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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Control freak mum of teenager finally relaxes.... sort of!

Life with a teenager isn't easy, for me to be honest, it's been an up-hill struggle.  I hear of parents having a beautiful relationship with their teenagers and often question my parenting abilities and personal ethos.  My problem is that I'm a control freak, there you go, I said it!!  I feel so much better now for the admission; Not!

Teenage years are ones of finding one-self, experimentation and settling into the real world, blah blah blah.  I don't seem to be doing anything different since my eldest could talk and walk.  instructing of the dangers, setting boundaries, instilling morals and a work ethic.  Talk talk talk.  I'm sorry to seem a little cynical but at this point I've hit that Eureka moment and there is nothing elating about it.  It won't end for a looooooong time yet, so suck it up!

Being a control freak isn't helping either so I have decided to stick to the basics and allow my son to find himself; as long as he finds himself on time, where he is supposed to be, dressed appropriately and speaking clearly at all times!  I'm kidding, sort of.  Those are my basics.  Punctuality, communication, attendance, integrity and appearance, is it so hard?
I love my son dearly and I have a lot of admiration for the young man he is becoming, I can see his potential and that makes my insides smile, but I also know him very well, he has a lack of confidence in his academic ability and he would take the easy way out if that was an option.  Funny thing is, he is just like me when it comes to self-doubt and like me, he needs to push through those barriers.  His major obstacle is he is lazy and complacent.  That, I feel is also my fault as he relies on me to be his safety net.

I wake him up for college,  I tell him it's time to wash his clothing and bedding, I bark his weekly orders out on a daily basis, I still check his homework, buy all his clothes (but I am his stylist!), remind him of his friends birthdays and organise his trips away and dictate where and how to hang pictures in his room.   His tutor informed me that his punctuality was endangering his place on his course, I marched him to class and was going to stay the full day and shadow him to all his lessons.  Too much?  I didn't do it though, although I have supervised him in that manner at primary and secondary school when his behaviour became unacceptable.  Problem is my son is now 18 and I have a 10 and 3 year old and an 8 month old baby.  I don't want that to be an excuse to 'abandon' parenting him but I do need to be there for the others as well.  It would all be soooo much easier if he would just do as he is told, you know like a robot and not like that one in IRobot, he had too much mind!!

Anyway, with my rambling over, for now, I will end with this, Your children will always be your children regardless of how old they are, but, they are also individuals within their own right, I guess once they are living with you they should adhere to the 'house rules' but you should hope and trust that you've put enough work into the formative years for them to be able to go into the world and be productive.  As much as I moan, if I ask my son to babysit his brothers, cook Sunday dinner or clean the kitchen and bathroom, he will do it, with a small grumble but nevertheless he has your back when you need him, that good quality will take him far, he is reliable and puts others before himself (I know he won't read this but I hope his friends won't!).  What I have begun to do when I feel overly protective is remember what I go through with my mother and I am sure she with hers.  I come from a line of autocratic parenting with first borns and I am attempting to break the cycle!


You may also be interested in:Teenage angst for an aging parent and Aaaaaaaarrrggh teenagers


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