So I am not raising the whole city of Winnipeg. Just four members of it. I like this city in that it is small, yet big, but not crazy big like Edmonton or Toronto. If ever you are passing through you should really stay a while and check it out. I think this city is pretty good for raising your kids in. Minus the insane crime stats these last five to ten years. We have now been called the Detroit of the North. Great. Yet, some things are universal. Kids become a mystery once you have them. When you are a kid, teen, young adult. Basically any time before you yourself actually have children, you know everything there is to know about raising children. Then you have children and your years of "experience" and pre-plotted child manual are utterly useless.
Here we are, the year 2012 and my jaded life experience and know-it-all pretense has become just that. A pretense. What in the world happened to having all the answers? What happened to me not doing everything my parents did? Not that my parents were horrible parents. Sure I gave dirty looks, and didn't like to do my chores and would rather hang out with my friends. Sure I slept in my clothes so I wouldn't have to waste time getting dressed in the am and skipped a lot of school. (Who needed an education. I didn't.) Sure I thought my parents had it easy and thought that they should understand how I was feeling because they were kids too. They were just on a control trip. Um, yeah. I was going to be my child's best friend and understand everything they were going through. I would be able to make everything perfect and every one would live happily ever after, never having to go through what my parents did. Ha ha ha ha. Yes, I am laughing at past self and my obvious ignorance. Because now, I am doing everything I said I would never do.
I yell. I worry. I don't want my kids playing in the front yard by themselves. I try to fix everything with my kids. I am over protective. I have issues with letting go to let them grow on their own. I tell my kids that they have freedom, yet want to know their every move. I want to keep them from pain and heartache and beat up anyone who inflicts it upon them. When did I go from throwing them to the dogs attitude to wanting them kept in a bubble? This is never proved so obvious a reaction and the most difficult time to deal with than when my oldest became a teenager. I know what it's like to want to branch out and be my own person. To make my own decisions, feeling like I know what's right for me, not seeing the dangers for what they really are. Hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it. Yet, when it comes to my teen this drives me nuts. I have discovered that I need to pull back on my need to fix things. To focus on how he is at home and train him up right here, hoping he'll bring it into the world. To be okay with him not telling me everything anymore. (I want him to have some things to himself, just not ready to follow through with the reality of it). So where is this understanding perfect mom I wanted to be? Where is this confident woman who knew how she would talk to her teen so that he'd show immediate respect and help out when needed, no fights, no questions asked? This mom got tossed out the window by a giant blast of teen hormones meets the woman who needs to keep balance and order in the home. Guess it's time to figure out how to survive this time with the least amount of damage to either one of us as possible. We both need to learn. I have got three more children who have yet to hit the teen years. I need to learn how to survive this a.s.a.p.
I need to listen more and maybe take down notes of his mind changes. I am pretty sure now it changes moment to moment. He now is saying he no longer gets teased and that he has friends. I think the teasing thing mentioned is now a poor me tactic when he gets into trouble. (I saw him walking with a group of people yesterday at lunch time). He also says he wants to stay in the school he is in and wants to learn the trumpet to play in jazz band. Well, if he has a plan, even if it's just one day at a time, I guess it's better than nothing. Part of the controlling me still wishes he had his future mapped out like my nephew. Then again, maybe he does, I just haven't earned his trust to tell me what it is.
If any of my readers have a teen, 13-19 living at home, let me know how you are surviving. I could use all the help I can get.