Ok, so about these dang teenagers. (m)

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Registered: 03-25-2003
Ok, so about these dang teenagers. (m)
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 10:50pm
First off, for those who don't know me, I am co-cl of this board. I have posts buried in the threads below. :O)For all the newbies, a belates *welcome*! And for those who asked, or care, I adore my new job. For those who don't know, I recently took a position as a staff assistant in a substance abuse clinic which treats on an outpatient basis.

As part of my job, we meet weekly to discuss clients. Their issues, concerns and addictions. It was brought to my attention that a majority of opiate use begins in the teen years. Why? Parents not asking enough questions. WHO are you with? WHERE will you be? WHEN will you be home? It was kind of an eye-opener for myself, as I have a 13 year old who has just now begun being "out there", so to speak. Yes, I know where she is at all times, but it is enough? We've all seen the PSA's on how to talk to your kids. I find them (on a personal level) somewhat condescending. Like, duh, I feed them AND I have to talk to them? But...I'm sure they do the job. I also was a little disappointed with the DARE program. I found it to be a little 'sappy'.

I have found, since I began working full time, that I have more time to talk to them. While throwing together Hamburger Helper (I'm joking) or picking up the house, or running to practice. I am also brutally honest in regards to the consequences if they choose to use. The drug choice for our are is Oxycondon, injected via needle.

After posting here for two years, I've come to acknoweldge that parents have some very valid reason for not trusting DC. I can respect that. But the fact is, there is really never a perfect time. The worries don't end with school, at least IMO, they begin.

Our situation is as perfect as it could ever be. The kids are unsupervised from 2:30-3:30. (My oldest dd babysits) I am home at 4:15. Not that I have my head up my posterior and think no problems can happen in that hour, but I know she is at home. I also give out tons of responsibility to all three of them. Idle hands, and all.

The question I have for you, is does working status REALLY affect the relationship you have with your child? I'm not militant anything, I have been a SAHM, and a WOHM/PT and now a WOHM/FT. Through all these venues, the relationship has remained rock solid. Is it because I was home? Or in spite of me being home?

I often joke with a friend of mine, that I was not meant to mother babies. G-D should have just given to me at the age of about 8 or so. I didn't hate it, I just think they are so much darn fun now. Toddler years, in the grand scheme of things, didn't mean much to me. Oh, they were important, and I wouldn't mind going back. However, they only thing they remember from those days are "please" and "thank you". The rest has been formed through experience, talking and screwing up on occasion. But I do find it ironic that on this board, we focus so much on DC's and nannys, etc., raising the kids. Why do we forget the teenage years? It's like a magic wand is waved, and *poof* 12 and up isn't so important anymore.

So, in a nutshell, and to put an end to this rambling, does your work status effect the relationship you have with your child? Does it affect your worry? I know I couldn't be effective at work if I was stressing over what my teenager was up to. What are your plans for your teens? Will you quit your job? Cut back? Or, like me, despite working status, just make sure your nose is in ALL their business?

"There in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I close my eyes, feel their beauty and follow where they lead."

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 6:51am
In the long run I don't think that work status does effect someones relationship with their children. I was home for 12 years and worked part time most of the years I have been back in the work force and my bond with our children is no less then my DH's or no less then mothers who have always been in the work force.

We have already been/are living through the teen years. My DDs are 20, 18 and 14 on Saturday.

My oldest DD turnedd 13 a few months after I returned to the work force. For the first three years I worked for the school system so had summers off and was there when they got home from school.

At the job I am at now I have always worked around my youngest DD school schedule during the school year which meant except for their senior year when they got out of school early I was always there when they got home from school. In their senior year they have less then one hour between the time they get off and the time they have to pick me up from work.

During the summer I cut back my hours and get off about noon. Numerous reasons, I don't want them home all day every day alone, I didn't want the olders ones to spend their summer babysitting youngest one, and summer is their vacation and if I am at work then they don't have a chance to go places/do things.

We are in a transition year since this is the fist year that DD3 is really pretty much taking care of herself. Her sisters work various hours so it is not often that she is actually here alone but unlike in the past where one of them was responsible for her, now she is responsible for herself.

Edited 6/11/2003 6:53:52 AM ET by texigan

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 11:53am
I think it varies,across the board.I think that if *I* was getting on the 7 AM train to Boston and coming home on the 6PM train it would make a difference.If I worked 9-5 down the street and got time off to go to all the events.etc.,no it wouldn't.

If I was filling out forms in an office all day,I could come home and be supermom.If I was working w/ abused kids or CPS I don't think I could come home at 6 and be perky and ready for a game of soccor.I think as my kids get older ,though,and don't as much one on one interaction,I could do it.

And I totally agree about idle hands!I already have some farms and boats staked out for summer employment ten years from now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 11:59am
About daycare-I don't think it is optimal for infants.My ds was in NICU for three weks after birth,and to then put him in dc seemed a little wrong.However,*good* daycare is imo a very needed thing today,and takes the place of a lot of how neighborhoods used to be.It is just that I *liked* being ah,and then when I looked for dc,I wasn't bowled over by what I saw enough to change paths right then.My main problem w/ dc is the long day it would require of my kids.I am really,really tired of sahsm being portrayed as neurotics who "don't trust".
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 1:18pm
Eeeee Gads! I'm neurotic? Because, I never trusted DC with infants. I was comfortable with it when they were able to talk. I'm not sure why, my own peace of mind. Or...I just know what tattle-tales they are. :O) I had the choice though, and chose to SAH. But I fully agree that *good* DC is really a necessity.

I just wonder if there is an attitude among both SAH and WOH parents that if a child hits 11 or 12 with *no* major problems, that it will be smooth sailing through the teenage years. I'm very worried about growing horse blinders and missing some important warning flags.

Trying to find the balance between being neurotic about where they are, and who they are with and sticking my head in the sand is proving to be difficult. :O)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 1:36pm
I dont think work status has anything to do with parenting. BUT...I think you are off base to say that the *only thing they remember from toddler years is please and thank you*. A child's psyche is almost completely formed by the time they are 5 years old. We hear all about how important 0-5yo is-and it is. The hard-wiring of the brain takes place during those times, and things that happen to children (both good and bad) can have lifetime effects. Now, dont get me wrong, I'm not negating the teen years at all. They are extremely important for parental involvement, as we all know too. My personal view is that ALL the years are important, I cant put one down as somehow *less* than another.

As far as work status and relationship with the child, there is a bit of it there for me. My dd, being adopted, had some special trust issues. My deciding to sah for 2 years, to *physically* be there for her at pretty much every moment, went a long way in establishing trust and security for her. I think NOW I could go back to work ft without it having any effect on her, but 5 years ago, she really did need me there.

And having a teen will also affect my work status. This is something dh and I are discussing now. The plan was that I'd go back to work ft once I got my degree completed, which would put dd at about age 15 and ds at age 7. Then I realized that it would potentially mean dd home alone for a couple hours a day. We could arrange care for ds fairly easily at his age (I'm very hesitant to have dd watch him on a regular basis, but that could change as she gets older) but to find something for a 15yo??? Impossible. And statistically speaking, kids are most likely to drink, have sex and use drugs during the *witching hours* of 3-6pm. So we are currently re-thinking *the plan* (LOL). I might try to find something I can do at home, or at least a state job that involves shiftwork rather than a traditional 8-5 routine. Its a tough call!!

Having been a victim myself of dc abuse, its not a place I would ever or could ever *go* with my own children. You are right that there is never a perfect time, and even an older child can have something happen and for whatever reason not tell. It was just never a chance I was willing to take, although over time (and this board believe it or not!) I have come to see that there ARE options out there that are safe and viable.



"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~