Parenting teens

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Parenting teens
23
Sun, 06-29-2003 - 7:20am
A spin off from a debate in the "Are mega hours ok if you have a SAHP?".

From my observation a lot of people parent (or plan to parent) teens based on their teen age lives.

Those that needed a lot of control and felt that getting it kept them in line or not getting it was why they had problems tend to try to control their kids.

Those that did not need a lot of control and did just fine without it or were controlled but felt it was overkill tend to give thier kids more say in their lives.

I never had a scheduled bedtime once I started high school. I was able to handle going to bed when needed and getting up on time with no problem. No parents even got up with me on school days, I got up showered, ate and went off to school. I see no reason why my children cannot handle the same responsibility.

I never had a regular curfew. It was based on the plans/event. I never took advantage of it so think that my children can also handle that.

But just to prove that God has a sense of humor he always throws a kink into things. My older DDs are 20 and 18, they made it through high school with no lack of sleep problems and not trying to take advantage of the no set curfew rule. But DD3 is a completely different person then her older sisters. I think that we may have some struggles with her over the issues. But I am still going to give her the same freedom that her sisters had unless she proves that she cannot handle it.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
In reply to: texigan
Sun, 06-29-2003 - 10:15am
I'm so glad you started this, because that thread is just getting a little too cumbersome for me to want to play.

I grew up in a house where our parents allowed us a lot of input about our schedules and made it known that they *trusted* us unless we gave them a reason not to (which, BTW, didn't happen...with any of the 4 of us). This applied not only bedtimes and curfews, but also how we dressed, etc. (My sister gave them a run for their money on the dressing thing, and a few of my mom's friends really freaked out about the clothes she chose, which were pretty wild. My mom told them it was a stage and eventually she'd get over it...and she did.She actually turned out to be far more conservative than the rest of us.) We all knew people who had super-strict parents, very rigid curfews and bedtimes, etc. These were definitely the kids who tended to get into trouble.

This worked really well for our family. I plan on having the same policies when Joel is a teen (which won't be too long..WHAAAA!!!!) Part of being a teen is learning to use one's own judgment, and to test it while still under the supervision and guidance of one's parents. A child who doesn't get to participate in these decisions doesn't get the full advantage of that situation.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: texigan
Sun, 06-29-2003 - 10:50am
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Give him a fish and you've only fed him for one meal.

That's an approach that I believe works with children. Teach them to make responsible adn mature decisions and they'll be so for their lifetime. Make the decisions for them and you've only taken care of them for today.

Hollie

Avatar for 1969jets
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: texigan
Sun, 06-29-2003 - 11:47am
You need to taylor parenting to your child. For instance, I never had a curfew. My brother did. Why? Because if I said I would be home at 1AM then I came home at 1AM. If my brother said he would be home at 1AM and he was having a great time he would stay out, not call and drive my parents nuts. So they gave him a curfew of midnight (which was negotiable) and told him that you need to be home at that time or you are in trouble. I was far more reliable so I was given more freedom. I don't think that has changed. Different kids need different treatment even at the same age.

One size fits all treatments rarely fit anyone well.

Jenna

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: texigan
Sun, 06-29-2003 - 12:39pm
i think all the responses you've received thus far are right on the money. people are all different including teenagers. i have *three* very different children. one needed constant guidance, and fought it every step of the way, and btw proved he could not be trusted!!LOL, one followed everything dh and i taught her to a tee, and did earn freedoms her older brother did not earn, ie: springbreak at the beach. we wouldnt let ds1 go, because we "didnt want to meet the beach police", and dd went in her jr and sr years of hs, without a minute of lost sleep on our part. ds2 doesnt seem to want to earn anything. wants to have everything handed to him in advance and *maybe* he will pay us back, ie: work it off, clean his room, vacuum etc. i dont flow with that at all.

when i was a teen i was the rebel, if you want to call it that. my brother and sister hardly ever went out, and when they did, they were home usually before they even said they would be. i started dating my dh at the end of tenth grade and wanted to run with him. i had a curfew, but it wasnt difficult for me, as my favorite thing to do is sleep.

i wanted to raise my kids as i was, but in this society, it is very difficult to be strict, as the parent police are always on patrol, knocking down any kind of discipline they dont agree with. i want to know who exactly decided raising my voice at my children is child abuse. is it not parent abuse when one's child question our parental decisions, and decides from there if they will conform or defy.

i was tougher on my children than most moms, and as difficult as it was when they were growing up, i am very pleased to see they have turned out extremely well adjusted, and did hear me when i was preaching the good manners dialog, or the respect thing. they are extremely responsible, dependable, and respectable adults.

lee(ds1) called today to just chat. he had been on vacation with us two weeks ago, and when he got home to florida last week, he said his house was totally trashed. he and a friend cleaned it from top to bottom, and while on vacation, my son found a new roommate. the one who trashed the condo, is completely irresponsible, and disrespectful, and doesnt lift a finger to clean up behind himself, not to mention, he used my sons electric razor, and the other roommates deoderant!! eeewwwww(in my best tula voice from my big fat greek wedding). the new roommate is a girl and actually stayed and played cards with them, when she came to see the condo. she is leaving her roommates because evidently they are dating each other and wanted this one to participate in their um, personal endeavors with each other. ....my point being, when ds1 lived home he wouldnt lift a finger to help around the house, but i guess because we insisted on our home being clean and picked up, this is part of him now, and he in turn is maintaining a decent place.

<<>> the second part of this quote i think describes me. i feel my dad stifled me so much, that after i got married, i felt i was free. while growing up, i never, ever opened my mouth in school, whether to talk to friends, ask or answer questions of the teacher, because i was scared to death something would come out of my mouth to be misinterpreted by someone and they would tell my parents. i dont know what my dad would have done.....he wasnt abusive, but he was very controlling. just being sent to my room hurt my feelings more than any spanking ive ever received...LOL. so in turn i was easier on my kids, and tried to communicate with them more. i guess its 6 of one, half dozen of the other, because i am ok, and so are my kids.

can you tell this is quite an issue with me. it is tough raising teenagers, and is very interesting to me to hear some of the takes on how to do it.

p.s., i imposed a midnight curfew(with negotiation status) on my kids, because i wanted them to yearn to be on their own, for them and for me. it worked!

Avatar for cindytree
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Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: texigan
Sun, 06-29-2003 - 12:51pm
My kids are 21, 17, 14 and 9. Our parenting has focused on "choose the behavior and you choose the consequences." We don't have tons of rules, but the few we feel are important are enforced. If one of the kids willingly chooses to break the rule, there are clear consequences (grounding, no car, etc.). But, the rules were not petty. They were simple such as if you are going to be later than you said, call. If you go somewhere other than you told us, call and make sure it is ok. No parties at anyone's home without parental supervision and no alcohol, etc. By the time a child becomes a teenager they either "get it" or they don't. We don't have to resort to consequences much so I guess we're doing ok.

Basically, we started out more strict and as the child got older, we gradually backed off so that by the time they drive and are faced with making decisions on their own, they know how to choose wisely.

Knock on wood, fingers crossed and all that, they seem to be turning out great.

Cindy

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
In reply to: texigan
Sun, 06-29-2003 - 1:08pm
I will throw in a little story here, about one of my good friends from middle shcool and high school. If no one sees it as relevant, just let me know; I won't be offended in the least ;)

Okay, here's the girl. I'll call her... Rachel. Rachel came from a very "traditional" home. Dad worked all day, mom stayed home with the kids (one boy, four girls, with about 15 years b/t youngest and oldest) Rachel was the next-to-youngest. They were also a very strict religious family. All the girls wore skirts, no makeup, could not cut their hair, the family didn't own a TV, etc. (this all happened about 10 years ago, btw) Well, when Rachal was about 15, her parents divorced. I never found out the reason why. But the girls who were still at home (three of them) stayed with their mother. Within a year, Rachel had become a totally different person. She cut her hair, started wearing jeans all the time. All of which is fine. But she also went from being a very conservative, shy girl to someone who liked to party every weekend, drink, smoke, cuss, have sex, and try basically everything she'd always been forbidden to do, almost overnight. Apparently the father was the one making all the rules in this household, because when he and the mother split up, there were no longer any rules. That's not to say the mother was happy about how her daughters were acting, (as they were all doing a lot of the same things)but obviously she was unable to enforce many rules on her own. I'm not sure where she is now, as she moved away when she was about 17, right after she quit high school. But I saw her one time afterthat, and I do know that she had a baby when she was about 18, and was expecting another. (She was about 20 when I saw her.)

I guess my point here is kind of two-fold. On the one hand, there has to be some middle ground in a home. Parent's religious beliefs are fine, but you have to recognize that, just as many people you meet elsewhere will not share your beliefs, there is a chance that your own children, as they grow, will not share them either. You have to raise your children, not only in the way you think is right, but also recognizing thatthey are as individul as you yourself are, and they may not think the way you do, just because you are raising them. I am a firm believer that children should be raised with rules, certain ones of which are simply non-negotiable. But, you have to temper that with a respect for their growing sense of self and their own beliefs.

Second, *both* parents are needed, whenever possible, to raise a child who is confident and secure. That is *not* to say that a single parent cannot raise a child "right". I see single parents all the time who do much better jobs with their children than a lot of married couples. But, in a lot of those cases, if not all, there are also "parental figures" present in the child's life, such as a friend, aunt or uncle, or some other person close to the parent.

As I have said , if anyone feels this post is irrelevant, just let me know. But this is how I feel about parenting teens, and parenting children in general. --->Dawn

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: texigan
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 3:20am
Well, my parents were so completely *clueless* about my teenage life, they think that me never really getting *caught* equates with me not getting into trouble, lol. Gawd, they still dont know the half of it!!

Does that make me a little more cautious with my own children? In some ways yes. I feel that I am much more in tune with and savvy to my dd (12) and what she faces in the near future. Having Btdt to just about any scenario does, in some ways, give me an *edge*. Not only will there be a smaller chance of me falling for any b.s. from her, but I also feel that I will (hopefully) have a better grasp of where she is coming from. The biggest thing for us is keeping the lines of communication open, and keeping the trust. I always tell her that if we feel like we can trust her, and she doesnt do anything to destroy that trust, she will get a lot of freedom. But breaching that trust makes for a tough climb back.

As far as things like curfews and such, I dont really think kids need to be out excessively late, but it will be based on the event at hand (I'm not going to tell her that she has to be home at midnight when the dance doesnt end until 1230). I have told her that she can start doing some group dating when she starts high school, but no one-on-one dating till she is a sophmore. I've even told her that rather than forbidding her to attend a party, I would rather let her go and drive her there and pick her up. I dont want her sneaking around, hiding things, I'd rather know what is going on in her life.

I doubt she'll have a bedtime when she gets into high school (unless she starts staying up till 3a or something). I'll probably still get up with her in the mornings, not because I wouldnt think she could get herself off to school, but because I feel like that time is kind of important-I like to touch base with her before she is gone for the day, just to tell her good morning if nothing else!

I think you are right about how people base their parenting of teens on their own lives. I know that I am not as naive as my own parents were, and hopefully I am a lot more in tune too!

dj

Dj

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: texigan
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 12:09pm
This is interesting to me,because dh and I are visiting family right now.I have noticed in our families that the very controlled teens grew up to be adults who are STILL at home,still immature,etc.So,while they made it to 21 without having the "calamities" dh and I had-we drank while underage,made out,sneaked cigarettes,etc-they are now at 35 or so having their rebellion.I don't advocate a real liberal "whatever" approach,but I think it is a fine line to walk between appropriate standards and srcewing them up for life.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: texigan
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 2:32pm
Another thing that can make kids never leave home is making it very comfortable for them. When my sister complained that her room was too crowded (with her TV, stereo etc) as a teenager my parents switched rooms with her, giving her the biggest bedroom in the house. She stuck around until she was close to 30.

My DD1 had the biggest of the kids bedrooms. When she went off to college we switched her and DD3 (the smallest room) since she would only be using it weekends and summers. Every summer when she comes back home she complains that there is not enough room for all of her stuff. I don't know if she realizes it or not but there is actually a purpose behind that. I want to look forward to getting out to a place of her own, not staying here because a place of her own would be a step down.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: texigan
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 4:58pm
ITA-one of the families that has "kids" still living at honm has "kids" rooms that dh and I agreed we wouldn't want to leave,either...especially since it's free!

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