Parenting: The Tricky Teenage Years
Those of you who know me outside of the internet, well my life is on the internet so scratch that.....those of you who know me know I fell in love 2 years ago with my nephew-son Princeton. I spent everyday with him from the day he was born until he left to live with his Grandma.
He just turned 2 and this is the stage I loved most with my sons. These little people suddenly develop personalities and actually communicate with you! It's the best feeling in the world to have a conversation and see how their minds work. Princeton has developed a love affair with Barney episodes on my phone and potato chips and found every way to work that into our conversations.
My sons, my sugarbabies, my young men are now teenagers.
I have learned to adjust but this right here is new territory that no one can prepare you for like most stages of parenting. They can write the books and preach the Sunday morning services about it but until you get here, you have no clue. Not one iota yo!
The very thing that you loved; their minds and how they work, is now the thing you loathe and can hardly figure out. Who are these people and why won't they listen to me?!?!
Suddenly they have OPINIONS and will gladly express them.
While I still enjoy seeing their minds at work and still developing, this is the part where you have to figure out what to do when what they believe and want does not align with you.
You realize you can't be the Dictator in this situation forever. But again, why won't they listen to me?!?!
So here we are, my teenagers and I navigating this parenting thing.
I have to give them space and privacy but still be Mama and not tip the scales too much to screw up our household equilibrium. I know some of you are reading that last line asking are you their parent or their friend? We have had this discussion about Arenas and how you can only have a valid opinion if you are in the Arena.
Up until this point, they have learned to park your stuff and not bring it up but now as teenagers they choose to bring up your stuff so you have no choice but to confront it. They were fine with keeping the blur on the mirror but now they want to hold the very clear mirror right up to your face so you can see all of you reflected back to you.
It is quite a time, this new teenage phase.
I feel like I am adjusting well but I have my moments. Why won't they listen to me anymore?!?!
Lately I am coming to terms with how much I have spoiled them. I am a nurturer at heart and my parenting style has been to anticipate their every need before they even know they have it and fulfill it. Meals cooked, hot and ready before they can even ask for them, Show up 5 minutes early to pick them up from anything. I created this. So when dinner is 2 minutes late or I am 5 minutes late, they catch slight attitudes. I created it all.
So here we are.
Has anyone written the book about unspoiling spoiled children that you had a major hand in spoiling?
We are here and even though there are moments, I give thanks because these moments are few and far between in the grand scheme of things. My children, even as teens are thoughtful and intelligent and amazing young black men at their core. They are fair and just and see injustice as a disservice to us all. I am proud of who they are becoming and marvel at having a minute part of it all.
I will look back on these teenage years when they are young adults out in the world working their first jobs and living in their first apartments and smile and think of how I survived these years. And then because I am a mother, I will turn my attention to whether they are eating enough vegetables and locking their doors and paying their bills on time and having enough gas in the car so they don't run out in the middle of the highway and not spending their money on foolish things and saving it and are they treating all these young women right and if they get pulled over, will they be seen as smart, intelligent young black men or as threats to society who don't deserve their right to life or to explain why they were going 5 miles over the speed limit or how they didn't know their tail light was out.....
The ands never end when you are a parent.