As I’ve written previously, during the pre-teen and teen years all the imprints of childhood will come out in full force. All the behavior in ourselves,that, we thought little of, when we were trying to figure out our own behavior, does come out in form of accusation from our children, in their adolescent and teenager years. Especially in homes, where children are disciplined, but allowed self expression.
Why then, in the name of God, would they be anyone’s favorite years of parenting? I guess it was because, it wasn’t until then, that I could actually see the value of raising my daughters to be independent. Although a good many days were spent “biting my tongue” and “turning the other cheek”. it was during these years, that I knew, that if they could challenge me, they could challenge the World.
I do not want to leave anyone with the impression that these years are all spent in disharmony, as they were/are not. It definitely is a time of parenting, when all things are challenged, but it is also an opportunity to give us the last few years to reach out and show them unconditional love. To take their judgements with a “grain of salt” is as big of a mistake as to take them personally, and retire into our bedrooms in tears.
Next to the new born years, their will never be a time in our lives, that our children need our guidance more or reject it more. It is a perfect opportunity in our lives, to “get over ourselves.” Their emotions are going all directions, they may indeed feel close to us, but if that isn’t sancro-sanct with their friends, then they will rebell as well. Yes, even with independent children, and I might add, especially with independent children. After all, these are the children that will spread their wings and leave the nest with ambition enough to prove to us that they can do a better job, than we did. It is our job as parents to prepare them to do just that. As much as we want them to feel as we do, they have their own futures, to make the difference in. They will have challenges that we don’t even know exist. The same way my grandparents were introduced to television, and our parents were introduced to tech. They better be prepared to compete with the NEEDS of their generations.
I was fortunate in that our basement became, home central, as that way, I always knew where they were. They also were with children that they helped bring up the moral code on, or were of similiar moral values. Again as a parent, it is naive, however, to think that all their friends will be of the same value system. Afterall, it is the time, that most will at least think of exploring the wild side. If they do not do it during this time, they will definitely do it later. I always felt it better to explore, while under my watchful eyes, than after they left home.
I patted myself on the back for thinking I was on my toes enough to catch them before they had a chance to explore too far, but they assured me, that I didn’t catch them in all things. Yes I was Blessed as being able to be home and be a full time parent during this dramatic time in their lives, so they could use me to make statements like”my Mom is home she will kill me if I’m not home” worked in their favors, if they found themselves being pressured, but I knew with years ahead to make their own mistakes, these were the only years I would have, as well as they would have, to avoid peer pressure.
Again, these were my favorite years because they did test my resolve for undconditional love, I shared in a time of their lives where they were really just opening their eyes to view the world on what would be their terms, not mind, and I enjoyed a pride and joy, under neath it all, that I had never felt more, at any other time of my life.
If you are yet to experiene these years, then just keep in mind, these years are meant to be, between you and your childrens’ struggles, to be the people they were meant to be, and not a blue print of us. It all works out, as long as we stay on our toes, and let them know that , “Sorry YOU still have parents!” I only warn you that they are also meant to be the years that we parents did everything wrong and thereby our humbling years. It’s always good for the soul to be humbled as it opens our eyes to the fact that we all need to work on ourselves more, while judging others less. Good Luck!