Raising a child is tough. Raising four is tougher. Raising one child in the teen years has got to be the toughest of all. So far.
When I was a teen I knew all of the things I wouldn't do as a parent. No way would I be like my parents. I wouldn't yell. I wouldn't say my child wasn't trying hard enough. I would help my child through every school assignment. I would provide an environment where the side effect of living there would provide growth and ultimate intelligence unsurpassed by anyone else. My children would be happy, popular, well rounded, have a future vision of themselves and reach for that vision no matter the cost. Becoming everything they ever wanted to be.
Let's get back to reality. I yell. A lot. My impatience and irritability has always been a weak point for me. When it's work or dealing with someone else's child I am patient and kind and I don't yell. With my own I'm a maniac jonesing for my next fix of silence. I am not a teacher and have no patience for people who argue with everything I say. If I say it is white, it is my house, it is white. Keep in mind that I have lived 30+ years and I have seen more right and been corrected and changed my views to get to this stage of knowing everything. I know also that I don't know everything, but I do know that a 14 year old doesn't know everything. My 14 year old is exactly where I was when I was his age. A know-it-all, with no idea what is going on in the present life. No goals for the future. Because heck, the future isn't right now. Add on bullying that has been a constant for the last four years, no friends and from a broken home and he's more difficult to deal with than ever. After last nights blowout, this is what I do know.
My 14 year old doesn't know what is real and what is not. (I am not sure what he means by that. He just repeats that he doesn't even know). He is continually teased. At school and at home. He says he can ignore most of it at school, but some still really hurts him. He just wants to fit in. Or at least the bullying to stop. At home while our teasing isn't the same as at school. We are not trying to hurt him. He feels it's the same thing. He feels there is no escape from it anywhere. I have decided we need to stop teasing him. I see his point about it being just too much. I expect a certain level of clean that he cannot seem to keep up with. I know he can, he just sees it as he can't. Unsure why. He is struggling with school work and doing the one thing he does enjoy doing Cadets. So he has stated he wants to turn in his mess kit. This scares me as he says he has no interest in doing anything else. As someone who knows the signs of depression that does lead to suicidal behaviour, this is a huge red flag for me. He also wants his dad and I to be friends, but doesn't understand that I refuse to talk about anything else besides my son with his dad. I cannot make him understand. I cannot tell him the full reason. So I went with, when people break up, it is very rare they stay friends, especially if they had children. My job is to not use him as a pawn and just raise him to be the best kid he can be. I let him know that if I didn't have him, I wouldn't even talk to his dad at all. We would be strangers. He knows a kid whose parents were divorced and still hang out. He doesn't believe me that this is a rarity and not the norm. He struggles with remembering the simplest tasks and doesn't see why I get upset at having to repeat myself. He is angry with me and says nasty things because he feels the safest with me. He refuses to go to counselling because counsellors are "nosey" and "want to know to much". He feels like he's a piece of electronics for them to figure out, not a person. His description not mine. See he's smart. Pretty great analogy if I say so myself.
After yesterday I have decided to look into homeschooling. I have no idea what I am doing here. I know I have to wait until this school year is done. Also I worry about things I have no clue how to teach. Like calculus. My husband does, but I am not sure he'd be up to helping teach that. I love my son, he makes living with him so hard lately. I'm glad we talked. I feel let in even if it was just a little. I just still don't know how to fix it. As a true mom. I just want to fix it and make it better. Since I cannot, I struggle. I feel like a failure. I see everything that I wanted to do when I had kids slip down the drain, and I'm flowing with it. Why is raising a teen so hard? Why do I forget a lot of how I was feeling? Or at least feel that because I know life will change and it's better when your done school, that I want to shake him and tell him to grow up and see what I see and get on with it? Ugh.
Maybe I'm asking what I am doing right. Maybe I'm asking what I am doing wrong. I know I want to know if this is normal and my kid isn't going to be some statistic of death because I can't get my act together. I don't know how to help him. What I do know, he shoots down.