When you get together with your forever love, you discuss getting married, you discuss life plans you might even discuss what it would be like to have a baby or multiple babies! But you never discuss what it would be like to have a teenager! Let alone a house full of teenagers! And weirdly, no one else ever tells you what it’s like to have teenagers either!
Babies are hard work, they are completely dependent on you for everything and they can’t tell you what’s wrong. Toddlers are even harder, because they learn their own mind but have limited language to express themselves and become quickly frustrated when they don’t get there own way, but as they turn into little people, you begin to feel proud of your child’s ability to think of others and show their kindness. You relish in the glory that as parents you did ok.
Then, the teenager years strike!
Your kind children turn into full grown adults but somehow they revert back to that toddler mentality!
They become self righteous, putting themselves before anyone else and they slip back into that “mine” stage of possessiveness.
The world must revolve around them or you instantly become the worst parent in the world!
Now that is a tricky situation for anyone and made even more challenging, if like me, you have 4 teens in the house! (I really didn’t think that through when they were cute little babies; who stayed where I left them and didn’t answer back!)
And now I realise why no one tells you about those teenage years – if they did, the world would never reproduce!
So, none of my teens can yet drive, but they all have commitments like, sports fixtures, jobs, and lives that involve girlfriends, friends and hobbies, that for them are the most important thing in the world.
We teach our kids independence, we teach them to get out and be involved, we teach them to earn a living, all of which is awesome but Just when you think they don’t need you as much, they actually need you more that ever.
I literally spend my days loitering in random locations! I’m surprised I haven’t been accused of stalking or acting suspiciously! (Especially at the moment, with Covid restrictions, when you’re not even allowed to watch at sports clubs etc…
Here’s an example of my day – bank holiday weekend – I drove one to football, 1 hour journey, 1 hour playing time, 1 hour drive home. I then drove another to meet his girlfriend 40min journey, 2hours which changed to 3hrs there, 40min drive home. Then drove one to do a garden job, which involved transportation of a lawnmower and then drove home. Then drove another to swim club, 30 min drive, an hour and half swim and then drove home.
Of course I am more than happy to support them and drive them around, knowing that I can help them to achieve their goals, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it.
But I think we should make it clear to all those young couples out there that are thinking of starting a family, that they should be discussing their views on teenagers.
Do they have the same views on discipline?
Are they willing to continue drive around the country even when your kids are independent and young adults themselves?
Do they have the same views on Staying out late?
On social media?
So many parents split up because the dynamics of a household changes as kids become teens. If they were more prepared this could be prevented.
My kids are always grateful (not that they always show it) But I do wonder if it ever crosses their mind that I might not want to spend the day hanging out on my own in the car!
I believe parents of teenagers are the forgotten heroes!