Raising teenagers can be hard, as a relatively young mum by many standards it does not seem that long ago that I was the teenager stood in my bedroom ranting at the unfairness of life. It would be
very fair to say that I didn’t give my mum and dad the smoothest of rides as I travelled through my teenage years. I was ‘good’ until about age 17 then it all went a pear shaped. I hadn’t been perfect before that but it was just the usual teenage dramas. I saved the worst until later.
I thought I would be different as a mum to a teen and in some ways I am but still I had a shock on Friday when I heard my mother come out of my mouth! My teen is nearly 16 and so far the road has been quite smooth but I am pretty sure the bumps in the road are coming. There are no easy answers in parenting, we do our best based on our experiences and values. Up to now it has been fine, as a parent I have negotiated bedtimes, when they can have social media accounts, how much pocket money is fair and how much I intervene in homework. Going to a school that has high expectations and having a daughter keen to succeed has made the journey feel like I have got this covered. Sport has been her priority and consumes most of her time but things are changing.
The curved ball is thrown. The ball or hot potato that I don’t want to catch is thrown in my direction and I have to re-evaluate and redefine my choices. Suddenly sleepovers at home with a best friend, sharing a pizza and netflix is not enough for a Saturday night adventure. Parties and going out are on the agenda. My ‘rules’ I thought were fair. I want to know where you are, what time you want to come home and how you are getting home.
I thought that was reasonable but apparently not. Sometimes a teenager doesn’t know where they are going exactly, they just know the area and sometimes how they are getting home really just isn’t that important to discuss before you get there with friends. Where ever ‘there’ maybe. I then find myself behaving like the teenager, arguing back and walking away.
I still have lessons to learn at this parenting lark.
Another night, another dilemma. Is your teen allowed to wander around The Rugby Fanzone. Gloucester is home to some of the World Cup Rugby games, Gloucester has pulled out the stops and dare I say it they have done a good job. The banners and flags are blowing the breeze, the Quays has been turned into a big screen complete with bars and social areas to enjoy the atmosphere. Gloucester is alive with people of all nations and my fifteen year old wants to go there on a Saturday night with her friends, due to the younger children I cannot pick her up. She will get the bus home at 10.30pm or a taxi. Both I point out are not going to happen, getting the bus will not be nice and getting a taxi is nigh on impossible at the moment with the rugby games happening.
This time though I let her go and all is fine. She has a lift home (phew) organised and she actually gets in early. I’ll take that as a result.
Next month though – there is a house party and we both know that alcohol is likely to feature. That will mean more things to plan for and consider. Parenting a teenager is so damn hard.