“Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-o to a tree.”
Archive for June, 2010
“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”
“In the time it takes you to understand a 14-year-old, he turns 15.”
We grounded our 12.75 year-old.
Never say never.
If you read my article a few weeks ago called GROUNDED! (Check it out in the archives), you know that I don’t particularly “believe” in “grounding” and I did my very best, Super-people, to find the “yogic alternative.”
Key words being “my very best.”
Clearly, Madison’s and my Spirit had different plans.
The events that transpired after I wrote “Grounded” Part One indicated nothing other than it was time to…rein it in, my Sisters.
I won’t reiterate the events because that’s paddling upstream and somewhat humiliating to my girl ? (as is me doing pretty much anything at this point—LOL), but suffice it to say, this Super-mom had complete and total clarity—grounding was the way to go.
“Well, she’s grounded,” I said calmly, “that much is totally clear,” I continued as Philippe breathed a sigh of relief.
He’d been saying she needed to be grounded for a while now, although I continuously begged to differ.
And we (almost) never disagree.
An interesting thing happened when I told Madison she was grounded.
I did so calmly, attempting to not leave the vortex while doing so, and she smiled and seemed relieved and happy.
RELIEVED and HAPPY, Super-people!
Then she began chatting with me about what this grounding entailed, when it was going to happen, etc.
And then she began…NEGOTIATING.
The work of a tween/teen: endless negotiation.
Ahhhhhh, I smiled as she asked if we could put it off a week because it was the end of the school year, after all.
I naively agreed (while Philippe laughed, shook his head in disbelief, and walked out of the room), making a “grounding schedule” that worked for Madison.
Yes, this is my first time navigating the tween and soon-to-be teen years, Super-people, and I’m finding my way.
Just as I was “over the top” when I was a first-time Super-mom with “just Madison,” I seem to be doing my share of “learning” as I navigate these choppy tween parenting waters as well.
You know what happened, right?
She was almost psyched about the grounding…until we actually began implementing it.
“I’m grounded today?! But so and so wants me to go to the beach in Plymouth! Can we do it a different day, Mommy?” she begged.
(Whenever there’s a “Mommy” involved, you KNOW she’s in negotiating mode—LOL).
“No, hon, I’m sorry. You’re grounded. That means you can’t join your friends. That’s the whole point,” I explained.
She continued. On and on. Negotiating, begging, sometimes with drama and sometimes without.
Finally, I remarked to Philippe in disbelief: “How can she continue to ask me the same question?! How can she continue to beg?”
“Because you’ve never had real consequences,” he explained sweetly. “She’s not used to this.”
Could this be true?
Had I always been consequence-free?
Perhaps I had, I reflected.
Because I really hadn’t HAD to—follow through with consequences.
The stakes hadn’t been this high and she’d always been such a great kid.
Not that she still isn’t. Now she’s just a great kid doing her developmental duty—to test the **** out of her parents.
So I asked her, “Honey, tell me why this is so difficult for you, besides the obvious (that you can’t be with your friends).”
“Well, it’s a little confusing, Mom, because you’ve never had consequences. You’ve always just talked to me about what happened, taught me the lesson, and then let it go. Because you’re a yogi,” she said, inserting a deep pain into my heart and pit in my stomach as she spoke.
Ahhhhh, she’d been reading the same Psych book as her Papa.
And she knew EXACTLY what to say to push this Super-mom’s buttons.
Have I stuck to her “grounding?”
Yes, I have.
We just finished day three. Four to go.
And the grounding experience is just about as painful—and rife with learning and growth–for this Super-mom as it is for her tween.
“I am every emotion times ten, I conform yet I’m rebellious, always obeying but somehow still an outlaw, always talking but never heard, I am a teenager.”
“Start writing a new chapter, for if you live by the book you’ll never make history.”
“Hmmm! Teenagers. They think they know everything. You give them an inch, and they swim all over you.”
“Your job on Earth, therefore, is not to learn (because you already know), but to remember Who You Are.”
Super-Mom Betsy Parsons:
I expected motherhood to change me. How could it not? Everything was new. But what I didn’t expect was that motherhood would strip me bare – drop me to rock bottom – force me to face that I had lost myself – demand that I pick up the shattered bits of me and piece myself back together. It was all at once brutal and gratifying. I am grateful for all of it. I have learned who I am and how great my support system is. I learned how absolutely wonderful my husband is, what a fantastic dad he is, and what a loving and supportive family surround us. It’s not just me who is a super mom. It’s my husband, my mom and dad, and my mother and father-in-law who make up this super family. Each one of us plays an important role. Life is a tremendous gift, and we were all starkly reminded of that during the first six weeks of my daughter’s life. We almost lost her. The first six weeks of her life were spent in the NICU. She was a full term baby but a very sick one. After she came home, every milestone was carefully watched. She thrived. And I almost missed it because I was worried about what could be wrong. It was 9 months later when I started to splinter apart. She was walking and I was cracking – emotions needed to be expressed. I needed to feel again. Not surprising, but I hadn’t been taking care of myself. I was just trying to make it through a minute, then an hour, and a full day. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was sleepwalking. I rationalized that all of this was well within a first-time mom response (ha!). Eventually, I was diagnosed with PTSD and got help. I began to piece myself back together. It took another full year for me to hear the stirrings of my voice. It’s been over two years, and just recently I realized that I am whole again. I experienced such joy in finding myself. I had really missed me! But losing myself and finding an improved version had taken hold – makes me so grateful for the journey. It has allowed me freedom to be myself, to slow down and enjoy the moments of motherhood, to rely on my family to play significant roles raising my daughter, to trust, and to embrace the unexpected. It’s often what I need most! I’m so thankful for my super family – including my husband who is embracing his role as stay-at-home dad! Collectively, we’re a super team with a super daughter.
- F*** Feng Shui
- From the Mouths of Babes Part 23
- The DMV Scam
- From the Mouths of Babes Part 22
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