Monday, November 28, 2011

Raising Teenagers


Last week's post was an essay my sister, Pam, wrote when her boys were ages two and four. It's titled "You Can Dress Them Up But..."  If you missed it, you can read it here.

One year when the boys were teenagers, she wrote another essay for our mom for Mother's Day. It's even better than the first essay, in my opinion. I've been telling her for years she should be a writer, but she's not really interested. Clearly, she has a natural talent for writing. See if you agree!


Many Years Later
"My boys are typical teenagers in many ways. They have mood swings, they question authority, and they are outstanding debaters. At times, too, they are confused about life, but they would never admit to that. 

"I was just telling my husband the other day that my oldest son is the smartest person I've ever met. It's just amazing the way he knows everything. Everything I tell him, he says he knows. He knows everything about everything, before it happens, as it is happening, and everything after it happened. His favorite saying is, 'I know. I know.'

"I try to keep the stress level at a minimum, as hard as that is raising teenagers. I try not to fuss over too many issues and I try to overlook petty differences. I believe home is where a person should be able to relax, to be themselves (without being obnoxious), and to have their friends over. 

"My sons have their own private suites with room service right here in our home. And their privacy is not invaded because we have built our home on the honor system and we're practicing living our lives on the honor system, learning as we go along. My sons know that no matter what, I try to understand them, try to make life pleasant for them, try to be a good mom even though I am far from perfect, and they know that I am always here for them. 

"Now I also have a beautiful little girl, the daughter I never thought I'd have. She is my buddy. She still likes to go out with me, loves to shop all day with me and search for coordinating outfits, loves to cook and sew with me and just hang out with me. 

"I'm still cool. I'm still her comfort zone. And I know this will someday pass. That will be sad. But I'll wait for her to come back around. No matter what, and I mean no matter what, I will never give up on any of my children, even when they give up on themselves. I will do this, I know, because my mom did it for me."

My nephews, all grown up. One is a parent now himself!

Invitation to my niece's 5th birthday celebration, a tea party. 

She's all grown up now, too!
The years fly by so fast.

So, do you have a parenting or grandparenting story? If you're not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too! 

Warning: I might feature your story in a future post. (Names can be changed to protect the guilty!)


I'd like to thank everyone who shared a parenting memory with me last week. I'm saving them and will publish some in future posts.

If you don't want to leave a comment but would rather contact me by email, here's my address: lynkelwoohoo (at) yahoo (dot) com.

(This essay first appeared in the Highland Community News in July 1999.)

20 comments:

Wen Baragrey said...

Boy, I have a thousand :)

I think my favorite story about my son when he was little is this one:

Back in the late 1990s when my boy was about seven, there was a meteor shower expected. They talked about it on TV, and everyone planned to watch it that night (except anyone who had read about the Triffids).

Anyways, around about the same time, the movie Armageddon had just come out and was being advertised on TV. Son put both of those things together and this is how he interpreted it.

After much coaxing on the night of the meteor, he finally went to bed. This was after much sobbing and saying goodbye to us and thanking his dad and me for all the really excellent Christmas presents.

I tucked him in and he lay there, a sad, resigned sort of look on his face.

Worried about him, I returned to check on him about half-an-hour later and this is what I saw:

One little blond boy asleep under his bed, wearing his bike helmet, with a tennis racket in one hand and a water pistol in the other.

Perfect meteor deflecting devices, I'd say :)

My favorite story about my daughter happened around the same time, and she was about five. She was going through a period where she hated the dark. In fact, she was terrified of it. The hallway always frightened her at night because even though it had a light always burning, it wasn't bright enough for her.

Late in the middle of one night, I heard this terrible banging in the hallway. Thump. Thud. Bang. My husband and I hurried out to see what was going on.

My daughter hand her hands over her eyes while she tried to find her way to the bathroom.

"What are you doing?" I asked, directing her toward the bathroom with its brighter light bulb.

"I am keeping my eyes closed so I can't see the dark!" she said.

Aww, I do miss them being babies :)

Talei said...

Oh, such a lovely post from your sister. You have a great family Lynn!

I'm not sure I have a parenting tale to tell, its work in progress. My son is always surprising me with his wisdom at 6yrs old.

Have a fab week!

Old Kitty said...

Lovely to see your nephews and neice all grown up and lovely!! They have a wonderful mum and family! Thanks for sharing these memories here! Take care
x

Paige Kellerman said...

Your family is so sweet. I love when you share these posts!

Bish Denham said...

Such beautiful and handsome children!

My mother didn't affectionately call me The Rotten Kid for nothing. But then I told her she was the one who taught me, so it was her fault!

susielindau.com said...

They grow up fast! Great post~

Stephanie D said...

Wait! You mean they actually grow up and become humans?!!!! :)
Beautiful family.

Munir said...

Your niece grew up to be a lovely young lady. Your family is awesome. Yes kids do grow up fast. My image of myself is still in my thirties, but then I relalize that it cannot be, as my kids are thirty seven, thirty three and twenty nine. So I come back to reality and look in the mirror. Yep I am sixty one.

LynNerdKelley said...

Wen - Thank you for these wonderful, hilarious parenting memories. So precious. I'm saving them for a future post. They're great!

Talei - Thank you. I'm sure you'll have plenty of parenting stories to share. You're right about the wisdom of a 6-year-old. It reminds me of that saying, "Out of the mouths of babes."

Old Kitty - Thank you!

Paige - Thanks! I love reading your parenting adventures, too! LOL!

Bish - You have some of the funniest childhood stories. I love how your mom called you The Rotten Kid! Haha!

Susie - Yes, I can't believe how fast they grow up. Thanks!

Stephanie - Haha! Yes, it's amazing that they actually grow up to become fine humans!

Munir - Thank you. I know exactly how you feel, but you are young at heart and I never would have guessed your age!

Otter said...

Last night, my daughter said that she knows everything. She's only 3. I'm really in for it, aren't I?

Coleen Patrick said...

Oh i love this line: "It's just amazing the way he knows everything. Everything I tell him, he says he knows."
Go figure, my teenagers are just as smart.
:)

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

It is a beautiful post, indeed.
My children are still very young but they grow very fast, just the way the kids do 
They are still cuddly and loving, and I am a huge part of their life, but I know this will change in a few years. They will become teens; they will question my choices and authority; they will prefer their friends’ opinions and company over mine. It's unavoidable but I believe we will always have a very special relationship, because we have been building the foundation for that from the first days of their lives.

cleemckenzie said...

Ah yes the rapid pace of time. Those photo albums tell all. The first day spent with those babes, the first step, those first words filled with questions, the first pair of skates.
Then there are the years when you send them off and entrust a huge chunk of their time with others while they're "educated." And suddenly they know so much more than you do until one day they come home with babes of their own and start asking questions again.

It's quite a cycle, isn't it? I enjoyed the essay.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Fun story, especially the "I know, I know" part. LOL! I have a 16-yo daughter who is amazing: she still thinks I'm cool, and even told me so a few weeks ago! And no, I don't let her do whatever she wants or buy her everything she wants. She's just that smart. :) Thanks for sharing your story!

LynNerdKelley said...

Otter - Oh, yes, you are in for it if your three-year-old is acting like a teen! Haha! So funny.

Coleen - Yep, I bet your teens are just as smart! It's amazing how they reach that age when they think their parents know nothing and they know it all! At least, what it takes to be cool, anyway!

Angela - I love your attitude. You're right about building that relationship from day 1 and how it will carry all of you through those tough teen years. And, yes, how fast they grow. Sigh.

Lee - So beautifully put. I love your comment. You've summed it up in a nutshell!

Jennette - That's so cool that your 16-year-old is such a sweetheart. A good kid, what a gem!

debrakristi said...

I have so many stories. Ha ha ha. You think you’re getting them out of me? Think again. (Insert evil laugh here) But my kids are still alive and kicking so that says something! It’s hard to imagine them when they get to be the age of yours. Wow. Time flies. You have beautiful kids!

Anita said...

What a great idea! If I get some free time, I'll send you a story or two. :)

LynNerdKelley said...

Anita - Thanks! Whenever you have time to share some parenting stories, that would be great!

Cold As Heaven said...

My older boy just turned 18. So, yes, I've got some experience in teenager parenting. Mostly fun though >:)

Cold As Heaven

LynNerdKelley said...

Cold as Heaven - Thanks for visiting my blog. It's great to hear that your experience in raising your teen is mostly fun. Wonderful!