Monday, March 12, 2007

I’m a survivor of both my own and my children’s teenage years. Those few years are such a struggle when you are there.

Teens want freedom to do whatever they want, the ability to have the last word in what they consider their affairs, hate being held back by adults. All the while their bodies are growing and being charge with hormones, and you know their curiosity is akin to a cats'.

Parents, having lived through it and gained experience in self-determination, know its more then about giving or denying your child independence, it is about teaching empathy and responsibility and about keeping your child safe even while you let them make mistakes. Being the parent sometimes requires you to enforce your judgment over your child’s, producing clashes that can be very stressful.

Most of us come into adulthood with only a few minor scars. However, I’ve seen major scars rack a family for decades. There is one in our small town right now with a 17-year-old girl in serious trouble being told she got herself into the mess, so she can get herself out of it.

Luckily, both of my children emerged from their teens healthy and law-abiding. I've often believe it was pure luck. I'm sometimes surprised any child reaches adulthood.

For all you parents of teens, there is hope. In some ways while my children have grown away from me as they became adults, they’ve also grown closer. They see me with clearer vision.

The funny part is that I’m still learning secrets that occurred during those years. I am surprised at what I’ve learned. My children, who constantly argued in front of me, helped each other out of their troubles and kept each other’s secrets. Somehow in those tumultuous years they forged a lasting friendship. What more could a parent want?

In my last submission I talked about aliteracy. I’ve written about illiteracy at Rhobin's Rambles.

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