SAH early years vs teen years

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
SAH early years vs teen years
53
Sun, 06-13-2010 - 4:26pm

This past weekend I shared a room at a church youth conference with a mom of three girls (6 years, 13 years and 15 years). In getting to know each other, she mentioned that she has recently quit her job after being a working mom her entire children's lives. She was concerned about her 13-year-old and decided to stay home so that she could focus more fully on some problems that have been surfacing.

I nodded in approval and casually mentioned that I thought that if there was a more critical time to have a stay home parent, it wouldn't be the infant years; it would be the teen years. She nearly burst out crying and said that she was SO RELIEVED to hear somebody say that. She said that she always hears people talk about how we should stay home when our kids are really little, and so she felt guilty (her words) that she didn't choose to stay home when they were little and yet she was choosing to stay home now.

My take on the matter, which I conveyed to her, was that when they are small children we WANT to stay with them but nothing serious is likely to happen by trusting another loving, responsible person to take care of them while we work. By contrast, when they are teenagers, they are much more independent and much more capable of getting into serious trouble. For some families, having a stay at home parent would be a good way to increase the diligence factor (eliminate the distractions of work and use that time and energy to get more involved and keep an extra close eye on things).

She had never thought about it this way and was really, really grateful to hear it. You could tell it was something that had been eating her up. She thought that society was somehow looking down on her for her choices because "all you ever hear is messages about how important it is to stay home when the kids are little; you never hear anything about staying at home when the kids are teens."

So my question is: Why do you think hardly anyone ever touts the benefits of staying home once the children are teens?












Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 3:07pm
Even a taxi, would probably take an hour to get to my house at least, and the cost is way more than a teen can afford for a ride.

Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.' -Kahlil Gibran



PhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucket



Ten Rules for Being Human


Photobucket



"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 3:09pm
Who has been arguing that it is important to STAY HOME when your kids are teens? Some have argued that it is important to BE HOME when your kids are home, but I haven't seen anyone arguing that staying home when the kids are at school or otherwise occupied is a situation greatly to be desired.
Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 3:13pm
I agree. I personally don't think it's important to sah at the ages my kids are now, but if I couldn't be there after school or find some other way to supervise, I would feel differently. It's all dependent on circumstances.
Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 3:28pm
I wasn't talking about you; I was talking about arguments I've seen by wohms on these boards over the years telling sahms of little kids that they should be sah during the teen years because those are the important years. I was responding to your question about why nobody touts the benefits of sah with teens by saying that I *have* seen those benefits touted on these boards. I just don't think it's a serious "touting" because it comes from wohms who have no plans to sah during the teen years (and don't). They find other ways to supervise their kids, and that's consistent with what I see IRL. I know very few latchkey kids--pretty much everybody seems to feel it's important to supervise ES and MS kids after school and during the summers.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 3:31pm

<>

I was arguing that the benefits of being a SAHM are potentially greater during the teen years than the early years and that I thought it was strange that one is often saturated with messages about "the importance of SAH" with regard to infants and small children but not with regard to other age groups. It's been interesting to see how many directions this has gone based on individual interpretation.












iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 3:40pm
I was arguing that the benefits of being a SAHM are potentially greater during the teen years than the early years and that I thought it was strange that one is often saturated with messages about "the importance of SAH" with regard to infants and small children but not with regard to other age groups. It's been interesting to see how many directions this has gone based on individual interpretation.



Ok, but potentially greater benefits in the teen years how? If a WOHP parent of a toddler can find adequate alternative care to meet the physical and emotional needs of the toddler all day long, can't a WOHP of a teen find other ways of ensuring the teens emotional needs are also met even if the parent can't be right there with the teen in the hours after school?



I can see the argument that not much good comes from teens being unsupervised for unstructured time hours and hours every day, but I have a hard time seeing how it is that a parent has to be the one to do it.

Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.' -Kahlil Gibran



PhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucket



Ten Rules for Being Human


Photobucket



"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 3:44pm

<< I was responding to your question about why nobody touts the benefits of sah with teens by saying that I *have* seen those benefits touted on these boards.>>

There is definitely a wide variety of views expressed on this board. IRL, though, I've heard plenty of people utter something to effect of "I quit my job when the baby was born" or "It's so important to be able to stay home when they're little". By contrast, I think this is the first time (again, IRL) that I've ever heard someone say "I quit my job when my kids became teens" and this was the first time that SHE had ever heard someone say "It's so important to be able to be able to stay home when they're teens."

People on this board may tout the benefits of sah with teens, but it seems relatively rare in IRL conversation (compared to the number of conversations about sah with little ones). KWIM?












iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 3:57pm

<>

With teens, I'm reminded of the expression "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." It's harder to keep tabs on the ACTUAL whereabouts of a covertly rebellious teen than of a rebellious toddler.












Avatar for mommy2amani
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 4:08pm


My reason for wanting to be home when my kids get home, especially at teens, is to be available for emotional support more than anything.

Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 4:12pm

I agree. IRL, I can't think of a time when I've heard people talk about it being important to stay home with teens. I've heard lots of talk about how it's important to supervise them or be home after school with them though.

I think it's a lot less socially acceptable to stay home with older kids because of the "what do you do all day while the kids are at school" perception. When the kids are little, most people do understand that you're busy taking care of them. I also think that when the kids are teens, you see that the end is in sight--the kids will be gone in a few years (and college costs are looming).

Pages