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Do some kids stay nice or have I got it all to come?

(57 Posts)
breakfastbap Mon 03-Oct-16 22:47:38

My work colleague can be a bit of a cow at times!

I have DS age 16 and DD 13 and to be fair they are really good kids. Both doing well at school, so far they've been no trouble at all, okay, they leave cups and plates around in their rooms, DS can eat me out of house and home and DD does a brilliant eye roll and can be a drama queen when she wants to be - her bedroom can be a tip at times too. DS has a small, stable circle of friends who he plays football with but most of his time he's studying, playing football and online gaming. No drinking, drugs or roaming the streets causing trouble. DD has a small circle of friends and apart from the obligatory piles of makeup and spending hours perfecting her pout and taking selfies she lounges around on her phone in her room etc.

Having said that there is never any really bad behaviour, they will help with chores if I ask them or if I ask them for help with anything they are always willing. They are generally polite, well behaved and have respect for our home and their belongings. They both like a hug, I'd like to think they can come to me about anything and we can talk openly and have a laugh over most things.

The point is my colleague who has had quite a bit of trouble with her 20 yr old son seems to think I've 'got it all to come' and that they are going to be a nightmare soon. She delights in saying 'once they start driving look out' or 'once they start drinking then you'll have your hands full' or 'once she's got a boyfriend look out - she'll be a handful'.

So, is that always the case? I know DS has said that he's got friends who smoke, have sex with their Gfs and one girl his yr is pregnant. I know it's going on at his age and I'm hoping that he has more sense than to bother (he appears to). DD I think may be slightly more rebellious and outgoing but so far she appears to be sensible.

Does anyone have good kids who stayed good kids or will they always go off the rails a little at some point?

NapQueen Mon 03-Oct-16 22:50:03

I think it sounds like you and your dcs have a great relationship and you don't judge them or punish them for being teens.

Your colleague sounds jealous.

hopes OPS parenting style happens with me and mine too

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 03-Oct-16 22:56:06

My DSs are still both "good kids" too. They are 19 & 15. Sure the 15 year old can strop at times about the injustices of the world (being asked to clean his room etc.) & the 19 year old is messiness personified, but neither has really gone off the rails - yet.

I'm not being smug & saying nothing will ever go wrong but, no, it certainly isn't a given that all young people cause or have major problems!

breakfastbap Mon 03-Oct-16 23:04:45

My two aren't perfect by any means, we get flounces and the occasional outburst from DD and DS can be a mean sod to his sister at times but I've always tried to respond in a clam manner if I need to or not at all at times, I tend to pick my battles.

Luckily DH and I have always managed the housework easily between the two of us so they don't get asked to do too much - this actually is an area that I need to change as at 16 I'm realising DS can't operate the cooker or any other appliance really. DD can only really cook the most basic hob top things and she wouldn't know how to use the washing machine etc.

In that area I know I'm failing to parent them. I'm not doing them any good by not teaching them these things but I guess that's another thread entirely!

RaspberryIce Mon 03-Oct-16 23:16:12

Sounds like you're doing great. I agree with Napqueen re

I think it sounds like you and your dcs have a great relationship and you don't judge them or punish them for being teens

Your colleague sounds jealous.

When i went away to college i had about the same level of domestic competence as your dd and I just picked it up as i went along with the help of a basic cookbook. I did shrink a favourite woolly jumper in the dryer at about age 18 blush but I'm quite adept at doing laundry these days. smile

gandalf456 Mon 03-Oct-16 23:21:10

Sounds as if your colleague is struggling. Some parents do and it's not necessarily anyone's fault but down to temperament of the parents or children.

I must admit, when I am struggling with mine, find it irrationally difficult to listen to stories of other people's children bring no trouble and probably something like that might have slipped out of my mouth too. Sorryblush

DramaAlpaca Mon 03-Oct-16 23:23:41

Sounds like you have a great relationship with your kids.

Your parenting style sounds similar to mine. My three boys are now 23, 21 and 19 and haven't gone off the rails. They've had their moments of course, but nothing major and have turned into really nice, polite, caring young men.

WankersHacksandThieves Tue 04-Oct-16 23:14:46

I'm in a similar position, I have 16 and 15 year old DSs and they are the most easy going people. DS2 was a bit of a tantrum king as a toddler, had his moments at about 11/12 but has been great since, DS1 has always been easy going. Their rooms aren't great and they aren't the tidiest or most helpful with stuff about the house, but they do well in school, go to their social/hobby clubs and give us not a bit of bother. Not even any back chat anymore which DS2 was a bit partial to at 11/12.

I also keep waiting for the bubble to burst. It doesn't stop me worrying about them in terms of being safe when they are old enough to drive and drink, but that's natural I would think.

This age has probably been my favourite to parent. You still need to be hands on and available for them and they need support, praise, encouragement and love, but you get a lot back when they aren't holed up in their rooms smile I love the political and moral debate, the sense of humour and the occasional "thanks mum" - usually about 2 days after the event... grin

GetAHaircutCarl Wed 05-Oct-16 07:42:25

Mine are both 17 and are good kids ( not just me who says it ).

Not perfect by any stretch and we have our moments wink.

But they aren't moody or aggressive. They don't get drink or smoke ( fags or weed). They work hard at school.
They still spend a lot of time with us.
I am pretty chilled with them. I don't nag about filthy rooms or small infractions at school. I don't care if they spend their ( little) free time watching shite on their phones.

Starduke Wed 05-Oct-16 07:47:22

I'm not that far yet but me and DB were very easy-going teenagers (and children actually). DB has a couple of rows with my parents but nothing major. He didn't touch drugs and although he drank quite a bit he never got into trouble.

I didn't touch drink or drugs at all.

We both loved playing card games with our parents until we left home. We were a very close unit.

GetAHaircutCarl Wed 05-Oct-16 07:48:40

As for the floodgates argument; that as soon as they start ding anything That Will Be It, well it's nonsense.

Both my two are exposed to alcohol. DH and I drink. Sometimes a lot. Both DC go to parties where people drink. Yet they have never come home drunk. And often do not drink at all.

Both have started dating. Yet that has brought no drama either. DS wants no form of proper 'relationship' - too much like work and DD and her boyfriend see relatively little of each other ( school work, extra curricular and family events take priority).

GetAHaircutCarl Wed 05-Oct-16 07:52:39

BTW I'm not taking any credit for my two. I'm far from the perfect parent.

Indeed, by MN standards I am shocking and have been told so on many occasions grin.

Useruser44 Wed 05-Oct-16 07:53:32

I think it really depends on each individual child's character, me my brothers and sisters were all brought up exactly the same , me and 1 DB were a real handful from 13-19 , the others never rebelled and were very easy going. My DD is a handful but has always been a very headstrong character some of her friendship group are some aren't, think it's a lot to do with their circle of friends to, DDs friendships are volatile and they are drawn to the drama like a fly to shit!

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 05-Oct-16 07:58:20

I'm not sure if it's relevant, but we were fairly strict parents when they were younger but eased back a lot as they git older as we trust them to make good choices and told them that. We have a history of alcohol and gambling addiction in our family on both sides. DH and I are moderate drinkers (DH maybe a couple if beers and a whisky per week, me an occasional glass of wine) and we have alcohol freely available in the house but they have never shown any interest and we haven't encouraged it. When they are of age or earlier if required, we'll tell them about the family issues.

VagueButExcitlng Wed 05-Oct-16 08:03:17

It's all in the marketing I think!

Apart from at the extreme end of real problem teens, in the vast majority of cases when I hear about difficult teens they are just like yours, but parents can't cope with their children growing up and having their own opinions.

I was a dream teenager, but to hear my parents you'd think I was running wild. I couldn't do anything right. It really hurt. Still now extended family and neighbours joke about it. I spent my teens staying in watching Red Dwarf with my brother. I didn't touch alcohol until I was at university and lost my virginity at 20.

My DD is almost 15. She is far more stroppy and rebellious than I was. Her room is a tip. But she works hard, is fun and chatty 75% of the time, does volunteering and cooks a cracking roast dinner!

I think your kids sound like lovely normal kids. Only a tiny minority get pregnant, have serious drug or alcohol issues or drop out of school.

GetAHaircutCarl Wed 05-Oct-16 08:08:35

vague my in laws are the same.

To hear them you'd think DH had been a Problem Child. MIL once said that he 'went bad' at around 10.

They describe his teen years as raucous when in fact he was a grade A student who did a milk round before his school day shock.

I don't know what parallel world they lived in.

ReallyTired Wed 05-Oct-16 08:23:49

Parenting style has to change in the teenage years. With a toddler the parent is a beneverent dictator, but in the teenager years an effective parent is more like a life coach. Making mistakes is part of growing up. My son hadn't done anything bad, but he has done stuff like not pack his school bag or revise for test.

Some parents find the teenage years hard to adjust to as they have less control.

breakfastbap Wed 05-Oct-16 09:09:42

We were pretty strict parents too when they were small, we didn't tolerate tantrums, they were encouraged to keep their toys tidy and mealtimes they were expected to behave and sit nicely at the table etc.

We've just relaxed as they have got older - whenever they do well, make good decisions about things they get praised and conversely if they do something we don't like they get explained to quite clearly and calmly what we think.

Also, my parents acted like I was a nightmare teen - I got kicked out at 17 as I was working on a YT scheme, running a car and had a boyfriend. My mother was appalled at the lack of control over me and the fact I was 'using the place like a hotel' she threw me out after yet another row over something trivial.

My kids know all about this and I've been open about how much of a difficult childhood I had. They know I won't be a walkover but thankfully they appear to respect us so far. Crossed fingers it continues.

ReallyTired Wed 05-Oct-16 09:21:56

It's really hard to stand by and watch your children make mistakes. Teenage brains are all over the place. There are times when teens are impossible to live with.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Wed 05-Oct-16 09:26:22

You sound like great parents, with great kids !
Your friend on the other hand, sadly, has a touch of the green eyed monster.
Some children do go off the rails, but many stay the same, although none of us are perfect all of the time.
I think it's a given, that teenagers do strop, and try it on, maybe leave their rooms in a tip, but it's part and parcel of growing up.
Guidance and bribery help ! 😄

roundtable Wed 05-Oct-16 09:30:05

My parents make out that I was a nightmare teenager. I really wasn't. I used to go down to the library every weekend and get out 12-24 books using mine and my mum's library card. I'd read them all over the week after school and then change them the following weekend. I had no time to be a terrible teen!

I did/do have an opinion on life though and opposed their enforced Christianity which is probably what made them think I was so terrible.

BabooshkaKate Wed 05-Oct-16 09:31:58

Misery loves company.

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 05-Oct-16 11:08:30

I agree really the life coach. Had this the other week when DS2 had left something to the last minute as he wasn't sure what to do. DHS and I helped him so that he met his deadline and then had a conversation about a problem shared is a problem halved and that instead of stressing by himself for days, if he'd come and asked earlier we would have still pointed him in the right direction and he wouldn't have had a weekend of worry first. I think treating your teen as a human being in their own right helps.

Maddaddam Wed 05-Oct-16 11:29:54

My teens and preteen (16, 15, 12) are very nice. Polite and helpful.

They are also messy, their rooms are tips. The older two can be moody or stroppy - but frankly so can I be, so that doesn't particularly bother me.

The 16yo makes some choices I think are unwise, but I tend not to stop them doing so, cos I think at 16 it will just lead to conflict and she is very much turning into a young adult, so clearly not a child that I just hope for the best really.

15yo thinks I let her do everything she likes and never say no, but I think that'scos she's really very sensible and organised, works hard at school. I don't think of myself as a permissive parent but maybe I am when it comes to mid-teens.

I had very authoritarian parents and I don't think this was helpful so I tend the other way, deliberately.

RhodaBull Wed 05-Oct-16 11:43:17

Well, it depends if you tell your colleague how your teens are "no trouble at all". My bil and sil used to drone on about their wonderful teenage girls and how they didn't understand what all the fuss about terrible teens was about. I can only say that pride came before a fall (like your colleague!)...

I agree that some people have a bit of problem with the change in family dynamics. Ds and dh tend to lock horns on occasion, and I know that other people say that their dhs and dss do the same. A basic fight to be head of the herd, I suppose. The pil went batty when their boys became teenagers, including insisting David Bowie had altered dh's brain by sending messages to dh through his records confused .

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