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When you were a teenager....

(46 Posts)
tatt Tue 03-Nov-09 22:53:56

did you have a good relationship with your parents? (Have just been to a talk about maintaining good relationships with your teenagers and felt it was totally naive.)

AnyFucker Tue 03-Nov-09 22:54:40


Swedes2Turnips0 Tue 03-Nov-09 22:58:06

Yes. One of my older sisters was an absolute pain the backside. My parents were incredibly reasonable (for socialists grin) and still she managed to rebel.

notnowbernard Tue 03-Nov-09 22:58:12

Early teens good

Late teens good

Think I did their heads in a bit between 15-17 tbh and things were a bit strained

With hindsight I can see clearly I must have been a nightmare to parent but that they did a very good job in letting me make mistakes (and therefore face the consequences) and keep lines of communication open

If my dds do half of what I did at that age I'm not sure I'll be able to be as measured abouit it as they were (though I suspect my Mum placated my Dad a bit behind closed doors)

supersalstrawberry Tue 03-Nov-09 23:04:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tatt Tue 03-Nov-09 23:11:55

for those that did manage a good relationship - how? Seems to me that those who think they have good relationships are mostly deceiving themselves while their teenagers are up to things they would hate if they knew about them.

JesusChristOtterStar Tue 03-Nov-09 23:13:23

god no

but then mum ran off

the less said about what she left me with - the better

Swedes2Turnips0 Tue 03-Nov-09 23:15:23

My eldest son is 17 and I have a really good relationship with him. Of course there are things that he probably doesn't tell me but I think that's entirely normal. I don't need to know every single detail of his life to have a good relationship with him, that would be overbearing.

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Tue 03-Nov-09 23:16:24

Not really, but only in the sense that I was so self absorbed the only person I really had a relationship with was myself.

Get on fine with them now though (mostly) and have done since I left home at 23.

notnowbernard Tue 03-Nov-09 23:18:34

Good boundaries

Feeling safe to talk about stuff... lines of communication were always open (did break down a bit when I was coming up 17 and was being a right PITA) but otherwise I always knew I could talk to them about anything if I needed to

As for those parents who think they are "doing a good job" (in spite of what their teens are up to behind their backs): surely that is a MASSIVE part of being a teen? It is the time of life when you are allowed to fuck up a bit, make mistakes, learn from them, be an arsehole

I would worry a bit about a non-rebellious teenager

tatt Tue 03-Nov-09 23:21:01

hmmm. Well parents of my children's friends friends either don't know or don't care that they are into things like underage sex, drinking and writing pornography.

PoppyIsApain Tue 03-Nov-09 23:23:20

yes, but i still moved out when i was 16 because of arguments between us smile

cat64 Tue 03-Nov-09 23:27:51

Message withdrawn

notnowbernard Tue 03-Nov-09 23:28:21

I'm sure my Mum DID know and DID care that I was having underage sex, drinking, taking drugs and under-achieving at school

But she 'contained' herself (and me, in the process, I think) enough that things didn't de-rail completely

Her head wasn't in the sand about it - I regularly got read the riot act re school etc, and was grounded for the drinking/staying out late etc. And she made sure I was protecting myself in relationships. But as I said, I was allowed to make mistakes and then had to learn from them as a result

Didn't fancy myself as a pornographer though, so she didn't have to deal with that one wink Am sure that would have tipped her over the edge...

JesusChristOtterStar Tue 03-Nov-09 23:43:41

i adore my 17 year ols son and like swedes there will be stuff i dont know

i did know he drank but was stunned when after a recent party i asked him what he had and he said 'just lagers and cider' ewwww but anyway - he said 50% of the people at said party were vomiting and he was not one so 'result!'

Claire2009 Tue 03-Nov-09 23:44:31

Mum died when I was 11.
Dad was an alcoholic all my life.


Swedes2Turnips0 Wed 04-Nov-09 08:26:48

Claire2009 - Sorry to hear that.

tatt Wed 04-Nov-09 08:55:08

perhaps there are some who are not like that. I think there are 2 I have met, but as one has no friends his own age it's hard to be sure. I actually know quite a lot of teens as my children have a wide circle of friends, their friends go to more than one school and some of my friends naturally had children of similar age. They are not all doing all of the things I mentioned but it is part of teenage rebellion to do something.

notnowbernard - what made you feel safe talking to your parents? I'd really like to get to that stage but without condoning the mistakes smile.

selectivememory Wed 04-Nov-09 09:42:31

I am on third teen now and get on with my 14yr old DS very well. No major bust ups with the others either (although it wouldn't be normal, if you didn't have 'moments'). I think the key is to let them know that you know all those things go on (ie under age drinking/sex/drugs) so that they know you will not fall over with shock/go beserk if they need to tell you somethng awful has happened. You don't have to condone the behaviour but you will help them if it all gets out of control etc.

I regularly ask my DS2 if there has been alcohol etc at parties he goes to, thankfully not so far....but if when it gets to that stage, I hope he will be able to communicate with me about it, so that there can be some 'monitoring' of the situation, as it were!!!

MrsHiggins Wed 04-Nov-09 11:11:01

Message withdrawn

cory Wed 04-Nov-09 11:17:14

Yes we did actually have a good relationship (still do). I deferred the bad behaviour until I moved from home at 18, so that made life smoother for everybody. Not terribly easy to talk to them about difficult things, but then I was quite happy to clam up most of the time anyway. And we had lots of fun.

My big brother did more of the rebellion thing. But they also have a good relationship.

BertieBotts Wed 04-Nov-09 11:43:22

Sort of. I have always had a good relationship with my mum and have always been able to talk to her about stuff but it was the years from 14-18 that were difficult because I started doing things or feeling things I didn't necessarily want to share with her because she was too close.

We clashed from about 14 onwards because my friends were beginning to be allowed more freedom and I wasn't, or wasn't allowed as much. My sister (3 years younger) was still wanting to play childish games with me and more often I just wanted to be alone/be with my friends/write really bad goth poetry and listen to music grin There were also all the mood swings which didn't help with the above, and school work steps up a bit in the GCSE years with coursework etc so I felt a lot of pressure there because I was never very good at organising myself.

There are also a lot of big issues it is common to encounter for the first time as a teenager, if not personally then definitely through friends - boyfriend/girlfriend issues, pregnancy scares, alcohol, drugs, sexuality, death. There were things I would be told and sworn to secrecy on which I didn't feel I could tell my mum about because she knew my friends, but would really want to tell her. I did tell her some things in the end and it was fine.

I do remember I was very angry at times and I think it must have been hormonal or frustration because I'm not an angry person at all and never have been (apart from my teenage years!) - I did probably say some horrible stuff, I remember one time I made my mum cry And that made me stop and think and I ended up crying too because I didn't realise I had been upsetting her so much and I hadn't meant to. I think it got a little bit better after that but really our relationship improved the most when I left home and we had some space from each other. I do consider her a friend now and we can chat about anything, I see her about once or twice a week, we could chat every day on the phone and it would be fine but I do think the teenage years are about breaking away and growing up and needing that space.

bigTillyMint Wed 04-Nov-09 11:53:24

Erm, I dunno!

My dad was an alcoholic - my mum finally divorced him when I was 10 and I didn't ever see him again. I think I was a pretty sensible teen on the whole, though I did all the usual stuff like boys/pubs/clubs,etc.

My mum was a bit of a doormat in the relationship, which I hated, and did turn to me for my opinion / advice - i sometimes felt like I was the adult. But she was always there for me and not critical.... She pretty much let me do what I liked, but she was / is SO naive.

It was a bit suffocating just being her and me and I couldn't wait to go to uni.

I don't know if she thought I was a PITA, but I often thought she wasshock{grin]

serenity Wed 04-Nov-09 11:56:40

I was a complete bitch to my Mum from the age of about 13 to about 15, but it was generally caused by a mixture of depression (mine, godawful hormonal/PMT crap) and following my emotionally abusive Dad's lead. She says I wasn't as bad as I thought I was though smile Most of my younger sisters friends were terrified of me apparently, so I think I must have been quite shitty.

I know I just took everything anyone ever said to me completely the wrong way - it was all a personal attack, and I essentially lived in my room the entire time. It only improved when I discovered a sense of empathy and realised how out of order my Dad was, and basically switched sides.

OmniDroid Wed 04-Nov-09 12:23:00

I'm obv in a complete minority here, but yes, we had a good relationship throughout my teens.

I wasn't rebellious (if that makes anyone worry about me, finehmm), was focused on O and A levels, had a curfew which I understood and respected, only drank any silly amount at 17th and 18th birthday parties and was generally fine, if a little uncommunicative and hormonal. As far as I know, most of my friends had similar relationships in their own families.

I like my parents as well as loving them - I liked them then, I like them now. I guess I always understood that I didn't want to hurt or worry them, and they were clear about what the ground rules were in the family. And they gave me a decent amount of freedom and autonomy - I first went on holiday with just friends at 14, but never had any inclination to take the piss beyond smoking a few fags.

I don't understand the 'all teens do this that and the other' that I see on here. Maybe most do, but not all.

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