those huge ear rings that stretch holes in your ears - they only lasted a couple of months, I guess he didnt get the reaction he was expecting). From when he was around 17 I started telling him that he was practically an adult and that I would support him no matter what he did but that I hoped he would make decisions that reflected the respect and trust that I had him. It's worked for me with this one.
My 13 yr old son is a different child and the same doesn't work for him. He doesn't like to wash, wont do what I tell him and when he does do a job I've asked him to do it's done very poorly so that it has to be redone. I'm finding with him it's working to ride him real hard and not give an inch in anything. But at the same time when he does the right thing I make sure he knows I've noticed (I won't praise or reward him for doing what he should but simply say I notice you did such an such without me having to ride you").
Bottom line is boys are genetically programmed to take risks. My late partner always said it's the mom's job to worry and the dad's job to take risks that way the children come out balanced. I try to remember that when I'm dealing with all their shinanagans.