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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Parenting a teenager

Not sure if the title is an oxymoron or not. I have made a career working with parents of young children. The terrible 2's and ferocious 4's got nothin' on this teenager business! I am so very out of my comfort zone with a child who I thought I knew so well (heck, we shared my body for 9 mos.!!)

Not that parenting can ever be learned from a book or some wise statement (Lord knows I've tried!:)), but there are some pearls of wisdom out there of some survivors. This wisdom I accept willingly, not out of desperation (yet) but out of the puzzlement that has become my son.

The suggestion of having pictures of your teen around the house to comfort you when it was okay to be seen near you is a strategy I have recently implemented. My home (and a bit of my heart) seems to echo in his increasing physical absence. During the holidays, I found myself feeling melancholy; missing his wit,exuberance & engineering.

I have resolved to make the remaining family events when we are together to be those that will bring a smile to our hearts.

Teenagers require a sense of humor, but also a healthy dose of love and understanding in an unobtrusive way. Not sure if my kid understands that I know this, but now he does.

2 comments:

Saphron said...

Having taught teenagers for three years, I've got nothing but sympathy for you. They just don't realize how much they hurt us until it's too late - namely, when they've grown up and the damage has been done.

I suppose my one consolation is knowing that they will one day go through the same thing.

Fly Girl said...

Even though my daughter just turned 13, I'm beginning to feel the passing of time with her, too. I'm sorry you're feeling his absence so strongly. I've been wishing I could have my daughter at her current age and then a mini-verson of her at 2 or 3. They would enjoy each other so much, and I could revisit with the little one!

I like the idea of photographs in the house.