“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.”
“Every day is a great day, some days are better than others” my uncle said to me last week. Becoming a mother was one of those exceptionally “great” days. Iris’s first night I could hardly sleep. My body buzzed with adrenaline. This joy carried me through the first few weeks. I was surprised at my resilience, running on no sleep and little food. I was like the energizer bunny; I just kept going and going, fueled by love for my sweet, soft, cuddly newborn.
Fast-forward 7 months and although the novelty of having a newborn has slightly dulled (we are very much into a routine at this point), I still find myself continuously amazed. So, here we are on a Sunday night in January. Iris has been sleeping since 7pm. At around 10:00, I hear her stirring and crying. When I enter her room I hear gurgling, sniffling and coughing. It occurs to me that Iris might have her first cold (her father has had a cold for a week at this point and it seemed inevitable that she caught it). I nurse her and rock her but she is still upset, which is rare (she is normally a very happy baby). So, I decide to bring her downstairs. We snuggle on the couch and I rock her back and forth on my knees for an hour or so. When I bring her back to bed, she falls right to sleep, yes!
The next morning, as I wipe dried snot from her face (chisel it off more like). I have a feeling the next few days will be challenging, especially since I am sick as well! Monday night did not disappoint. At 3:00 in the morning I found myself in the rocking chair (for the fifth time that night), rocking, nursing, soothing, rocking, nursing, soothing, repeat, my eyes half open with a pounding headache. I thought to myself “this is what makes mothers so special”. Because even with no sleep, feeling like I’d been trampled by elephants, I still had the capacity to care for and nurture Iris. In my rocking chair meditation, I could appreciate that mothers are very special people (fathers are too but this is about mom), because as soon as you become a mother (however that may be), there is a transcendence that takes place. The person who immerges is the best version of you. You are a person with boundless energy, exploding love, you are “mommy” and everyone knows there is no substitute for “mommy”.
- Curly Bear- Pure Love And Light And Joy
- From the Mouths of Babes Part 17
- The Magic Keeps Coming
- From the Mouths of Babes Part 16
- The Growth Chart
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