Monday, November 16, 2015

What is the right way to parent a teen?

This weekend was a rare occurrence, my teen son stayed in.

The child that always used to stay at home, until he found a new group of friends and was always out, stayed in. He was feeling a bit under the weather, and the rain and winds cemented his decision to get well, and stay slouching around the house.

It was lovely, we've discovered a healthy new balance to the parent/child relationship, that fits with the adult he's now becoming.

We spent the evening catching up with TV, the younger 2 went to bed and it was just me, his dad and him.

Then the news broke. The horrifying news.

I'm not going to talk about it as a viewer, but as a parent, because a it made me think about HOW I parent my boys.

I'm a relaxed parent. I tend to mother my children in the care aspect, they probably do a lot less than most children, chores wise. This is my choice, as their mother, I like to fuss. 

Otherwise my children make their own choices on who they hang around with, what they do etc. This is within reason, obviously. My boys are well behaved, polite and loving, I'm hoping that is traits I have instilled through my own behavior. I've never raised a hand to my boys, and only occasionally shout. I like to live by the rule 'monkey see, monkey do'

I choose my arguments, and don't let them drag on. Life is too short to hold on to the bad things. For example, I've recently discovered my eldest is smoking. Did I shout? Did I stop speaking to him? NO. I smoked for most of his childhood?! I feel it is something he will grow out of, probably the first time he kisses a girl that doesn't smoke. 

As he gets older the arguments, I choose to have, change. There are so many things, so much worse, that my son could be doing........in my opinion. Is that wrong? Maybe. But isn't parenting muddling through, to the best of our abilities.

On more than one occasion 2 of my eldest boys friends (a boyfriend and girlfriend) have slept in my shed (please don't think I'm being mean, my house is small and the shed is a cosy hideaway), as they have no where else to go. His mother won't give him a house key, and she isn't home, so he has nowhere to go!? His girlfriend stays because she doesn't want him to be out alone.

These kids don't seem like bad kids, to me. They've been together over a year, they only seem to want to skate. They are not trouble makers, for me. I haven't heard about them drinking or causing trouble. In fact, friends of mine that have seen my eldest out, with these kids, say they all seem polite.

So what did these children do that is SO BAD, that their parents think it's ok to leave them out for the night?

After the, absolutely horrifying, news this past weekend, can't we find it in our hearts to talk to our children? 
To hold them close, love them, accept that they may have flaws?

We brought them up, for goodness sake. The adults they become are, in part, down to us. 

Am I alone in this thinking?
Would you let your childrens friends bunk down at yours, if they were stuck like this? Or am I being a pushover?

Before I know it, my children will be out in the big bad world. I want them to know they are loved.

What do you think? 

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