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To the stressed and worried (worth the read)(15 Posts)
Hey there, this is isn't your usual post because I'm 17 but I though it might be interesting to give all the stressed and manic some insight from a real teen.
Sorry its a bit long but just give it a read.
For starters I'm not claiming to the perfect teen for sure I gave my mum a real run for her money when I was 13/14, I started going out and not coming back, started messing around with boys, sneaking about and drinking to excess. And yes there was arguments which involved not speak for days, nasty things said, phones taken away as well as other privilages. But throughout all of that my mum maintained trust in me, never once did she look through my phone (rule was I could keep my battery, sim and media card) and looking at many posts loads of you guys think its okay to look though your DCs phones. What message is that conveying to your Dc that you wont give them enough respect to trust them no matter how hard it is. Because its only due of the trust my mum showed me when I was younger that I am comfortable to talk to her about everything. Literally everything, she's like one of my closest friends. She was very over protective before (i had a curfue of 7:30 when i was 15) but we talked and agreed that if she never let me make my mistakes and go out and be slightly stupid I would end up resenting her for it later on. Trust me when I say that was a turning point in our relationship because I realised she was on my side, you know she was really there for me and in my eyes she really did an amazing job which I can only love her for.
Another point to those who are stressing over their DC is no matter how shitty we are, on the most part we come out ok, even if some take longer than others. Like I said earlier I was a little madame when I was an early teen no one would have guessed a couple of years down i'm holding down two jobs, providing most of my own stuff, doing well at school and thanks to my mums support with someone who's actually good for me and going to uni in the summer.
I guess i just wanted to say that yeah we're not easy, we will fight and resist until we are black and blue but in the end hopefully most of us grow up to be something you're proud of.
A little reassurance never hurt nobody so hopefully this has helped you guys realise that yes we are hard work but it will all be worth it in the end.
That's a nice post.
Now, can I write my daughter a letter as a Mom? Just for a balanced discussion... ;)
You are the most beautiful gift life has ever bestowed on me. I remember the moment you were born. I remember the first day and night I held your tiny vulnerable body in my arms. I was overwhelmed; overwhelmed with relief that you were healthy, pride at your beauty, awe at your perfection, fear at how I might fuck you up, terror at the sense of responsibility I felt towards you, confusion as to how nappies worked, bewilderment as to what to do when you cried and amazement at the bottomless love I felt for you.
We grew together. Me setting boundaries, you breaking them. That was when you were 2. At three, your independence really kicked in. So, we negotiated. You unwillingly complied, though your face told it all - you were well able to manage on your own thank you very much Mummy (until it came down to finding your shoes or coat).
At four you started school. You shared your fears. I comforted you and reassured you. You took it in your stride.
All through the years I had to set boundaries for you. Which your wonderful spirit zealously tried to breach. We are well matched.
I have seen you ill and thought my heart would break. I have seen you sad and comforted you (while secretly plotting vengeance against the culprit). I have seen you angry and blamed myself.
I have looked at you sleeping and felt full to bursting with love. I have cried when I have felt like I have failed. I have tortured myself for not being good enough. I have given you the freedom to be the strong character you are today, but I always wonder whether I am doing enough.
You are now entering teenage years. I lie awake at night wondering whether I've done enough, given you enough, demonstrated my love enough in order for you to begin to stand on your own feet. It is a big scary world out there. I've lived in it. I want to prevent you from having to learn from your own mistakes.
I know I can't. I have erred on the liberal side of caution. But, I am dreading these years. Not because I want to spoil your fun, not because I want you to be some librarian robot person, but because I genuinely want to prevent you experiencing pain or difficulty in your life.
Please know, that I will always challenge you. I will always be here. I love you to the moon and then to infinity (plus one). Don't feel that I'm trying to curb your enjoyment of life.
You make me swell with love and pride every moment I think about you. I am here for you always, all my faults, all my warts, but with more love than you know.
Please know that I have your back. No matter what. And if I give you a bollockin, you probably deserve it. Likewise, feel free to reciprocate. But please remember, you will always be the little tiny fragile bundle of sheer and utter 'miracle-ness' until the day I die.
Thanks for the explanation from a teenage perspective. Hope you don't mind hearing the Mammy perspective.
PS - I'm sure your Mam is tremendously proud of you.
Both lovely posts. A bit of trust, give and take on both sides, most importantly love.
Op - sorry, the Mammy is coming out in me here, but, since you have an art for communicating in writing, would you consider blogging, or creative writing? (Just can't stop being a Mammy
pain in the arse ).
It might be nice to bridge the gap between teens and parents.
See if there's an opening for it here on Mumsnet? They have creative writing sections and bloggers sections. It will fine-tune your writing skills.
*Reluctantly removes pushy-mom hat <hangs head in shame>
We were all real teens once. I can remember what it was like too and remind my teens a lot.
HaveIGotAClue that is such a lovely post about your daughter, really put a smile on my face to hear such lovely supportive things and I'm sure your daughter understands that even if she doesn't say so.
If it's any consolation I would never go back on the mistakes and lessons learned, they've made me who I am. Don't get me wrong they were rubbish (emotionally abusive relationship one of the worst) and my mum bless her i know worried all the nights I would be up crying and fighting. But knowing she was there quietly protecting me was what gave me the strength to leave.
I've never thought of that but I guess if there was the want/need I would happily oblige to write a blog. Thanks for the suggestion
contempdancer you have really made a good point. Nobody ever learns from other people's mistakes - you have to make your own. I'm a parent of grown-up children and a former teacher and I totally agree with you that parents need to trust their children if they are to expect respect in return.
I'm using the word "children" here in the sense of offspring. I think some parents find it hard to get their heads round the concept that teenagers are no longer children - yet nor are they adults. There is a name for this in-between stage - adolescence - although I prefer "young people". Your mum clearly understood and accepted this distinction. As I see it, the rôle of parents of teens is to stand back and - hard though that may be - let them make mistakes but, having the experience to be able to anticipate the outcome, be ready to catch them when it all goes horribly wrong. (Long sentence!)
You might be interested in reading up on the social theories of Lev Vygotsky. They certainly work in an educational setting - in my experience - and I think they are applicable here too.
Well done for posting your views here on Mumsnet.
That's a lovely post, thank you. Seeing as it's only a couple of years since "you gave your mum a run for your money" (good on you for being honest/self-aware) do you mind me asking you a few things?
1. You say the change in curfew times/conversation on trust led to a turning point. When the curfew was lifted/extended what were the boundaries/what did you agree to?
2. Did your mum have a rewards system in your early teens and did it make any difference to you? What about sanctions/confiscations?
3. What was your attitude at 13 to the following:
Time spent on social media/electronic devices
Food, exercise, hobbies
What could your mum have said to you (if anything) to ensure none of the above escalated from nagging to world war three?
Many thanks in advance
Run for her money, not your money. But you can add pocket money/value of money/branded goods to thee list above
Oh! What a moving thread.
The power of love.....
KimmySchmidtsSmile When the curfew lifted it got slowly extended bit by bit, say an hour or hour and a half the more I proved I could take responsibility for it. So I would have to stay in contact or otherwise my curfew would go down again. There wasn't really a rewards system but she would make special time to do stuff together, for example if I did well on a report we would go have a little picnic, nothing big but nice for us. Additionally if i had a really bad parents evening she wouldn't punish me but make an effort to reassure me that we would work through the problems together.
Humm when I was 13 my mum and I had already gone shopping where there she explained what where the best products for me to use and what for so by the time i was 13 she would say for me to add anything onto the shopping list that I needed. She also kept an eye on my stash of tampons and pads, ensuring they were always topped up so to avoid me asking for some if i was embarrassed. I had a homework diary from school which she would check each week to make sure I would do it but didn't push me too much, it was another case of "if you don't want to do it you have to learn that mistake". My chores are minimal and I could have done a bit more to be fair but just ensuring i picked up my rubbish and general things around the house. Facebook wasn't to be touched until I was 13 and then it had to be on private, i didn't really get into social media until around 15 but I know its slightly different to those who are even slightly younger than me so sorry i can't be much help on that. I did dance and pe clubs so exercise was never an issue and because i was quite active food was never a huge issue because I burnt it off fairly quickly. I never was on a super strict healthy diet either. Especially while at school there was no control over what i ate so food was just food i guess :') Around then the time we aimed to have me in bed was 9/10ish but was loose and not set.
I think what stopped it all from turning into "world war 3" is my mums attitude of making it a team effort, she treated me like a grown up and us two had business to do. Sometimes it was stricter but for the most part we were a team and discussed it all calmly.
Contempdancer, you sound like a lovely daughter. I'd very happily trust you based on what you describe
Trust gains a completely different meaning when you 14-15 year old is out drinking and dabbling with drugs.
I suppose there's still a small glimmer of hope he'll get through it, but also a pretty sizeable probability it will lead to further problems.